Under the Defense Base Act, workers have filed about 137,341 claims between 2001 to 2018. As a defense contractor, you may think you don’t have any protection when you suffer injuries overseas.
The Defense Base Act protects civilian contractors during assignments overseas. Most contractors believe they don’t have any relief options available and don’t pursue their claims. Yet, it all starts with learning the must-know facts about the laws that protect you.
Want to learn about your protections while working overseas? We’ll tell you the basics about the Defense Base Act and why you should hire a maritime attorney. Read on for your guide to protect yourself when the unthinkable happens while you’re working abroad.
Must Know Facts about Defense Base Act Protections
Civilian contractors working overseas are protected under the Defense Base Act. This law protects employees working for private companies providing services for the US Defense locations outside the United States.
The Defense Base Act requires workers’ compensation and medical treatment for injured civilian contractors. To be eligible for this protection, your injuries must occur during the course or within the scope of your work.
Meeting the basic injury requirements aren’t the only factors that determine your eligibility. Here are some facts your US maritime attorney wishes you knew about your legal protection and potential claim before contacting them.
1. Reporting and Filing Requirements
Under this law, you must report your injury to your supervisor. Also, you should inquire about your employer’s injury reporting process and follow it down to the T. You may have to file an LS-201 form notifying your injury.
Your employer must file an LS-202 report within 10 days of your injury. Your employer’s requirement applies when you miss one or more work shifts. Keep in mind that it’s your responsibility to file your compensation claim using an LS-203 form.
2. Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Defense Base Act provides medical, disability and even death benefits to injured and deceased civilian contractors. Disability and death benefits may be payable for life. You may be eligible for the following benefits.
- Disability Benefits: Up to 1,030.38 dollars per week or two-thirds of your average weekly earnings.
- Death Benefits: Half your average weekly earnings to your spouse or one of your children. And, two-thirds your average weekly earnings for two or more of your survivors.
Benefits eligibility and amount may vary on a case by case basis. It’s recommended to discuss your eligibility with your US maritime attorney.
3. Statute of Limitations
Your statute of limitations will depend on your injury and the compensation payments you receive. Under the Defense Base Act, you have one year from the date of your injury to file your claim.
If your injury is a consequence of your line of work, you may have 2 years to file your claim. Keep in mind that your statute of limitations will begin once you stop receiving any injury related compensation from your employer.
Should You Hire a Maritime Attorney?
If you’re a civilian contractor, you should consider hiring a maritime attorney. An expert can tell you more about your options and potential relief.
Before contacting your US maritime attorney, you must take a look at your situation. Remember that to be eligible for a claim under the Defense Base Act, you must meet certain requirements such as the statute of limitations, reporting and filing your claim. You should schedule an initial consultation and discuss your case with an expert even if you believe you might not be eligible for a claim.
Think you might be eligible for a Defense Base Act claim? Contact us today to schedule your free initial maritime law consultation.