How to Finance Your Defense Base Act Lawyer Fees

How to Finance Your Defense Base Act Lawyer Fees

Jul 6, 2023 | Defense Base Act

No one takes a job working as a Department of Defense contractor thinking they will get injured or die in a foreign country. Unfortunately, many of these workers are injured, and some die.

When you’re injured while overseas, navigating the legal ins and outs of a DBA claim can become difficult. One of your biggest challenges is figuring out who pays your Defense Base Act lawyer fees.

In this article, we’ll examine DBA attorney fees, how they’re calculated, and who pays them. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is a Defense Base Act Lawyer?

A DBA lawyer is anyone licensed to practice law in the United States with extensive experience and knowledge of the Defense Base Act. These attorneys can either represent the insurance company or fight for fair compensation for the employee.

You want someone with extensive experience investigating and prosecuting DBA claims before the Department of Labor (DOL). A DBA lawyer can work for the injured worker or the insurance company.

When a contractor is injured, they want someone that can respond quickly and provides a hands-on approach to litigation.

Who Pays the DBA Legal Fees?

In most DBA cases, it’s the employer’s or their insurance company’s responsibility to pay the Defense Base Act lawyer’s fees.

According to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), if the claim is successful, the employer or insurance company can be ordered to pay the claimant’s legal fees. It’s important to note that LHWCA also applies to DBA claims.

Your case will be heard by an administrative law judge or someone working in a similar capacity. If the judge finds that the employer is responsible for paying your medical expenses, they can order them to pay the DBA attorney’s fees.

How Do DBA Attorneys Calculate Charges?

There are three ways a Defense Based Act Attorney can calculate the charges for your case. Since the insurance company is responsible for payment, they are familiar with each method.


Fees are a percentage of the compensation awarded to the injured worker. This is common practice and ensures the DBA attorney is motivated to get the best compensation possible for their client.


DBA lawyers can charge an hourly rate. The DBA lawyer’s fees are based on how many hours they spend on the case. The lawyer charges a specific rate per hour.

It can become complicated when dealing with technical compliance rules. Unusual cases can also pose challenges.

Flat Fee

A Defense Base Act attorney rarely uses this method. It requires setting the amount agreed on by both sides before the case starts. It’s rare because you can’t guess how much time or work the DBA attorney will put into a case.

Choosing a DBA Lawyer

There are three things you want in a Defense Base Act Lawyer. Someone compassionate who has the tools to investigate and the skills to negotiate.

At Barnes Law Firm, we provide that and more. Connect with us today to discuss your case.