War Risk Hazards: What It Means for Your DBA Claim

War Risk Hazards: What It Means for Your DBA Claim

Jul 24, 2020 | Defense Base Act

Did you or someone you know serve your country valiantly and pay with the sacrifice of a debilitating injury? Were you made aware that you’re entitled to compensation? 

Many soldiers who endure the hardships and dangers of war zones and combat aren’t aware of the DBA Act and how it can help make up for their losses. 

What are the DBA and WHCA, and how do war risk hazards influence your DBA Claim in significant ways? Read on to discover how the two are connected.

What Are Defense Based Act Claims?

The Defense Base Act (DBA) is a workman’s comp law passed in 1941 to provide U.S. civilians overseas coverage. If any U.S. citizen sustains a work-related injury or death overseas, the event must fit these six criteria to qualify: 

  1. Any defense base acquired from a foreign government
  2. Lands occupied or used by the U.S. for military purposes outside the continental U.S.
  3. Public work in any Territory or possession under a contract with the U.S.
  4. Public work outside the U.S. not covered under (3)
  5. Contract outside the U.S. approved and financed by the U.S.
  6. Welfare or similar services outside the U.S. for troops authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense.

What Is the War Hazards Compensation Act?

The War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA) is an act passed in 1942 to bolster the Defense Base Act. The WHCA Act stipulates the public should bear the losses from war risk hazards, injuries, and deaths. 

The WHCA offers three types of claims for those who sustain injury or death as a result of war risk hazards. 

War Risk Hazard Injuries Not Covered by the DBA or NAFIA 

Employees covered under DBA or the Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (NAFIA) whose injury is not covered under DBA or the NAFIA should seek compensation from the WHCA. Damages not covered under the DBA or NAFIA are rare, and only occur when someone sustains injuries outside the scope of employment. 

War Risk Hazards Resulting in Imprisonment 

The WHCA covers any employee taken prisoner, hostage, or detained by a hostile enemy. 

Private Insurance Carriers

Insurance carriers or self-insured companies have the opportunity to seek reimbursement for war risk hazards losses. The person entitled to these payments receives them from a fund under the Federal Employees Compensation Act.

What Defines a War Risk Hazard?

Now that you understand the definition of these programs, how do you know if your injury is eligible for a war risk hazard claim? Examples of War risk hazards are the following:

  • The use of weapons or explosives in a hostile zone
  • The action of a hostile enemy
  • The discharge of live munitions intended for war purposes
  • The collision of aircraft in a hostile zone
  • Any injury resulting from the collision of vessels or aircraft in a hostile zone

How Does the War Hazards Compensation Act Affect DBA Claims? 

War risk hazards can significantly affect your DBA claim because insurance companies don’t view them as typical DBA cases. Often, the insurance company is more reluctant to settle claims with war risk hazards involved. They are unwilling to settle because they often find loopholes in war risk hazard definitions.

Hiring an attorney who understands the WHCA is essential to ensure you receive full compensation for your losses. Don’t try to file a claim without a proven attorney who knows how to bring you the compensation you deserve. 

Barnes Law Firm Knows What’s Right 

If you’ve sustained injuries overseas as a result of war risk hazards, don’t wait to see what fate has in store for you.

War risk hazard legal professionals can see to it you receive full compensation. Click here to find out what Barnes can do for you!