What is the Zone of Special Danger in a Defense Base Act Claim?

What is the Zone of Special Danger in a Defense Base Act Claim?

Sep 14, 2019 | Defense Base Act, Workers' Comp

Have you ever traveled outside of the country for work? What happens when you wind up injured in a foreign country? Does workers’ compensation apply?

Defense Base Act claims arise when oversees workers get injured and need compensation. The act’s Zone of Special Danger doctrine extends the types of injuries that get covered.

Keep reading to get all the details about this complex act.

Defining the Zone of Special Danger Doctrine

What exactly are DBA claims, and what’s the special zone of danger all about? The Defense Base Act is a type of worker’s compensation for overseas civilian workers.

When an injury happens on foreign land, workers can file a DBA claim for compensation.

In most worker’s compensation cases, only employment-related injuries can get covered. The zone of danger rule makes a special exception for these overseas workers. Non-employment related injuries may get covered when:

  • The conditions of overseas employment create the danger zone
  • The worker’s obligations create a special danger

The Supreme Court has ruled that the special danger test applies in most DBA cases. This includes when a worker drowns offsite, has a heart attack off duty, or gets into a foreign car accident.

Common Causes of Defense Base Act Claims

What types of situations lead to a Defense Base Act claim? Here are some of the most common causes of claims:

  • Slip and fall accident injuries
  • Vehicle collisions
  • Exacerbation of existing injuries
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Wrongful death
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

When your injury occurs due to a war hazard, another act may come into play. The War Hazards Compensation Act makes the government payout on claims caused by war.

The Defense Base Act is often an employee’s only available remedy. While the act covers a host of injuries, a denied claim can mean zero compensation for the injured. Find out more about denied claims below.

What If My Claim Gets Denied?

Did you receive a discouraging denial letter in the mail?

After waiting weeks for financial relief, a denial is crushing. Don’t get discouraged. Instead, consider it a sign that it’s time to hire a lawyer.

A skilled DBA attorney will help you identify what went wrong with your claim. Here are some common reasons why a claim gets denied:

  • The statute of limitations has passed
  • You forgot to include documentation about your injury
  • Arguments that your claim is invalid
  • Filling out the wrong paperwork
  • No valid reason provided

Appealing your denial is possible in most circumstances. If you need help determining your options, then reach out to a DBA attorney as soon as possible.

Understand Your Right to Compensation

There are several reasons why employees pursue Defense Base Act claims. In all cases, the person has sustained an injury while working. If you have the legal basis for a claim, then you’re entitled to compensation.

Are you looking for a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in Defense Base Act claims? Reach out to the experts now by filling out our online form or calling us at (713) 652-4002.