San Diego Defense Base Act Attorney

How to File a DBA Claim

Filing a DBA Claim in San Diego

If you were wounded, disabled, or became ill while working on a military base or at certain overseas sites of a US government contractor, you may be eligible for Defense Base Act (DBA) compensation.

Speak with a San Diego personal injury and defense base act attorney about obtaining professional legal counsel in California. Our competent personal injury attorneys can help you with your concerns on Defense Base Act claims , mass torts, or personal injury claims.

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What is the Defense Base Act?

Defense Base Act (DBA) is an expansion of the federal workers’ compensation program that includes longshoremen and harbor employees. The act is codified in 33 U.S.C. 901–950 (Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act) and is applicable to all military bases. People who work at United States military stations overseas are covered by the DBA insurance policy.

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The Defense Base Act is intended to give medical treatment and compensation to employees of defense contractors who are injured while working in the course and scope of their jobs. The DBA is administered by the Department of Labor of the United States of America.

Does The Defense Base Act Provide Protection?

The Defense Base Act covers the following employment activities:

  • Working for private employers on U.S. military bases or on any lands used by the United States for military purposes outside of the United States, including those in U.S. territories. 
  • Working on public work contracts with any U.S. government agency, including construction and service contracts in connection with national defense or with war activities outside of the United States.
  • Working on contracts approved and funded by the United States under the Foreign Assistance Act.
  • Working for private employers on U.S. military bases or on any lands used by the United States.

If any of the aforementioned criteria is met, then the Act applies to all employees engaged in such employment, regardless of nationality, and they are all protected by the Act.

What are the Types of Injuries That Can Be Compensated?

There are two broad categories of workers’ compensation injuries for which you can file a claim. They are referred to as “specific” and “cumulative trauma” injuries, which are also referred to as “repetitive” injuries.

Particular Injuries

“Specific” injuries occur as a result of a single, isolated work-related incident.

For instance, if you fall and injure your leg, or if you are the victim of an assault, or if a catastrophic event results in brain damage or paralysis, or if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, these are all “specific” injuries that come from a single traumatic episode.

Injuries Caused by Cumulative or Repetitive Trauma

“Cumulative trauma” or “repetitive” injuries occur gradually over time while performing work. In some situations, you may first be unaware that you have sustained a work-related injury for which you may file a worker’s compensation claim.

For instance, if you lift heavy objects repeatedly and gradually develop back pain, or if you are constantly exposed to loud noise and develop hearing loss, or if you are routinely exposed to harmful chemicals, fumes, or other hazardous work materials and develop respiratory, brain, or other internal injuries, or if you run around all day and develop knee pain, these are all examples of injuries that develop over time as a result of exposure to a series of traumatic events.

Even if you cannot attribute your injury to a single occurrence, cumulative or repetitive stress injuries are nevertheless valid workers’ compensation claims, even if some of the traumatic events that contributed to your condition were not work-related.

Psychological Trauma

Along with physical injuries, psychological injuries such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder can occur as a result of “specific” or “cumulative trauma” and qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

Claims for Deceased

Finally, for individuals who make the ultimate sacrifice and are killed on the job, the surviving spouse and dependent children may file a specific claim for death benefits.

What Should You Know About Reporting Injuries and Filing Claims?

Primary responsibility for injuries originating under the Defense Base Act is shared between two OWCP district offices: the New York district office and the Honolulu district office.

One year after the date of the injury or one year after receiving the last payment of compensation, whichever is later, a written claim for benefits must be made with the Office of the Workers’ Compensation District Director.

The OWCP district office is responsible for monitoring the payment of compensation and medical care to guarantee that the provisions of the Act are followed. In the event of a claim disagreement, OWCP claims examiners convene informal conferences to assist the parties in reaching a mutually agreeable or compromise resolution without resorting to formal litigation or arbitration.

After unsuccessfully attempting to resolve their differences informally, the disputing parties may request that the issue be referred to the Office of Administrative Law Judges for a formal hearing. Decisions of the administrative law judge can be appealed to the Benefits Review Board, which can then be appealed to the United States District Court or the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

What is the Process for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Based on the Defense Base Act?

You should notify your supervisor of your injury as quickly as possible, and he or she should immediately authorize medical treatment if necessary. You may file a workers’ compensation claim within three days of your injury if you are still unable to perform your job duties, and your employer must file an Employer’s First Report of Injury, Form LS-202, within ten days of your injury if you have missed one or more shifts.

Typically, lost wages are paid at approximately two-thirds of the worker’s normal weekly wage, up to the weekly limit, until the worker returns to work or reaches maximum medical improvement. 

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Medical expenses are covered by the employer’s insurer, but employers with insurance coverage are not obligated to pay damages for pain and suffering, as is the case with other types of workers’ compensation claims. Beiser Law Firm always gives a free initial consultation, but time constraints exist, so it’s critical to move promptly if you or a loved one has been injured while working overseas as a contractor or subcontractor for the United States government.

Injured on the Road?

Call our car accidents lawyer in San Diego, CA to get compensated for your injuries.

Connect with a Reliable Defense Base Act Attorney in San Diego

In general, a Longshore Act lawyer is a professional who can provide legal representation for injured workers who are covered under the Defense Base Act. Our San Diego personal injury lawyers at The Benner Law Firm can help with injury claims for simple circumstances or represent you and fight for your legal rights in a complex Defense Base Act claim. We commit ourselves to protect your rights as a civilian employee working outside the United States on US military bases.

Our team prides itself on having the knowledge and dedication necessary to help civilian employees who have suffered a severe injury while working on  government contracts outside the United States. We will deliver thorough investigation, skillful negotiation, and litigation expertise in courts of law on your behalf and be with you until your case is over and finalized.

Talk to our Defense Base Act and Longshore Act attorneys in San Diego, California. We will work with you to obtain what you deserve and maximize your financial compensation. Call our San Diego personal injury law firm at (619) 505-3935 to schedule a consultation today.



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