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One thing is certain, there are many civilian contractors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as "a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault" (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs).

If you read my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case: The Ultimate Straight Talk Roadmap To The Medical Treatment and Money You and Your Family Deserve, or been on The Turley and Mara Law Firm website, you have probably seen me rant about how "PTSD" is the wrong title for post-traumatic stress. It shouldn't be called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It should be called Post Traumatic Stress Injury.  Because in reality that is what it is: an injury. This injury means you have just as much of a right to get help in the form of medical and financial benefits as a civilian contractor that lost an arm overseas. 

So where do you start with building your Post Traumatic Stress Injury DBA case?


PTSD Statute of Limitations

The first thing that you need to know is that even if it has been years since you worked overseas - you are not necessarily barred from bringing a Defense Base Act Post Traumatic Stress Disorder claim.  A DBA PTSD claim has a different statute of limitations than most DBA claims.

In essence, you can bring your DBA claim up to one year after you knew or should have known that you suffer an injury that was caused by your employment overseas. Typically, that is when a medical professional diagnosis you with having PTSD that was caused by your being overseas in a war zone like Iraq or Afghanistan.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. Under some circumstances you may be able to win your claim by proving that you filed within one year of when you knew that you had a wage loss based upon your PTSD injuries.

The long and short of the matter is this. If you suspect that you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms and you worked overseas as a civilian contractor - you need to hire an honest Defense Base Act lawyer as soon as possible.  The sooner that you file your claim the more likely that you will prevail.

However, even if it has been 3-4 years or even many more years since you worked overseas in a war zone, you can still successfully prevail in brining a Defense Base Act claim.


File a Claim

You need to file a claim under the Defense Base Act (DBA). This  is a workers’ compensation program for overseas civilian contractors.  A claim is started by filing a form LS-203 with the United States Department of Labor and providing a copy to the employer you worked for overseas.


Medical Treatment

You need medical treatment in order to get better, right? Under the DBA you are entitled to this medical treatment. However, the DBA insurance company is probably going to deny your claim of a Post Traumatic Stress Injury and refuse to provide the medical treatment you deserve.

This is why you need a lawyer and you need the best DBA lawyer you can get. AND you need them from the very beginning, potentially even before you file your claim. 

You are also entitled to what is called a free choice of physician. For many folks, finding a doctor that is experienced with combat theater PTSD is difficult. Because of this, we sometimes need to hook folks up with good psychologists via video conference. Many of our clients actually prefer this, because of the convenience.


You Don’t Have To Pay Any Attorney

For the most part, the insurance company should always pay your attorney fees. You should never have to directly pay your attorney in order to handle one of these claims.

Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find a seasoned Defense Base Act lawyer that knows how to handle civilian contractors (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Claims. These DBA claims are under Federal Law so you can hire any specialized DBA attornoey from anywhere in the U.S.

With this in mind, we are from San Diego and have 25 years of experience with Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act due to the large population of shipyard workers. The DBA is an extension of The Longshore Act, which means that we have been handling DBA cases since before it was commonplace for American civilians were going over to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now The Turley and Mara Law Firm is one of the two largest DBA Law Firms in the world. 


Money Benefits

While you are either temporarily totally disabled or permanently and totally disabled (these are legal terms which basically translate into you not being able to work in a war zone due to the PTSD); you are entitled to significant weekly disability benefits.  In most instances, your lawyer can probably negotiate a lump-sum settlement or an ongoing weekly disability benefit.

Often times these cases settle for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The first step is research and study so be sure to order my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case, for FREE or take advantage of the multiple pages of free content on our website so you know and understand exactly what you are going to be up against. 



If you have any other questions or concerns regarding getting help for your Post Traumatic Stress Injury

or your DBA case in general,

give us a call today at 619-234-2833.

We're here to help.

William Turley
“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
My husband (friend) spent 4 years in Afghanistan as a contractor,...
Posted by Carmon Palmer on August 9, 2018 at 10:39 PM
I was contactor from 3/2003 until I got wounded in a rocket attack in 3/2011
Posted by Sam Kallabat on July 23, 2018 at 01:17 AM
Hi, I've found your post to be very interesting not to mention informative. I am a former civilian contractor deployed overseas for seven years in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan as a supply Technician. It has been almost 7 years since, I returned to the states and, I still have a really difficult time sleeping, focusing. I very recently experienced a heart attack and my doctor said it was the result of not getting enough sleep and stress.
Posted by Paticia on June 14, 2018 at 02:31 PM
I'm a civilian contractor I spent 3+ years in Iraq plus 3+ years in Afghanistan. I am having a hard time with memory and sleep.
Posted by Keith Valentine Sr on May 21, 2018 at 01:06 PM
I need a copy of your book win my defense base claims
Posted by Thomas sarpong on November 19, 2017 at 03:24 PM
Has anyone filed a claim for sleep apnea
Posted by David on March 19, 2017 at 12:53 PM
I need to know the process in order to file a claim. I am suffer from PTSD.
Posted by Lyndon Bowen on May 22, 2016 at 04:03 AM
Is there a time frome to file a dba claimed after you have ended employment? I worked as a security contractor for 3.5 years and think I suffer from a range of PTSD symptoms
Posted by Tracy Rose on May 8, 2015 at 12:12 AM
I was a us contractor also im a retired military vet. my question is do I need to file a va form or dba ls 203 for ptsd
Posted by richard feldman on September 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM
Hi, I am not writing because I have a case but instead I am writing because I am researching PTSD. I am a former SF medic and now PA and I have worked in Iraq for the last 7 years. I am in a Doctoral program and writing a dissertation on PTSD. The focus is on contractors with PTSD and why they generally do not seek medical help. What I think you could help me with is some words on what you have seen and some of the reasons these gentlemen do not seek care or the problems they face with insurance or loss of employment when they do seek help. Your input would be very much appreciated. Thanks, Brent Kunzler PA-C
Posted by Brent KunzLer on July 20, 2014 at 02:51 PM

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