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The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC

When (and how) should I report an injury to get DBA benefits?

Early and Carefully

Reporting an accident is a key step in getting benefits under the Defense Base Act (DBA). If you were injured while working as a federal contractor overseas, you are entitled to disability compensation. However, you must take steps to notify your employer of the accident, and how you do this can jeopardize your benefits.

Here are a few things to remember when reporting your DBA injury:

  • Report early. Claims that are not reported in a timely manner are more likely to be denied. It is best to report your injury as soon as possible, even on the day it occurs. If you were unconscious or unable to notify your supervisor on the day the Closeup of an Injury Report With a Penaccident happened, you should do so as soon as you are able.
  • Use email wisely. If you notify your supervisor of your injury by email, you should take care to provide specifics and keep copies of all interactions between you and your employer. A short message that contains the date of the accident, the activity you were involved in, and the emergency medical treatment you received on the day is enough. Make sure to send a copy of the email to yourself (this will timestamp the email with the date and provide proof that it was actually sent).
  • Get a copy of the report. Your employer must fill out an incident report in order to file your DBA case. You should always ask for a full copy of the incident report (sometimes called an injury report) to make sure the details are correct.
  • Keep a paper trail. If you find errors on the incident report and request that they be changed, make a copy of the request. If your employer refuses to submit an accident report, ask him to put the decision in writing. Any information in your case should always be in writing, and you should always keep a copy for your files.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Filing a DBA Claim?

Since so many DBA claims are denied, it is important to build evidence as your case progresses. Any documents that are filed early may be lost by the time your case goes to court, so you should always keep any evidence—no matter how small it seems—until your case is heard by a judge. Learn more about filing a successful claim in our free guide, Win Your Defense Base Act Case.


“I’ll tell you what the public likes more then anything. It’s the rarest commodity in the world-honesty.” -Merle Haggard    

My best advice

My best advice to you is for you to always tell the truth. Always. When bringing a court case, nothing is more important than your credibility. Nothing else is even close. The DBA insurance company lawyer is going to try and make you look like you are lying. If this happens, the Judge will rule against you and you will lose. Bank on it. I know I do.

My second best advice

Which brings me to my second best advice. The problem is that in many instances folks get caught in traps left for them by the DBA insurance company.  In other words, they don’t know that they are messing up their case. Happens all the time. Well, meaning honest folks get caught in one of the DBA insurance company traps.

Which is why I strongly suggest that you read my free book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. You don’t have to believe what I say about it - the book has dozens of 5 Star reviews on Amazon.com.

Win Your Defense Base Act Case is the best investment you are going to make. You can order it free here on this website or you can pay for it by ordering it from Amazon.com.

You can check out my podcast at DBAradio.com where I cover important DBA issues.

Need help right now?

You can call us at 619-234-2833 or you can fill out the contact form on this web page.



William Turley
“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”

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