The Defense Base Act (DBA) offers many protections for civilian contractors working overseas. One of these is that workers do not have to prove fault or negligence of their employers in order to get injury compensation. They just have to prove that their injuries were caused or worsened by their employment.
However, this guarantee of coverage comes at a price. By agreeing to pay the medical costs of a worker’s injury, employers cannot be sued for additional costs of an accident, such as lost wages and pain and suffering.
Ways to Collect Pain and Suffering in a DBA Case
Although the DBA prevents employees from getting the full costs of an injury from an employer, there are still ways to receive compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the law may allow you to file a case against:
- Second parties. Your employer can be named in a lawsuit if you are pursuing a case against someone else implicated in your injury. For example, if your injury occurred due to the recklessness or negligence of another worker, the employer could be named as a second party to the civil lawsuit.
- Third parties. Employees can file civil suits involving someone other than your employer. If any or all parties are found to be at fault, you can recover pain and suffering, lost earnings, and damages for permanent disability or loss of enjoyment of life.
- An uninsured employer. In most cases, DBA insurance coverage prevents workers from filing injury lawsuits against their employers. But if an employer, contractor, or a sub-contractor fails to secure DBA insurance coverage, employees can sue the employer for civil damages. In these cases, employers cannot defend the claim based on your negligence or your assumption of risk in taking the job.
It is important to understand how the DBA works, what coverage you are entitled to, and common ways these claims are denied in order to get fair payment. For help on gathering evidence and other ways to build your strongest case, look through our free book, DBA Resource Guide.