Strength vs. Weakness
Here is 'truth' with your Defense Base Act case. If you want to get what you are entitled to under the DBA - you have to be ready and able to take your case to court. You have to be prepared to win. Hoping for a good settlement is a fool's errand. You want to and need to negotiate from a position of strength. You don't do that unless you are prepared to win in court.
Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley
Private Contractors Injured in Iraq and the Defense Base Act
If you're a seriously injured overseas civilian contractor that worked in Iraq, you now have a Defense Base Act case. This website is the most comprehensive website on the Defense Base Act. You will see that I have a brutal, straight-up, frank, no B.S. style. I’m not for everyone. If this isn’t what you’re looking for, I understand.
I give you useful, practical information that you can use right now to help you win your DBA case.
You're at war with the DBA insurance company
The insurance company is going to try to get you to make mistakes in order to keep from paying you the money that you are entitled to under the Defense Base Act. You must do everything you can to first spot, and then avoid, these common case wrecking mistakes.
What you really need to know about your DBA case
You have a court case against a DBA insurance company. The DBA insurance company is going to try to get you to make mistakes that result in the insurance company beating you in court, so they don't have not pay you money for your Defense Base Act injury, or pay you less money.
The fact that you have a court case is important because the DBA insurance company is going to attack your credibility and character. It's how they roll. They will do this in order to keep from paying you the money benefits that you are entitled to under the law.
You always have to tell the truth
This is why it’s so important for you to always tell the truth. Don’t lie, exaggerate, fudge or mislead. About anything. The DBA insurance company is hoping that you will say something that isn’t true, so they can use it to destroy your credibility.
Don’t think that “I’m telling the truth, so I’ll be good.”
Not. Not even close. Fact is, you don’t have to be trying to lie in order to fall for one of the DBA insurance company’s tricks or traps. Happens all the time.
Iraq - Civilian Contractor Injuries Under the Defense Base Act
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Defense Base Act Case Summary, there were 2036 injuries and 27 deaths of private contractors in Iraq in the fiscal year 2018. I have criticized these Defense Base Act Case Summary for years as under-reporting the true number of Defense Base Act injuries.
For example, I have seen reports that as many as 33% of military personnel the served in Iraq and Afghanistan have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. And, most folks believe that private contractors that have worked in these war zones have an even higher rate of PTSD. Since most folks either develop the symptoms long after they leave working in a war zone or don’t report these injuries until much later, these PTSD injuries go largely unreported in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Defense Base Act Case Summaries.
The bottom line is that Iraq is still a dangerous place to work as a private contractor. If you’re working as an overseas civilian contractor in Iraq and you are seriously injured (or killed); then you have a Defense Base Act claim.
Iraq today - ISIS
Although there has been a different feel to the atmosphere in Baghdad these days. According to reports, most of the checkpoints that once clogged traffic for hours in the Baghdad are gone and there are more roads that are open. The power cuts aren’t as often as they were.
However, according to news reports, ISIS is still in Iraq. While there was a declared victory over ISIS there are still militants reported in some parts of Iraq. According to the Commander, U.S. Central Command, despite there being a reclaiming of territory, there are still “tens of thousands” of ISIS terrorists remaining spread Syria and Iraq.
This is a much more strategic view of the future of U.S. military in Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon has described the mission for the several thousand U.S. troops stationed at the Iraqi base as helping Iraq fight ISIS.
According to recent reports, there are between 5,000 and 6,000 U.S. troops in Iraq as part of an agreement with the Iraqi government to advise, assist and support Iraqi forces in the fight against ISIS.
The U.S. Military releases “Contractor Support” statistics on a quarterly basis for Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The Iraq and Syria statistics are combined. Which raises questions in and of itself, but, be that as it may. Although it seems that much of the operations in Syria ware supported from Iraq.
According to one news report, when asked about separate counts for specific duty stations, the for “operations security..it is not available.”
Thus, trying to piece together the specific numbers private contractors in Iraq is difficult. But, this is what the U.S. military is saying:
In October 2018, there were 12,818 contractors supporting U.S. Government operations in Iraq and Syria. In January, 2019, there were 9,754 contractors supporting U.S. Government Operations in Iraq and Syria and “...6220 contractors are directly supporting DoD funded contracts.”
Breakdown of the distribution of contractors in Iraq and Syria by mission category
Base Support 1,259 (20.2%)
Construction 515 (8.3%)
IT/ Comm Support 309 (5%)
Logistics / Maintenance 2,484 (39%)
Management/ Admin 365 (5.9%)
Medical/ Dental 11 (.03%)
Security 324 (5.2%)
Training 27 (.04%)
Translator/ Interpreter/ Linguist 370 (6%)
Transportation 473 (7.6%)
Other 83 (1.3%)
Defense Base Act
The Defense Base Act (DBA) is a workers’ compensation program for overseas civilian contractors. There are two benefits under the DBA: weekly compensation benefits and medical benefits. There is a maximum compensation rate. If you are unable to perform you job overseas then you are entitled to temporary total disability. There are two different types of injuries under the DBA - scheduled injuries and unscheduled injuries.
If you have a scheduled injury, then your permanent disability will be determined by a schedule. Meaning, you calculate your permanent disability based upon your average weekly wage and your disability rating under the AMA Guides.
If you have an unscheduled injury, then your permanent disability will be based upon your wage loss.
The DBA insurance company is going to try and make you look like a liar
No matter how credible you think you are, no matter how legitimate of a case you have. The DBA insurance company is going to lay tricks and traps for you, so they can use them to attack your credibility and character. They do it to everyone, they’re not singling you out.
Frankly, they do all of this because it works.
The DBA insurance company is hoping that you will not tell the truth about your DBA case. The thing is, you don't have to try and lie for you to fall for their traps.
Oftentimes, you will fall for their traps even when you are trying to tell the truth. The insurance company is hoping that you don't understand the nuances of how you should answer questions and/or provide information. They want you to make common mistakes that will wreck your DBA case.
You are up against an insurance company. Their sole goal is to come up with reasons, not to pay you the money benefits you are entitled to under the Defense Base Act. It's all about money to them. Don't lose sight of that.
My office gets contacted every month by folks just like you that either didn't get the "memo," so to speak or unfortunately, ignored it, because they thought they would be good. Sometimes, in spite of all this we can "fix" their case. Sometimes we can't. Either way, all of the negative issues with your DBA case will lessen the settlement value of your case and/or increase the odds that you will not win your case at trial.
The good news is that most of these mistakes are avoidable, if you spot them and know how to deal with them. In the book, I explain the steps you need to take to not fall for their tricks and traps. I explain all about this in my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
You don't need to believe me, you can check out all of the 5 Star reviews on Amazon.com.
You can either go to amazon.com and put in the search bar "Defense Base Act" and find my book and buy it on amazon.com or you can get your free copy of Win Your Defense Base Act here.
Either way, I suggest that after you read this article that you go to amazon.com and read the dozens of 5 Star reviews of the book.
I'd like to ask a little favor for me. If you like my book, please leave a review on it's amazon.com page. I would greatly appreciate it if you could share your experience of reading the book by leaving your review on amazon. It doesn't have to be long. A sentence of two would do nicely. By leaving a review, you can "pass it on" to other seriously injured overseas civilian contractors.
I suggest that you check out these four articles
Need help right now?
Call us at 619-304-1000 - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.
Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new DBA case" in your text.
Or you can leave us a message on this web page.
This article isn't legal advice
These discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. These testimonials, endorsements, photos and/or discussions do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, or your particular case/ situation. Every case is different. There are any number of reasons why DBA cases are not won and/or are not as successful folks might have hoped for.
Just because we have gotten great results in so many other Defense Base Act cases, doesn't guarantee in particular result in other cases. Including, your DBA case. Every case is different.