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Defense Base Act: Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions about the Defense Base Act here.

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  • Are explosions and gunshot wounds covered under the DBA?

    People who perform specialized work for the U.S. government are at high risk of injuries while employed overseas, especially those working in or near active combat zones. An accident involving munitions, stray gunfire, or other ballistics can have devastating effects—and workers should not have to endure the burden of financial hardship in addition to coping with the aftermath of an injury. Fortunately, there are a few ways for victims to get the compensation they need.

    Contractors Are Owed Benefits for Explosion or Gunshot Injuries

    Under federal law, defense contractors are required to provide workers' compensation insurance through the Defense Base Act (DBA) for all employees. Coverage should extend to all types of employees, from construction workers and security guards to translators and service workers. In addition, the War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA) provides benefits to workers who are performing necessary jobs for the government but are ineligible for DBA benefits.

    One of these programs could provide compensation for:

    • Gunshot wounds. The DBA should pay for necessary medical treatment, loss of earnings, and disability for any injury that is related to your federal contractor employment, including gunfire and complications of gunshot wounds.
    • Explosions. The WHCA has a special provision for injuries caused by the discharge or explosion of munitions, collision of aircraft or water vessels, or other serious injuries that are more likely to occur in war zones.
    • Combat stress. The DBA provides payment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and other psychological injuries resulting from an overseas injury, even if you were injured as a non-combat participant.
    • Wrongful death. Both the DBA and WHCA provide benefits to children and spouses of civilian employees who are killed while working under a federal government contract.

    If you or someone you love has suffered an injury while working overseas, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible about your rights to compensation. To learn if your employer could be liable for medical costs, income replacement, and death benefits, please feel free to search our library articles or read through our free book, DBA Resource Guide.

  • How does a non-deployable medical condition affect a DBA claim?

    A worker seeking employment after a Defense Base Act injury will have a pre-existing medical condition that may make it difficult to find work overseas. If a work-related injury prevents deployment, the injured worker may qualify for permanent disability benefits. However, the employee will have to meet certain eligibility requirements before he or she can collect payment for a non-deployable medical condition.

    Non-Deployable Medical Conditions Under the Defense Base Act

    Employees working with the Department of Defense are required to be medically and psychologically fit to perform the duties required under the contract. While a pre-existing medical condition does not necessarily disqualify a worker from resuming overseas employment, a medical evaluation must be done to determine the effects that the climate, job duties, nature of the work, or operational conditions of the deployment location will have on the injured employee.

    Before a worker may be deployed overseas, the Department of Defense requires that his or her medical condition must be:

    • Stable. A pre-deployment medical evaluator must be willing to state that the condition is not reasonably likely to worsen during deployment (taking into account the work environment, daily duties, and contractor-provided medical care available in-theater) and not require any personal accommodations or impose work limitations.
    • Not life-threatening. The condition must be of a nature that, if worsening occurs, the aggravation of the injury will not likely have life-threatening effects or have a negative impact on the mission.
    • Treatable in-theater. A worker’s ongoing treatment for the condition must (including medications, routine visits, and physical therapy) be available and accessible at the deployment location. In addition, medications needed for treatment must not have special handling requirements, such as a need for refrigeration. 

    If you or someone you love has suffered an injury while working overseas, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible about your rights to benefits and recovery under the Defense Base Act. To learn if your employer could be liable for medical costs, income replacement, and death benefits, please feel free to search our library articles or read through our free book, DBA Resource Guide.

  • Am I covered under the DBA if my work aggravated a previous injury?

    Yes.

    You are entitled to DBA benefits even if you have a pre-existing injury or condition. 

    You can still get DBA benefits if you have a prior injury. 

    Under the Defense Base Act (DBA), civilian contractors are owed benefits for any injury that results from or is exacerbated by your being overseas. 

    You are still entitled to Defense Base Act benefits even if you have a previous injury. As long as your DBA injury aggravated and/or contributed toward your current injury, then you are covered under the DBA. 

     

    You can still get Defense Base Act benefits if you have a prior injury - DBA Lawyer Bill Turley

    “An insider’s view of Defense Base Act Law, with no sugar coating. No lawyer talk, no double talk. Ever." 


    Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley and author of the 5 star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case

     

    Defense Base Act and prior injuries


    Defense Base Act and pre-existing injuries or disability

     

    In this article I answer the following questions and/or address the following issues:

    The important part is that you tell the truth - why you must ALWAYS disclose prior injuries in your Defense Base Act case

    What is the difference between a covered employer and an un-covered employer under the DBA? (This is important)

    What is the law for aggravated injury coverage under the Defense Base Act? The Aggravation Rule

    What will I have to prove in order to recover DBA benefits if I have a previous injury or condition?

    Is there apportionment under the Defense Base Act?

    What is the "double recovery rule"?

    If I have received a VA Disability award, will the DBA insurance company get a credit for the previous VA disability award?

    What if I have an injury after my DBA injury (that is an injury that is not covered by the DBA)? Supervening injuries, intervening injuries and subsequent injuries....

    Don't make common mistakes that can really tank your DBA case

    A case study - previous high school knee injury and prior VA Disability Award

     

    I suggest that you make sure that you read the preexisting injury case study at the end of this article. 

    The important part is that you tell the truth - why you must ALWAYS disclose prior injuries in your Defense Base Act case

    Some folks are reluctant to disclose that they have had a previous injury -a significant injury or even a more minor injury. They are probably concerned that if they reveal they had a previous injury, then they will be unable to receive DBA benefits. This is a mistake. Usually a BIG mistake. 

    When people fail to disclose that they have had a previous injury, medical condition and/or disability, then they won't be credible to the Judge. It is always best to be honest about a previous injury. 

    As I explain below, unless you have received permanent disability for your injury under the Longshore Act/ Defense Base Act and/or a state workers compensation system, then you're going to get a DBA permanent disability award for your entire disability.  Thus, you are going to lose money by disclosing the previous injury/ disability. 

    What is the difference between a covered employer and an un-covered employer under the DBA? (This is important) 

    A covered employer under the DBA is an employer that is covered under the DBA. That is an overseas civilian contracting company. If your previous injury was with a covered employer (meaning it happened while working as an overseas civilian contractor); then your injury falls under the last responsible employer rule. 

    If your previous injury was not with a covered employer (meaning your previous injury did not occur while working as an overseas civilian contractor); then your current employer (read: the employer that you suffered your DBA injury with); is responsible for your entire disability and all of your medical treatment. 

    For more on this, I suggest you read this article on the last responsible employer rule.

     

    What is the law for aggravated injury coverage under the Defense Base Act? The Aggravation Rule

    There is still coverage under the DBA if you aggravated a prior condition or prior injury.

    Under the aggravation rule, if you have a previous injury, disability and/or medical condition and you aggravate it due to your being overseas - then the entire injury, disability and/or medical condition is compensable. Cordero v. Triple A Mach. Shop, 580 F.2d 1331, 1337 (1978).

    The exception to this rule is the "double recovery rule."  See below. 

    The Ninth Circuit has held that the last responsible employer rule should be applied only in occupational disease cases, and the aggravation rule in successive injury or cumulative trauma cases.  Foundation Constructors, Inc. v. Director, OWCP, 950 F.2d 621, 623-24 (9th Cir. 1991).

     

    What will I have to prove in order to recover DBA benefits if I have a previous injury or condition?

    In order to recover DBA benefits, all you have to prove is that you had an increase in symptoms due to the new DBA injury. That's it. 

    In other words, you have to prove that after you had your DBA injury, the part of your body that you injured hurt more than it did just before you were injured. 

    Look at it this way - why would you fail to reveal that you had a previous injury if all you have to prove in order to receive DBA benefits is an increase of symptoms? 

     

    Is there apportionment under the Defense Base Act? 

    No. Under the DBA you don't apportion part of your disability or part of your medical treatment between different employers. If your previous injury, disability and/or condition was due to your working with an uncovered employer (see above); then all of your disability benefits and medical treatment are owed by your DBA employer. Cordero v. Triple A Mach. Shop, 580 F.2d 1331, 1337 (1978); Todd Shipyards Corp. v. Black, 717 F.2d 1280, 1286 (1983).

    If your previous injury, disability and/or condition was due to your working with an covered employer (see above); then all of your disability benefits and medical treatment are owed by one employer and which employer that is, is determined by the last responsible employer rule

    What is the "double recovery rule"?

    The exception to all of this is the double recovery rule. If you have received compensation for a previous injury, disability and/or medical condition under either the Longshore Act/ Defense Base Act or a state workers' compensation award, then the DBA insurance company will get a credit for this previous award.  

    For any injury which was a partial cause of the underlying disability, the last aggravating employer or carrier may be entitled to credits for these prior awards.  There is no credit, however, for any previous injury for which you may have been entitled to receive an award, but in fact did not get it.  33 U.S.C. § 3(e); Strachan Shipping Co. v. Nash, 782 F.2d 513 (5th Cir. 1986) (en banc), aff'g 751 F.2d 1460 (5th Cir. 1985), aff'g 15 BRBS 386 (1983); Bracey v. John T. Clark & Son of Maryland, 12 BRBS 110 (1980).

     

    If I have received a VA Disability award, will the DBA insurance company get a credit for the previous VA disability award? 

    No.

    The only credit under the DBA is for a previous permanent disability award under the Longshore Act/ Defense Base Act or a state workers' compensation award.  The DBA insurance company will not get a credit for a previous VA disability award. Todd Shipyards Corp. v. Director, OWCP, 848 F.2d 125 (CA9 1998).

    In other words, you can get a "double-recovery" for a DBA permanent disability even if your DBA injury aggravates your previous VA Disability Award injury. Todd Shipyards Corp. v. Director, OWCP, 848 F.2d 125 (CA9 1998).

     

    What if I have an injury after my DBA injury (that is an injury that is not covered by the DBA)? Supervening injuries, intervening injuries and subsequent injuries....

    What happens if you have a later or subsequent injury by a non-covered employer or by, for example, an automobile accident? 

    Here, the law may be different for occupational diseases than it is for "injuries."

    The Ninth Circuit has held that for occupational disease cases (where the last responsible employer rule applies) later exposure in employment not covered by the DBA does not relieve the last longshore employer of liability. Todd Shipyards Corp. v. Black, 717 F.2d 1280 (9th Cir. 1983).

    The law is not quite so clear for "injuries." Like for example, a back injury. 

    As one court observed: 

    "[a] subsequent injury is compensable if it is the direct and natural result of a compensable primary injury, as long as the subsequent progression of the condition is not shown to have been worsened by an independent cause." Miss. Coast Marine, Inc. v. Bosarge, 637 F.2d 994, 1000 (5th Cir. 1981). We apply a liberal causation standard when determining the coverage of initial and subsequent injuries. Bludworth Shipyard, Inc. v. Lira, 700 F.2d 1046, 1051 (5th Cir. 1983)."
    Ramsay Scarlett & Co. v. Dir., OWCP, 806 F.3d 327, 333 (5th Cir. 2015)

    Which sounds pretty good for you. But wait, there's more. 

    What is this "independent cause" that the court was talking about?  Like you have a DBA back injury and you get into a vehicle accident after you get home and your back injury is worsened?  What then? What if your back condition was worsened by the vehicle accident?  Is that an independent cause? 

    “[T]o receive benefits under the LHWCA for a subsequent injury, the claimant must present substantial evidence that the secondary condition "naturally or unavoidably" resulted from the first covered injury, as is required by the statute.”
    Amerada Hess Corp v. Dir., OWCP, 543 F.3d 755, 763( 5th Cir. 2008)

    Thus, if you have a DBA back injury (or any orthopedic injury, for example) and then you have a later (subsequent) injury - for example a serious vehicle accident);  and your back condition was worsened, you can expect the employer/ DBA insurance carrier to argue that you are no longer eligible for DBA medical and disability benefits. 

    Don't make common mistakes that can really tank your DBA case

    Not telling your doctor or the DBA insurance company about pre-existing injuries, disability and/or medical conditions is a common mistake that well meaning folks make that can really mess up their DBA cases. This is just one of the many mistakes that I talk about in my 5 Star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.   

    The DBA insurance companies are hoping that you will fall for one of their tricks or traps - like not disclosing a prior injury or medical condition. 

    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. I explain all about this in my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. 

    Thus, the first step you need to take is to get, then read my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case. In the book, I explain the steps you need to take to not fall for their tricks and traps.

     

    I lay all of this out in my 5 Star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.  

    Win Your Defense Base Act Case - even if you have a pre-existing condition or injury

    I suggest that you check out of of the 5 Star reviews on amazon.com

    You can either buy my book on amazon.com or get a free copy of my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case here

    A case study - previous high school knee injury and prior VA Disability Award

    Chris is an overseas civilian contractor that is working in Afghanistan as a security consultant. Chris has a very serious knee injury when he falls into a ditch while out on patrol.  Chris receives two knee surgeries and has an 42% AMA impairment of the left lower extremity (left leg).  Chris had a previous high school left knee injury. Chris injured his left knee while he was in the U.S. military.  Chris had knee surgery. Due to the service related knee injury, Chris received a VA Disability Award for a 10% disability to his left knee. 

    Chris' doctor opines that that his current disability is, in part, due to the arthritic changes in his knee and the military left knee injury. 

    The DBA insurance company sends him to a doctor that opines that Chris has a 35% AMA impairment of the left knee. The insurance company doctor apportions 30% of  the disability to the high school football injury and the military injury. 

    The DBA insurance company adjuster tells Chris that the DBA insurance company should get a credit and reduction due to his previous high school injury and VA Disability Award. 

    Chris lawyers-up.  His lawyers explain to him that the DBA insurance is simply wrong.  There is no "credit" or "apportionment" due to the high school football injury, the VA disability award and/or the arthritic injuries to his left knee. 

    The case is settled for the entire left knee disability being compensable under the Defense Base Act.  The parties settle on a 40% AMA impairment of the left leg. There is no credit and/or apportionment for a pre-existing injury and/or pre-existing disability. 

     

    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 wage case" in your text.
     
    Or leave us a message on this webpage
     

     
    This article isn't legal advice
     
    These discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. These testimonials, endorsements, case studies, 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 or folks don’t get the result they were hoping for.
     
    Just because we have gotten great results in so many other DBA cases, doesn't guarantee in particular result in other cases. Every case is different.
     

  • How far could I travel for a Defense Base Act medical exam?

    Injured employees should not be asked to go out of their way to see the insurance company doctor.

    Injured employees shouldn't be asked to go out of their way to see the insurance company doctor.

    Unfortunately, insurers routinely ask employees to do just that by scheduling a Defense Base Act medical examination a long distance from the employee’s home.

    By law, the employee must attend a special medical examination in a place designated by the employer. The law does provide that the place of examination be a “reasonable” distance for the employee to travel, but the definition of “reasonable” can vary widely.

    Factors That Can Affect Traveling to a Defense Medical Exam

    Employers and insurers know that making a long trek to a medical exam will be difficult for the employee, and often use this to their advantage. If the employee does not attend the exam, he will be barred from receiving benefits, saving the company money. If the employee is able to make the trip outside his geographic area to the doctor’s office, the insurance company can argue that the employee’s injuries must not have been that bad.

    There may be a way to avoid traveling long distances to your DBA examination. It is important to consider the following before accepting an examination date:

    Method of Travel:

    You cannot be asked to travel long distances if doing so would aggravate your injury. If your condition prevents you from traveling in a plane or driving for long periods, the judge in your case may instruct the insurer to choose a location closer to your home.

    Reimbursement: 

    The insurance company is responsible for paying the costs of your examination, as well as the costs of travel to and from the appointment. Sometimes this is paid in advance, but it can also be reimbursed if the employee fronts the cost. If an employee is under significant financial hardship and the insurance company will not pay travel expenses up front, the employee may be able to appeal to a judge for a closer appointment.

    Hiring an attorney: 

    If there is not a sufficiently good reason for you to travel to the doctor that the insurer has chosen, your attorney can fight to get the appointment rescheduled for you. Your lawyer can also attend the appointment with you to make sure your rights are respected.

    It is vital that claimants have as much information as possible in order to win compensation for their injuries. Click here to read through our free book on DBA claims, Win Your Defense Base Act Case.

    Be sure to claim your free copy of the 5 Star Book Win Your Defense Base Act Case 

    Win Your Defense Base Act Case by Bill Turley

    This is an eye-opening book that gives you an insider's view of the Defense Base Act and how to beat the DBA insurance company. This book will take you step by step on how to avoid the DBA insurance company tricks and traps that are designed to destroy your DBA claim. 

    If you do one thing - you owe it to yourself to read the 5 Star reviews of the book on amazon.com!!

    5 Stars on Amazon.com

    I suggest you read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case before you talk to the insurance adjustergive a statementsign any forms or even hire the wrong lawyer.

    Check out all of the 5 Star Reviews on amazon.com 

    Jay
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Turley's book is clearly written and an easy read. Highly recommended for anyone covered under DBA ...
    February 20, 2017

    I suggest buying a copy of the book immediately and reading it if you are covered under DBA and are either deployed or facing an upcoming deployment. It is better to be armed with information regarding DBA coverage and claims process prior to being injured.

     

    Christopher R.
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great book!!! Lots of information to help with your DBA case!
    May 9, 2017

    I got this book a week ago and have read through it. It has tons of great information that you would not normally know about regarding your DBA injury or how to deal with your insurance adjuster. It helps you navigate some law and breaks it down "barney style" so contractors can understand how to navigate through all your medical and legal processes. I would recommend this book for any contractor working for the USG overseas.

    Charlie
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Must read!
    July 27, 2015

    Without Turley Law Firm, I wouldn't have known which direction to go with my my case and have no way of understanding how to work my way through the battlefield of insurance companies and procedures. My advice is to read this book and gain some knowledge so that you are better prepared for the fight ahead. Be patient and have a good line of communication with whomever you choose to help you with your case.

     

    dmc
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This book is awesome, he tells you about the whole process
    December 11, 2015

    I would like to say thank you to Mr. Turley for writing this book. During the 2 years it took to mediate a settlement I used this book exclusively to counsel myself, my family and friends. This book was my guiding light. Use it as your “cornerstone” to ensure your DBA case has a solid foundation. If I would of taken on the DBA Insurance company by myself then my case was likely to fall apart. Protect your rights, seek professional counsel. If you want the best representation, kindly request the Turley Law Firm to represent you.

     


     

    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.

  • Should I bring a lawyer to my Defense Base Act medical exam?

    It is a good idea to bring someone with you to your Defense Base Act medical examination.

    Although these appointments are referred to as “independent” medical exams, they are paid for by the DBA insurance company and you will be examined by a doctor of their choice—and the point of the exam is to find ways to deny your claim. While you must attend the appointment in order to have your benefits approved, taking an attorney with you can help your case a great deal.

    What a Lawyer Does During Your Medical Exam

    Your attorney can be helpful to your case even before you attend the exam. Your lawyer should look over any paperwork you have been asked to complete as part of the exam and advise you on what you should and should not bring to the appointment. He or she will also give you a rundown of what will happen during the exam and offer advice on each stage of the appointment.

    The most helpful things an attorney can do during a DBA medical exam include:

    Prevent You From Helping The Defense Case:

    A Defense Base Act attorney should be familiar with common tactics DBA doctors use to get evidence that hurts your case. Your attorney should sit right next to you during the exam and answer any questions that are put to you. If the doctor asks leading questions or makes assumptions, your lawyer can ask the doctor to rephrase or clarify any statements he makes.

    Take Detailed Notes:

    It can be hard for claimants to remember everything that happens in an IME because they are focused on the physical aspects of the examination. Your attorney can do some behind-the-scenes work that can later shed light on your case, including timing each portion of the examination, setting up a tape recorder or taking a video of the entire exam, taking notes on the defense doctor's body language and the types of tests administered, and making notes to investigate the doctor’s claims later.

    Intervene On Your Behalf:

    Your attorney should know what is and is not permitted in an IME in California. For example, you cannot be asked to undergo any test or procedure that causes you pain. You also do not have to submit to any testing (such as an x-ray) that was not previously agreed to before the exam.

    It is vital that claimants have as much information as possible in order to win compensation for their injuries. Click here to get a free copy of our free book on DBA claims, Win Your Defense Base Act Case

  • Can I get pain and suffering in a Defense Base Act claim?

    Depending on Circumstances, Yes or No, sort of...

    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 due to being overseas. 

    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.

    However, it's not this cut and dry. On any level. Let me explain. 

    Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley on Money for Pain and Suffering
    Defense Base act Lawyer Straight talk. Always. - Bill Turley

    The Defense Base Act - Scheduled and Unscheduled Injuries

    Generally, there are two different types of injuries under the Defense Base Act: scheduled disabilities and unscheduled disabilities. In order to determine whether you are entitled to permanent disability compensation under the DBA, you first need to determine whether you have a scheduled injury or an unscheduled injury. Simply put, any injury to a body part not listed on the schedule is an unscheduled injury. (Scheduled vs. Unscheduled Injuries).

    Can I get monies for pain and suffering with a scheduled injury under the DBA? 

    If you have an injury that is listed as a scheduled injury, then you are only able to receive disability moneys pursuant to the "schedule."  Not to suggest that it is cut and dried and simple, because it's not. But the concept is fairly easy to understand.  You will need to calculate your disability under the schedule. With scheduled injuries, there is not money for "pain and suffering" under the Defense Base Act. 


    Can I get monies for pain and suffering with a non-scheduled injury under the DBA? 

    With non-scheduled injuries, however, it is a wage loss concept. The links I have provided here explain these concepts. 

    Since it's a wage loss concept, with a non-scheduled injury, you receive disability monies based upon not being able to return to your usual and customary employment. If the pain and suffering you have prevents you from returning to your usual and customary employment, then you can recover disability monies due to your wage loss. 

    Stated differently, you don't get more money under the Defense Base Act for pain and suffering. However, if you have a non-scheduled injury and the pain from your injury prevents you from doing your overseas civilian contractor job, then you can recover weekly disability monies. 

    And, you may be able to settle your DBA case for a lump-sum settlement

    Not what  you wanted to hear?

    I get that. My job is to tell you how it really is, not tell you what you may want to hear. 

    If you are relying on pain and suffering to win your DBA case, you are probably in for some rough sledding. 

    I suggest you read my book - Win Your Defense Base act Case

    WIn Your Defense Base Act Case

    This is an eye-opening book that gives you an insider's view of the Defense Base Act and how to beat the DBA insurance company. This book will take you step by step on how to avoid the DBA insurance company tricks and traps that are designed to destroy your DBA claim. 

    If you do one thing - you owe it to yourself to read the 5 Star reviews of the book on amazon.com!!

    Need Help Today?

    You can call us. 619-304-1000

     

    Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.

  • Are the payments I get from the DBA special fund lifelong benefits?

    Yes, as long as there is no change in disability status

    Many people are concerned about the length of time they can receive disability benefits through the Second Injury Fund (the Special Fund). Generally speaking, if you collect permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) through this fund, your DBA special fund benefits can last the rest of your life as long as there is no change in your disability status.

    However, most employees will go through periods of injury improvement or worsening disability, both of which can affect a number of their benefits. Your employer or insurer may petition for a modification of your award based on a change in your condition, causing an increase, decrease, or termination of your payments. A few common situations where an employee’s benefits may be modified include:

    Temporary Disability:

    Employees collecting PPD benefits may require treatments, rest, or surgery that will leave them temporarily unable to work. During this time, the employee should be considered totally disabled, and his employer or insurance company should modify his benefits to temporarily increase his payments. Temporary disability is paid by the employer, not through the Special Fund.

    Worsening disability:

    Unfortunately, some employees who receive PPD benefits will suffer a deterioration of their conditions, making them permanently unable to earn a living. If your injury gets worse to the point where you can no longer work, you must apply for permanent total disability benefits through the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). You must have proper evidence of the change in your condition, such as past medical records, recent medical evaluations, and your doctor’s recommendations and work restrictions. You should also send this information to your employer or insurer to let them know there will be a modification in the amount and type of benefits you receive.

    Are my payments from the DBA special fund lifelong benefits?
    “When I seek out professional advice, I want advice straight-up. With no B.S. If you do also, you’re in the right place.”
    Defense Base Act Lawyer Bill Turley

    What If My Employer Unfairly Modifies My DBA Benefits?

    You, your employer, and your insurer may all submit requests to modify a number of your benefits. If one party does not agree to the proposed changes or termination of benefits, you may request an informal conference to decide the matter or get advice from a longshore attorney on how to proceed. To find out more about getting maximum payment for a DBA injury, read through a free copy of our guide, Win Your Defense Base Act Case.

     

    Be sure to claim your free copy of the 5 Star Book Win Your Defense Base Act Case 

    Win Your Defense Base Act Case by Bill Turley

    This is an eye-opening book that gives you an insider's view of the Defense Base Act and how to beat the DBA insurance company. This book will take you step by step on how to avoid the DBA insurance company tricks and traps that are designed to destroy your DBA claim. 

    If you do one thing - you owe it to yourself to read the 5 Star reviews of the book on amazon.com!!

    5 Stars on Amazon.com

    I suggest you read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case before you talk to the insurance adjustergive a statementsign any forms or even hire the wrong lawyer.

    Here are some of the 5 Star Reviews from amazon.com 

    Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Your DBA Case could not be in better hands. Get this Book!
    May 3, 2016

    If you are injured doing contract or military work overseas then I am telling you now to get this book. This book is the bible of winning a damn near impossible case and will stop you from being ripped off or taken advantage of by the DBA system. This book saved me from making grave mistakes that I was completely oblivious to and those mistakes would have cost me my case. So before you do or say anything,Change Your Future - please take the time to read this book.

     

    Mr. S G
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    5 out of 5!
    May 9, 2017

    WIN YOUR DEFENSE BASE ACT CASE: Is an absolute MANDATORY read for anyone searching for information on anything DBA. This book has examples of past case studies, it also goes over the entire DBA Claim process from start to finish, the bottom line here is that its an absolute necessity for anyone that could be starting a DBA claim. The information that you'll receive within WIN YOUR DEFENSE BASE ACT CASE: is priceless and theres no way you will regret making this purchase.

     

    RSA
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    True Guide to Success!
    January 21, 2016

    I can say with all honesty that without Mr. Turley’s Law Firm and without his skillfully written book, I would have been lost and could never have succeeded with my DBA case against that powerful insurance company. I am forever grateful.

     

    Jay
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Turley's book is clearly written and an easy read. Highly recommended for anyone covered under DBA ...
    February 20, 2017

    In fact, I suggest buying a copy of the book immediately and reading it if you are covered under DBA and are either deployed or facing an upcoming deployment. It is better to be armed with information regarding DBA coverage and claims process prior to being injured.

     

    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.

  • Is my Defense Base Act injury claim confidential?

    Yes...

    an Employer who Shares Protected Information with Anyone Beyond Certain Pertaining Parties Could be Subject to Legal Action.

    Many contractors who are injured overseas are concerned about what will happen to their careers if they file an injury claim. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provides specific protections to allow workers to collect Defense Base Act (DBA) benefits while respecting a worker’s privacy.

    3 Questions About DBA Case Confidentiality Answered

    Who can see my DBA case file?

    Your employer, the employer’s insurance carrier, and administrators at the DOL may access your case file only for matters relating to your claim. In addition, you can receive one copy of your case file for your own records free of charge. Under the Privacy Act of 1974, the DOL cannot release any claim information to additional parties without written authorization from the claimant.

    With whom can my employer share information about my injury?

    Your employer has to share some information about your accident with the company insurance agent in order to process your DBA payments. Your employer may also be required to release certain details to the DOL and has the option of discussing the case with an attorney. An employer who shares protected information with anyone beyond these parties could be subject to legal action.

    What if my employer retaliates against me for filing a claim?

    Under the provisions of the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), it is illegal for an employer to terminate, demote, or discriminate against any employee for filing an injury compensation claim. It is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who is giving testimony in an LWHCA hearing. Employers can only terminate or refuse to hire an employee who has a history of willfully filing false injury or benefit claims.

     

    The Terms of Your DBA Settlement May Also Be Confidential

    In some cases, workers can pursue legal action for unpaid DBA benefits and keep the details of the settlement confidential. To find out more about getting maximum payment for a DBA injury, read through a free copy of our guide, Win Your Defense Base Act Case.

     

    Be sure to claim your free copy of the 5 Star Book Win Your Defense Base Act Case 

    Win Your Defense Base Act Case by Bill Turley

    This is an eye-opening book that gives you an insider's view of the Defense Base Act and how to beat the DBA insurance company. This book will take you step by step on how to avoid the DBA insurance company tricks and traps that are designed to destroy your DBA claim. 

    If you do one thing - you owe it to yourself to read the 5 Star reviews of the book on amazon.com!!

    5 Stars on Amazon.com

    I suggest you read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case before you talk to the insurance adjustergive a statementsign any forms or even hire the wrong lawyer.

    Check out all of the 5 Star Reviews on amazon.com 

    rg
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Powerful Book
    February 28, 2017

    This is a very good book! If you or someone you care about might think they have a Defense Base Act case then you need to buy this book. This book is straight forward no BS. This is the most info available about the process dealing with DBA that I have ever found. I personally use it and have gone through the DBA process from beginning to end and I can tell you this is spot on. Mr.Turley actually cares about the people that have gone overseas healthy, risking their lives and came back injured in some form or fashion. He cared so much that he wrote this book! This book is a valuable tool to take on the DBA!

     

    RSA
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    True Guide to Success!
    February 21, 2016

    If you work or plan on working as a contractor overseas, then make it your mission to obtain a copy of Mr. Turley’s (author) book, called “Win Your Defense Base Act Case,” and keep it on you at all times – because you will need it!

     

    Stephanie L. Winter
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Injured overseas? Very first step is to get this book. A must read in a very important time of your life.
    July 29, 2015

    So I start to read this book. Part one, second paragraph I get the warm fuzzy that I might have the answers I needed to guide me through this crippling time in my life. And I can understand the words as it is written in a simple and straight to the point manner. Every page I learned something that I didn't know. And every page made me feel that there might be light at the end of this tunnel. A warm fuzzy. There are answers to questions I didn't even think to ask. Any question you may have is answered in this book. If you are an injured contractor, my first piece of advice is to read this book. My second is to get a second copy for your spouse. They see the pain and they are equally as stressed and need answers too. I hope this review helps you through your life changing journey to get you what you deserve and on the road to recovery.

     

    Need Help Today?

    Give us a call at 619-304-1000

     

    Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. 

  • What’s the difference between “nature” and “extent” of a Defense Base Act disability?

    You have to know the rules

    If you are going to be successful in any game, you first need to understand the rules. This is as true for the game of Monopoly, Chess and football. It's also true with Defense Base Act court cases.  Yes, a Defense Base Act case is a court case. At the end of the day, if you can't get your case settled, then you are going to have to take your case to court, and hopefully, win. 

    The first step in understanding the rules is first understanding the terminology. In this article I discuss "Nature and Extent of Disability."  After reading this article, I'll bet you know more about what these terms mean than 90% of the lawyers on the Internet that call themselves "Defense Base Act Lawyers." 

    "Nature" Deals With the Duration of Time; "Extent" Deals With the Degree of Injury

    There are four different categories of disabilities that are covered under the Defense Base Act (DBA): permanent total disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, and temporary partial disability. Each of these classifications carries two important pieces of information: how long you are expected to be disabled, and the extent of your injury.

     

    Defense Base Act Nature and Extent of Disability - by Nationally acclaimed Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley

    I give you an insider’s view of Defense Base Act Law, with no sugar coating. No lawyer talk, no double talk. Ever."

    Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley

     

    Difference Between the “Nature of Disability” and “Extent of Disability”

    The nature of your disability covers the duration of time that you are expected to be disabled (the temporary or permanent classification). 

    The extent of your disability, however, is slightly more complicated. The extent of your disability concerns the degree of the injury (total or partial), but also the degree to which you are able to successfully function.

    Generally speaking, the extent of your disability is the difference between what you earned as a DBA worker (read: your average weekly wage) and your post-injury earnings. This is because disability under the Defense Base Act for unscheduled injuries is based upon a wage loss concept. 

    Your compensation will also depend on whether you have suffered a scheduled or unscheduled injury under Defense Base Act law. Scheduled injuries may involve the leg, arm, hand, foot, or hearing loss. If you have injured one of these body parts, your disability award is based upon a schedule.

    If you have injured another body part, your injury is considered unscheduled. Common unscheduled injuries include the back, neck, spine, shoulder, head, or internal organs. Psychiatric trauma is also considered to be an unscheduled injury. Unscheduled injuries are based upon a wage loss concept rather than a set schedule for compensation and will depend on whether or not you are able to return to your usual and customary DBA employment.

    It's a wage loss concept for unscheduled injuries under the Defense Base Act

    There are two types of injuries under the Defense Base Act. Scheduled injuries and unscheduled injuries. 

    Scheduled injuries are injuries to the following parts of your body: fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet, legs and hearing loss. Unscheduled injuries are to any other parts of your body. Such as your head, neck, back, shoulders, internal injuries, PTSD, emotional, etc. 

    For unscheduled injuries your permanent disability is a wage loss concept. Meaning, your permanent disability is based upon your loss of wage earning capacity.

     

    Thinking - "I have a legitimate case, I'm telling the truth, I'm good" ,,, is a common mistake that can tank your DBA case 


    One of the key things that you need to know is all the tricks and traps the insurance company is going to try and lay out for you in order to destroy your credibility.  

    The DBA insurance company has tricks and traps that folks just like fall for every day.  You might be thinking, "I have a legitimate case, I'm telling the truth, I'm good." However, that isn't the case. Not even close.


    Using these tricks and traps is how they get out of paying money to folks with legitimate claims. It’s how they roll.


    My book Win Your Defense Base Act Case is designed to help you avoid these case killing mistakes.

     

    The big picture

    If you're reading this, then my guess is that you have a Defense Base Act case. And it's my guess that you trying to figure out more about the Defense Base Act and your case. I know that I often will go on the Internet and try to get answers to questions I have on stuff that I am trying to research.  I figure you do also.

    I strongly suggest that you check out my book,  Win Your Defense Base Act Case. There really is nothing like it out there. 

    Win Your Defense Base Act Case - Bill Turley

    5 Stars on Amazon.com

    I suggest that you go to amazon.com and check out all of the 5 Star reviews of my book.  There are dozens of 5 Star reviews of the book on amazon.com.

    What you are going to see is that the book is packed with insider information that will help you win your case. The big picture here is that now that you are injured you have a court case. You can depend on the DBA insurance company attacking you, your character and credibility. It's how they roll. They will do all of that in order to keep from paying you the money benefits that you are entitled to under the law.

    One of the key and important parts of this book is helping you to navigate the minefield that the DBA insurance company is going to lay out to destroy your case. What you probably don't know is that the DBA insurance company has tricks and traps that folks just like fall for every day.  You might be thinking, "I have a legitimate case, I'm telling the truth, I'm good." However, that isn't the case. Not even close. 

    Based on having represented overseas civilian contractors for years and having had one of the two largest DBA practices in the the world that represents folks like you - - I would strongly suggest that you reconsider.  I strongly suggest that you read my book before you talk to the insurance adjuster, sign any forms, or even hire an attorney.

     

    Be sure to check out his article - Top 10 Questions about the Defense Base Act. 

     

    Need Help Today?

    Get a FREE copy of Win Your Defense Base Act Case, here. It will go through step by step what you need to do to win your DBA case and get you benefits sooner. 

    Or you can call us right now at 619-304-1000.

     

     

    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 or folks don’t get the result they were hoping for.

     
    Just because we have gotten great results in so many other DBA cases, doesn't guarantee in particular result in other cases. Including, case. Every case is different.

  • What is a Notice of Controversion, and how does it affect my Defense Base Act case?

    If you have received a LS-207 Notice of Controversion, then things are not going well for you. Most likely the LS-207 is the bearer of bad news.

    Your Defense Base Act benefits are being stopped, or decreased in some manner. Not good. 

    In this article I answer the following questions (and more) on LS-207 Notice of Controversion:

    What is a LS-207 - - Notice of Controversion?

    Defense Base Act law regarding Notice of Controversion

    Why should I read the fine print on the LS-208 Notice of Controversion?

    The Defense Base Act insurance company sent me a Notice of Controversion - what should I do?

    What should I do if Defense Base Act insurance company stopped my benefits? ....Why is this is no time to dilly-dally?

    What is a “get in line and wait” system with the DBA? 

    Why is it a good time to lawyer-up? 

    Why do I need to be ready?

    What is the biggest problem with DBA claims (it sucks, but it's the way it is)?

    It really sucks 

    What do I really need to do?

    What is some more bad news on the Notice of Controversion?

    What is a LS-207 - - Notice of Controversion?

    An LS-207 Notice of Controversion is a form. But this form can, and usually will, cause you a lot of problems.

    Under the Defense Base Act, the employer (read: the DBA insurance company) is supposed to file an LS-207 - - Notice of Controversion when they cut off your Defense Base Act benefits.  Or whenever they deny your claim.

    It is called “LS” because of “Longshore.”

    "207" is the form number.

    If the DBA insurance company is not providing you with weekly compensation benefits (i.e. a weekly compensation check), then they will usually file a LS-207 - Notice of Controversion with the US Department of Labor and you will be sent a copy.

    Defense Base Act law regarding Notice of Controversion

    If employer (read: DBA insurance company) controverts the right to compensation, it must file a notice on or before the 14th day after it has knowledge of the alleged injury or death or is given notice under Section 12. See Spencer v. Baker Agricultural Co., 16 BRBS 205 (1984); Section 14(d). 

    Why should I read the fine print on the LS-207 Notice of Controversion?  

    The LS-207 will usually state the reasons why the Defense Base Act insurance company is denying your benefits. Read it carefully. Your job is to marshal the evidence in your case to overcome the reason(s) why the insurance carrier is denying your Defense Base Act claim.

     If the DBA insurance company has sent you an LS-207 - Notice of Controversion, you need to make sure you read it and get the documentation necessary to overcome the reasons why the DBA insurance company is denying your claim.

     

    Defense Base Act - Notice of Controversion - what should I do?  Bill Turley explains the Defense Base Act


    "Answers to your Defense Base Act questions in simple, easy to understand English. No legal mumbo-jumbo, lawyer talk. Ever.  


    Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley - author of the "must have" 5 Star Book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case

    Win Your Defense Base Act Case - Bill Turley

    Why you shouldn’t do anything until you read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case

    I strongly suggest that you don’t do anything regarding your DBA case until you read my book. In fact, many of the reviews on amazon.com will tell you the same thing. There is a reason for that. It’s because you need to know about the ways the DBA insurance company is going to try and trick you and trap you before you make one of these case ending mistakes.


    Don’t talk to the adjuster, sign any forms (never sign any releases), give a recorded statement, go to your next medical appointment, go the defense medical examination (also called an IME), attend an informal conference, go to a Labor Market Survey appointment, give a deposition, hire the wrong Defense Base Act attorney,  or do anything else related to your Defense Base Act Case until you read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act CaseAgain, go to the reviews on amazon.com and folks that have been in your position, will tell you the same thing.

    You don't have to believe me - check out the 5 Star reviews on amazon.com

     

    The Defense Base Act insurance company sent me a Notice of Controversion - what should I do?

    This is a very common question. The simple and easy answer:  it's time to lawyer-up.

    It's time to find the very best Defense Base Act Lawyer you can. However, I realize you might want more than advice than "Hire a good Defense Base Act Lawyer." While this is the best advice I can give you - I will also provide some candid insight. Read on.

     

    What should I do if Defense Base Act insurance company stopped my benefits? ....Why is this is no time to dilly-dally?

    You need to immediately take action. Remember, I told you to read the LS-207 and see what the reason is that the DBA insurance company stopped your benefits?  That is a good place to start. You need to obtain evidence to rebut or counter whatever what the DBA insurance company is saying the reason is for cutting off your DBA benefits. 

    You need to get the evidence needed to win your case. Now. 

    For example, a well written doctor’s report, that says your injury/ disability was caused and/or aggravated due to your being overseas.

    Next, you need to immediately request an Emergency Informal Conference.  Then you must have Recommendations issued by the OWCP claims examiner. Then you must file a LS-18 in order to get a trial scheduled. I discuss this in more depth in this article.

     

    What is a “get in line and wait” system with the DBA? 

    The quicker you get your case to the Judge's office and start waiting in line for your trial and then your Decision and Order, the quicker you will get your weekly disability benefits, medical treatment, etc. Sometimes once you get the necessary documentation (i.e., a medical report), the DBA insurance carrier will start providing you with weekly compensation benefits.  Oftentimes, the threat of a trial will get the DBA insurance company to provide benefits or settle cases. This all can take a very long time. Months or even years. Depending.  This is why you need to jump on this right now. 

    Why is it a good time to lawyer-up? 

    If this has happened to you (that is having an LS-207 Notice of Controversion filed by the DBA insurance company) , right about now would be a good time for you hire the best DBA lawyer you can find. Hey, know this - hiring a DBA lawyer doesn't have to be painful or stressful - and it shouldn't be.

    Why do I need to be ready?

    In other words, you need to prepare today for the DBA insurance company cutting off your Defense Base Act weekly benefits or not approving needed medical care. This is the number one reason why you need to lawyer-up before your benefits are cut off. If you get an LS-207 Notice of Controversion in the mail - - don't wait - immediately hire the best Defense Base Act Lawyer you can find. This is how the DBA insurance company tells you they are denying your claim.

    What is the biggest problem with DBA claims (it sucks, but it's the way it is)?

    The biggest single problem with the DBA / Longshore system is that there is no deterrent to prevent insurance companies from denying claims. All the insurance company has to do is to file an LS-207 Notice of Controversion and they can stop providing you benefits. There is nothing to stop them from doing this.

    All the DBA insurance carrier has to do is file an LS-207 Notice of Controversion and there is nothing that you or the Judge can do about it under the law.  They type “Investigating the claim.”  And the law says that is a perfectly fine reason for the DBA insurance company to deny your claim, even if you have the most rock-solid evidence to support your claim.

    It really sucks

    Me telling you that this is the way it is, is far better than me trying to blow smoke up your skirt. My job is to tell you the way it is. I'm all about telling you the truth. And this all sucks. There is no two ways about it. You need to know the way the system works. 

    Don't mistake this harsh reality with me suggesting that you should give up on your case. Far from it.  Your way to fight this is for you to put together (read: marshal) the best evidence you can in order to prevail in your case.

    What do I really need to do? 

    I realize I am being a little simplistic here and I explain all of this in more depth in my 5 Star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.

    Click here for the 5 Star  amazon.com reviews of my book.

    What you're going to see is my book is the very best investment you can make in your DBA case.  You can get a copy for free on this website or go to amazon.com and pay for it.  Before you dismiss this idea, go to amazon.com and check out the dozens of 5 Star reviews.

     

    What is some more bad news on the Notice of Controversion?

    Under the law, the DBA insurance company can deny your claim and/or cut off your benefits for just about any reason they want. It doesn't have to be a good reason. Or even a truthful reason. They can and will cut off your benefits at any time. In order for it to be "legal" they just have to file a Notice of Controversion. 

     

    But it's not all bad news 

    Here is some good news. You found this website. You are hopefully going to get a copy of my book. 

    Instead of feeling bad about the way things are, I suggest you start today to fix your case. Oftentimes, even the worst mistakes can be fixed. While we can't always get humpty-dumpty back up on the wall, so to speak - we can get things put together enough for you to either settle your case or prevail at trial. 

    The first thing you need to do is to start working on making your case better. No promises or guarantees, of course. 

     

    Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.