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 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
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.
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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.