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Defense Base Act Claims for Civilian Contractors Injured in Afghanistan

Private Contractors Injured in Afghanistan and the Defense Base Act

If you're a seriously injured overseas civilian contractor that worked in Afghanistan, you didn't sign up for a Defense Base Act case.  But the "Defense Base Act" world is your new reality.  In this website, I provide answers to many of your most common questions about the DBA.  You'll see that this  is a very different website about the Defense Base Act. Believe it or not, I have a frank, honest, "tell it like it is" style. 
 
I give you practical information that you can use right now to help keep you from wrecking your DBA case and help you to win your DBA case. 
 

What you really need to know about your DBA case 

 
If you are an overseas civilian contractor that is seriously injured while in Afghanistan you have a Defense Base Act claim.  The first two things you need to realize is that you have a court case and your case is against an insurance company.  They are interrelated because 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. Either way, we're talking about your money.  

The fact that you have a court case is important because the DBA insurance company is going to attack your credibility. Everything you do, from here on out, has to be with your keeping your credibility in mind.  

Why  is it so important to always tell the truth with my DBA claim?

The first main factor that will determine whether you win your DBA court case is whether the judge believes you or not. Nothing is more important than your credibility. Nothing else is even close.  You have to tell the truth about everything. Don't fudge, don't exaggerate. If the Judge doesn't believe you - then you will lose. 

The problem here is that the insurance company will try to lay tricks and traps in order for the Judge to question your credibility. They are easy to avoid if, and only if, you spot them first. Which, most folks, even honest, well meaning folks, miss. 
 
My book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case lays out how to avoid the DBA insurance company's tricks and traps. You can get a free copy of Win Your Defense Base Act Case book here or you can buy it from amazon.com. Be sure to check out the 5 Star reviews on amazon.com
 
How to win your Afghanistan Defense Base Act Case
 
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.


If I am telling the truth, why should I have anything to worry about? 

Fact is you need to be concerned even if you're trying to tell the truth. 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
 

Civilian Contractors Injured in Afghanistan - Defense Base Act 

Since the United States launched combat operations to topple the Taliban regime and eliminate al Qaeda in 2001, there have been thousands of overseas civilian contractors injured in Afghanistan. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, which administers the Defense Base Act, from 2001 to 2018 there were 42,117 injuries and deaths under the Defense Base Act in Afghanistan.  Which seems like a staggering number, until you consider that during the “surge” in 2011, there were over 100,000 military troops in Afghanistan with many more private contractors. 
 
Defense Base Act Afghanistan Civilian Contractor Injuries

Afghanistan private contractors up to date numbers

According to a 2018 Department of Defense Report to U.S. Congress, there were about 14,000 US military personnel in Afghanistan. News reports in 2019 state the number was still “around” 14,000. 
 
In addition there were 26,922 DoD contractors in Afghanistan. The following is a breakdown of the DoD contractors in Afghanistan by mission category: 
 
 Translate/ Interpreter 2,053
 Construction   2,085
 Management/ Admin 1,688
 Transportation   1,678
 Training   1,455
 IT/ Communications    995
 Medical/ Dental/ Social       77
 Logistics   8,252
 Base Support  3,877
 Security    4,158
 Other       604
 
Based upon civilian contractors that we represent, it seems like we represent more security contractors - usually ex-military - than any other mission category. That is followed by construction contractors, translators/ linguists, logistics, and base support contractors. 
 

The Defense Base Act

 
The Defense Base Act (DBA) actually is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. (Longshore Act). This is why many of the really good Defense Base Act lawyers began their career representing Longshoreman and shipyard workers like I did in San Diego, California. 
 
The Longshore Act and the Defense Base Act are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Longshore Division.
 
Before the Iraq and Afghanistan wars the number of Longshore cases far, far outnumbered the DBA cases. 
 
Although, now days,  the DBA cases far outnumber the Longshore cases. Each year there are hundreds of overseas civilian contractors that are seriously injured and come home, only to now trade one war zone, with a fight against the DBA insurance company. 
 
What you are going to see is that the DBA insurance company’s make a lot of money either denying claims or nickle and diming severely injured DBA claimants, just like you.
 

The toll of war in Afghanistan to civilian contractors  

You know that working in a war theater such as Afghanistan is especially dangerous. Injuries and deaths occur due to rocker attacks, mortars, suicide bombers, small arms fire, IED’s and the like. Everything is more dangerous in Afghanistan due to both the hostilities and the lack of safe infrastructure.
 
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 2,036 injuries and 27 deaths of private contractors in Afghanistan in the fiscal year 2018.  If you have followed this website over the years, then you know I have criticized these DBA Case Summaries as severely under reporting the true number of Defense Base Act injuries. Thus, I caution you to look at these numbers as minimums. 
 
If the numbers are to be believed, then Afghanistan private contractor injury rate is 7%. Meaning, 7% of the private contractors in Afghanistan in 2018 were injured.  It seems that this is low.  


There are three main Defense Base Act articles on this website that I suggest that you start with.

 
The first is, the Top 10 Most Common Defense Base Act Questions, where I answer these questions: 
 
 1.  What is the Defense Base Act?

 2.  Do I really need a lawyer for my DBA claim?
 
 3.  Will the Defense Base act insurance company get upset if I hire a lawyer? 

 4.  Isn't it better to have a local lawyer for my DBA case? 

 5.  Do I even have a DBA case? 

 6.  How much does a Defense Base Act lawyer cost?

 7.  When do I have to file my DBA claim? (Is it too late to file my DBA case?) 

 8.  Can I get disability under the Defense Base Act?

 9.  What should I do if my defense base act benefits get cut off?

 10. What is my Defense Base act case worth? 
 
The second article is on the Defense Base Act and PTSD.  This is the most comprehensive article on what it takes for you win your PTSD claim under the Defense Base Act.  If you have PTSD, you should not miss this article. 
 
The third article, is on settling your Defense Base Act claim.  Find out how to settle from a position of strength  vs. weakness. 
 

Afghanistan roadside bombs, IED’s, suicide vehicles 

As reported by the New York Times, (which is consistent with what we are hearing); Taliban-made bombs have been a persistent problem for American and allied forces in Afghanistan. Over 16 years of war, the Taliban, and other militant groups have made roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices, their weapon of choice.
The weapons have maimed thousands, including American troops, Afghan soldiers and countless civilians. Of the roughly 5,700 attacks in the first three months of 2017 more than 900 were from the crude weapons, according to an American military report released in 2017. The Taliban have also been using suicide vehicles packed with explosives. 
 
 

PTSD and Afghanistan Private Contractors - you’re not alone 

 
What these numbers don’t reveal is how many of these private contractors are going to come home with Post traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. According to recent DoD studies 24% of military personnel that served in a war theater develop PTSD symptoms. 
 
I have represented ex-Seals, Rangers and a lot of other former military folks that now have PTSD.  Each of them is human. Each of them has been profoundly affected by the horrible stuff that happens in a war theater. 
 
Base upon my experience the PTSD rate among overseas civilian contractors is even higher. Just using the military PTSD rate the numbers are as follows: 
 
26,922 divided by 24% = 6,461 
 
Thus, if you worked in Afghanistan as a private contractor and you now have PTSD symptoms, you can rest assured that you are not alone. Based upon what I have seen it is a silent epidemic. And growing larger each day. For many, each day that there PTSD symptoms remain untreated, their symptoms grow more severe. 
 

What you need to win your Afghanistan - PTSD Defense Base act Case

 
In order for you to win your Defense Base Act PTSD case, you should know the elements of building your case. I use the word “case,” because that is what you have - a “court case.”

There are four main building blocks you should understand in order for you to prove your PTSD court case. 

 
1.  Always tell the truth,

2.  Medical diagnosis of PTSD,

3.  Overseas stressor (the bad stuff that you saw or experienced overseas),

4.  Medical “nexus” between your PTSD and the overseas stressor. That is, a link between your PTSD and overseas stressor,

5.  Corroboration of your stressors and PTSD symptoms. 
 
In this article, I discuss these four building blocks and I answer questions you may have regarding PTSD and the Defense Base Act. 
 
If you are a private security contractor with PTSD, here is the most comprehensive article on PTSD and the Defense Base Act.


“Green-on-blue”  attacks or “insider attacks”

Insider attack are attacks by Afghan police or Afghan military personnel against local or international forces. This is a huge threat to American, NATO and private contractors in  Afghanistan.

Members of the  ANDSF—the Afghan National Army, Afghan  National Police, Afghan Air Force, and Afghan  Local Police—are considered “green.” All US and NATO troops and civilian personnel are  considered “blue.”  Thus, the name  “green-on-blue.”

These insider attacks have affected morale and  operational tempo of NATO troops and physical security of its personnel. They have also created a degree of distrust between NATO personnel and their Afghan counterparts.

Worse yet, the insider attacks have also caused and/or contributed to PTSD among US military and private contractors. American, NATO and private contractors in  Afghanistan have to constantly be on guard. Never at rest. Even on military installations.

I worked at Bagram, can I bring a PTSD claim?

Here is an excerpt from my PTSD and the DBA article

Bagram used to one of the most coveted jobs in Afghanistan: a position on a sprawling American military base, the biggest in the country. The huge military case was well guarded. The surrounding Parwan Province was one of the safest places in the country, well known as a Taliban-free zone.
 
You can bet that the DBA insurance company will try and portray Bagram to be as safe as a summer camp.  This is where newspaper and online sources can help prove your claim.
 
And compared to some places in Afghanistan, Bagram may feel “safer.” But there is more to the story about Bagram
 
Truth be told, Bagram has had it’s share of “stressors”/ traumatic events. There have been rockets and mortars at Bagram.. There have been contractors killed and injured by gunman at Bagram. There have been suicide bombers (who have worked on the base) whom have blown up American soldiers and private contractors. The links provided in this section help prove the stressors at Bagram airfield. 
 
Here is a review on Tripadvisor - from 2019: "It wasn't too terrible except for being shot at and mortar and rocket attacks all the time." A one star review. 
 
The use of newspaper or online sources for “stressors” at Bagram, can go a long way in helping to prove your PTSD claim. 
 

Afghanistan Military Installations

 

Here is a list of some of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) installations in Afghanistan in Afghanistan from 2001–present. Included are airbases, forward operating bases (FOB’s), main operating bases, combat outposts, camps, firebases, and patrol bases:

 

Camp KAIA (Kabul International Airport)

Bagram Airfield - the largest American base in Afghanistan

Camp Dwyer Marine Base / Combar Support Hospital

Camp Leatherneck

FOB Delaram

Camp Black Horse

Camp Eggers

Camp Phoenix

FOB Arian / COP Arian

FOB Ghazni

FOB Warrior

Firebase Nawa

FOB Tagab

COP Belda

FOB Salerno

Camp Pucino

Camp Clark

FOB Chapman / Camp Chapman

COP Chergotah

COP Narizah

COP Sabari

COP Terezayi

FOB Asdabad

Camp Blessing

FOB Bostick

FOB Joyce

Camp Wright

COP Fortress

COP Honaker Miracle

COP Michigan

COP Monti

COP Restrepo

Fire Base California

Fire Base Phoenix

Fire Base Vegas

FOB Gamberi

FOB Shank

COP Kherwar

COP McClain

FOB Fenty

FOB Kogyani

FOB Lonestar

Fire Base Tokham Gate

FOB Shinwar

COP Kalagush

Cop Keating

FOB Boris

FOB Khoyr Kot Castle

FOB Kushamond

FOB Orgun-E /Camp Harriman

FOB Rushmore

FOB Sharana /Camp Kearney

FOB Super FOB

FOB Tillman /FOB Lwara

FOB Waza Khwa

Fire Base Terwah

FOB Zormot /Zormat

COP Margah

Fire Base Lilley /Fire Base Shkin /Fire Base Checo

FOB Gardez

FOB Lightning

COP Chamkani

COP Deysie

COP Herrera

Fire Base Wilderness /FOB Tellier

FOB Lion

Bagram Airfield

Camp Albert

Camp Blackjack

Camp Bulldog

Camp Civilian

Camp Cunningham

Camp Warrior

FOB Airborne

COP Carwille

COP Dash Towp

COP Sayed Abad

COP Sultan Khyel

COP Tangi

Camp Marmal

Camp Pratt

Camp Spann

COP Ghowrmach

FOB Griffin

FOB Qeysar

Airfield Kandahar

Camp Losano

Camp Nathan Smith

FOB Frontenac

FOB Howz-E-Madad

FOB Masum Ghar

FOB Pasab /FOB Wilson

FOB Sarkari Karez /FOB Ramrod

FOB Scorpion

FOB Sperwan Ghar

FOB Spin Boldak

FOB Tiger

COP Fitzpatrick

COP Hutal

COP Lakaray

COP Terminator

Fire Base Maholic /Camp Gecko

Joint Multinational Base Tarin Kot, Camp Holland

MOB FOB Davis /FOB Ripley

FOB Tycz

Firebase Anaconda

Firebase Tinsley /Cobra

FOB Apache

FOB Bullard

FOB Lagman

FOB Lane

FOB Mizan

FOB Smart

FOB Sweeney

FOB Viper

Camp Leatherneck

Camp Shorabak /Bastion

Camp Dwyer /FOB Dwyer

Camp Rhine /FOB Rhino

FOB Price /FOB Price

FOB Dehli

FOB Edinburgh

FOB Eredvi /COP Eredvi

FOB Gereshk

FOB Geronimo

FOB Hamidullah

FOB Hanson

FOB Jackson

FOB Now Zad

FOB Payne

FOB Robinson

FOB Sabit Qadam

FOB Shamsher

FOB Shir Ghazay

FOB Shukvani

FOB Whitehouse

FOB Wishtan /Patrol Base Wishtan

FOB Zeebrugge

COP Faizel

COP Kodori

Patrol Base Almas

Patrol Base Barioli /Bariolai

Patrol Base Boldak

Patrol Base Fulod /Sangin Fulod

Patrol Base Hazrat

Patrol Base Jaker

Patrol Base Lambadand

Patrol Base Mirage

Patrol Base Ouellette /FOB Ouellette

Patrol Base Padnick

Patrol Base Shamshad

Patrol Base Tangiers /FOB Tangiers

Firebase Fiddlers Green

FOB Delaram /FOB Kerella

FOB Farah

Airbase Shindad

Camp Arena

Camp Stone

Camp Dahlke West

 

 

 

 

More Information

Be sure to request a free copy of my new book:

Win Your Defense Base Act Case:
The Ultimate Plain English No B.S. Roadmap
To The Medical Treatment and Money
You and Your Family Deserve

 

Click here to see all the great 5 Star reviews of the book on amazon.com.

 

Or call my office 619-304-1000

We have represented more injured overseas civilian contractors than any other law firm on the West Coast. We have had one of the two largest DBA law firms in the world. We represent overseas civilian contractors all over the U.S.A. and the world.

 

 

This article is not legal advice or medical advice.  In this article I am simplistic in order to achieve clarity.  The case studies, examples, and/or illustrations are provided in order to help you understand the legal complexities and/or nuances and are not intended for you to make legal decisions and/or medical decisions.  They are not intended to represent any particular person or case. 

Every case is different. There are no guarantees in life or law. This is why you need to hire the very best, honest DBA lawyer that will agree to take your case. 

 

 

 

William Turley
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