“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
I’ve got this....
These are famous last words. These are usually last words attributed to a person before their death....
Here, we’re not talking about your literal death. More likely we’re talking about the death of your DBA case. Not good. On any level.
Before you think that you’ve got this - meaning, that you can represent yourself in your DBA case, I suggest that you check out this article on the Top 10 DBA Questions. (see Questions 2, 3, 4, and 6....)
Defense Base Act Summary by Employer and under-reported injuries
If you have followed this website over the years or read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case, you know I'm not shy about telling the hard truths. So let's dig in....
Every year the U.S. Department of Labor issues a Defense Base Act Summary by Employer. It provides OWCP Defense Base Act Case Summary Reports. The Summary is called a “general information” regarding overseas civilian contractor injuries and deaths reported by employers. All of these injuries and deaths fall under the Defense Base Act.
For years now I have criticized the Summaries by Employer for the under-reporting that occurs due to the nature of DBA injuries. Possibly even under-reported regarding deaths of foreign nationals. I do admit they are probably fairly accurate when reporting US overseas contractors reported injuries.
However, I have witnessed a big “credibility” gap. Meaning, that most contractors under-report injuries. For example, if an injury is being “Controverted” (read: disputed); the injury may not be reported because the employer/ carrier is disputing that an injury occurred at all.
Further, if the claim is for PTSD, then oftentimes the report is made after the civilian contractor returns home.
Because of these disparities, I view these annual Summaries as minimums. Meaning, they are accurate as far as the reported injuries, but there are many injuries that go unreported and therefore are not listed on the Case Summary by Employer.
From 2011 to 2018, SOC-SMG, INC is on the 2018 Case Summary by Employer as having the thirteenth most injuries of any contractor: 1479 injuries. Based upon the large number of clients that I have had over the years that worked for SOC it stands to reason that SOC has had a lot of DBA injuries over the years.
As you can see, even assuming that these injuries are largely under-reported, quite a few of their civilian contractors have been injured while working for them.
According to SOC’s website they are:
“a trusted global provider of mission solutions with a history of assuring safe and effective operations for U.S. Government and commercial customers. SOC provides a guarantee of discrete and effective service so that its customer can do their best work.”
SOC’s website also states:
“We employ over 5,000 professionals engaged in the delivery of mission critical safeguards and security, facility management and operations, engineering, explosive ordnance storage and disposal, and international logistics and life support services. Our customers include the U.S. Departments of State, Energy, and Defense, Fortune 500 companies, and non-governmental organizations.”
In addition, the SOC website says they provide:
Integrated Security Solutions
Justice & Stabilization Support Solutions
The name "SOC-SMG" stands for Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group. They are a part of Day & Zimmermann an American engineering firm.
According to their website, SOC works with US Departments of Energy, Defense, State, and other Federal Government Agencies to provide security and operational support.
What Being an SOC Employee Means:
“Our culture celebrates accountability and motivates employees at all levels to maintain occupational safety and health as our most important value.” I have no doubt that this is true but with more than 5000 employees whose job is to keep SOC clients safe, someone is likely to put their health at risk at some point.
However, this is why insurance is offered by the Defense Base Act, in case an overseas civilian contractor gets injured on the job. But getting these benefits isn’t always “a walk in the park”. It requires time, expertise, resources, preparation and the truth.
SOC & Defense Base Act injuries and deaths
For many years we have been representing seriously injured overseas civilian contractors that work for SOC. What we can tell you is that the folks that work for SOC are good people. They also get seriously injured while working overseas.
They have gone from working in-theater - mostly security jobs as far as our clients are concerned - to having a Defense Base Act case.
If you are a current or former employee of SOC and you have had a serious injury (and you worked overseas); then you now have a Defense Base Act case. You may want to read on.
The first concern when folks pursue a DBA claim is money. What are you supposed to do while you’re waiting for you DBA benefits to kick in? What if you can’t make the same kind of money you were making at SOC? What if you can’t make any money at all? How are you supposed to pay for an attorney?
First things first:
You should not have to pay for attorney fees. Attorney fees will and should usually be paid by the DBA insurance companies. When the case is settled the attorney fees will either come out of the settlement money or be added to the settlement sum so you don’t have to pay a dime. Now you can cross that off your list of things to worry about.
Second things second:
You will win your DBA case if you are telling the truth. DBA cases are won based on whether or not the judge believes you and your claim. It is as plain and easy as that.
It is tempting to fluff up your claim with extra details and dramatization. I know you’re upset, you’re in pain and you think this is going to help you win your case. Let me tell you now that it won’t. In fact, it will do the opposite. Lying or exaggerating or fluffing of any kind will lose you your case. No one wants to help out a liar. The judge is no exception. You can count on that.
But I have found that the truth is never simple. In order to remain as honest as possible with your case you are going to have to be as prepared as possible. You are going to have to not only know your case backwards and front but also be ready for any kind of question or concern the DBA insurance company and their lawyers throw at you.
You can prepare for your case by studying and utilizing the resources available to you.
“Win Your Defense Base Act Case” is a great book for any civilian contractor who has been injured overseas. You can see the other people it has helped that have stood in your shoes on Amazon, here.
Be sure to claim your free copy of the 5 Star 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.
If you do one thing - you owe it to yourself to read the 5 Star reviews of the book on amazon.com!!
What you are going to see is that the book Win Your Defense Base Act Case 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.
And if you have any questions on anything you have read here or in any of our resources
give us a call at our San Diego office today at 619-304-1000
We’re here to help.
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. Just because we have had great results in so many other DBA cases, doesn't guarantee any particular result in your Defense Base Act case.
Thanks, Bill Turley