Workers' Compensation Attorney In San Antonio
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Defense Base Act Attorney

We Handle DBA Cases Across the Globe, From Start to Finish – (210) 807-3178

Civilians under the employment of the United States military and serving on an overseas U.S. military base are covered by the Defense Base Act (DBA), which provides them a workers’ compensation-like protection in case of on-the-job injury. The same protection and assurance is extended to private contractors who are performing overseas work for the U.S. Armed Forces, the State Department, and the Department of Defense. If you were hurt while completing your regular duties, then the Defense Base Act may be able to secure you benefits to recover.

The Law Offices of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC proudly represents civilian personnel who need to file a Defense Base Act claim. We have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies who are sometimes tempted to wrongfully deny or undervalue the benefits needed by an injured worker. You can trust in us to be able to handle your Defense Base Act case or claim with the same passion and skill we show all our clients.

For a free case evaluation with our Defense Base Act lawyer, contact our firm at (210) 807-3178 now.

What You Should Know About the Defense Base Act

The Defense Base Act makes it possible for eligible employees and civilian personnel working outside the United States on military bases or under contract with the US government to seek compensation for essentially any job-related injury. To this extent, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is actually covered by the DBA, as well as other psychological injuries. The goal of DBA benefits are just like workers’ compensation benefits, which is to help you recuperate comfortably without having to worry about your finances and medical expenses.

Who Is Covered Under the Defense Base Act?

Workers who meet any of the following criteria are covered under the Defense Base Act, regardless of their nationality:

  1. Those who work for a private employer on an overseas US military base or land controlled by the US for military purposes.
  2. Those who work overseas on a public works contract for a US government agency that falls under the umbrella of national defense or war activities.
  3. Those who work overseas under contract approved and funded by the US government.
  4. Those who work for the USO or another organization which delivers moral and welfare services for abroad service members.

Examples of workers covered by the Defense Base Act include but are not limited to:

  • Security personnel
  • Language interpreters
  • Contract interpreters
  • Couriers
  • Documentation specialists
  • Interdisciplinary engineers
  • Translators
  • Clerical workers

Types of Injuries Covered

Nearly any type of work-related injury or illness is covered under the Defense Base Act, including both physical and psychological conditions. Likewise, injuries do not have to be suffered during working hours or while on a military base or authorized premises to be covered. Under The United States Supreme Court decision O’Leary v Brown-Pacific-Maxson, 340 US 504, 507 (1951), all that is required for a condition to be covered under the Defense Base Act is that "the obligations or conditions of employment create the zone of special danger out of which the injury arose."

Examples of injuries covered under the Defense Base Act include:

  • Back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Amputation / limb loss
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Hearing and vision loss
  • Occupational diseases
  • Toxic chemical exposure

Benefits Under the Defense Base Act

If your DBA claim is approved, you may receive finances based on:

  • Your total payment amount based on your contract.
  • How much money you earned in the previous year before your injury.
  • Both your overseas and domestic incomes before your injury.

Similar to workers' compensation benefits, DBA benefits include medical, disability, and death benefits. Injured workers may receive permanent and temporary disability benefits equal to two-thirds of their average weekly earnings up to a maximum amount based on national average wage rates which are computed annually on October 1st. In the tragic event of a worker's death, these benefits still apply and are awarded to the worker's beneficiaries in descending order and will equal no more than two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage.

In some cases, you might not be given regular benefits through your Defense Base Act claim. Instead, it might be needed to arrange a lump settlement to be paid to you at once. Our San Antonio Defense Base Act attorney, Mr. George Escobedo, can act on your behalf to negotiate a fair lump settlement amount.

Statute of Limitations for DBA Claims

Injured employees must generally provide notice of their injury or illness to their employer within 30 days, though this notice period can sometimes be extended to one year for cases involving occupational diseases. Likewise, a legal claim must be filed in the Office of the District Director within one year of the date the employee or dependent became aware of the injury or death. For victims of occupational diseases, this deadline may be extended to two years.

Since these deadlines can ultimately make or break your case, it is crucial to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your compliance with all applicable legal deadlines.

Call a Defense Base Act Lawyer Today

The United States and our military would not have the same strength they do today without civilian personnel and independent contractors. Our law firm is proud to be able to represent and assist the men and women who are there to support our military overseas. For comprehensive and caring help with your Defense Base Act claim, call today.

Call (210) 807-3178 to speak with our San Antonio DBA team. Spanish-speaking legal services are available.

Recommended Reading

  • SA Bar
  • Best SA 2017
  • Avvo Rating
  • State Bar of Texas

WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE OUR FIRM?

  • Available 24/7
  • Spanish-Speaking Services
  • Over a Decade of Experience
  • Thousands of Successful Case Results
  • Free Case Evaluations
  • Committed & Passionate Advacacy