This article explains the basics of how to file a DBA claim. The Defense Base Act (DBA) is a federal law that provides workers’ compensation coverage for civilian employees working outside the United States on behalf of the government or its contractors. If you are injured while working on a military base, embassy, or other government contract overseas, you may be eligible to file a DBA claim. There are time limits, so do not delay contacting a DBA lawyer. An attorney who is experienced in DBA claims can help you navigate the process and advocate for your rights.
Filing a DBA claim can be a complex process, but it is important to do so as soon as possible after an injury. Here are the steps you should take to file a successful DBA claim.
- Report your injury to your employer: The first step in filing a DBA claim is to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. You should provide a detailed description of the accident and any injuries you sustained. Make sure to keep a copy of your accident report for your records.
- Seek medical attention. It is important to seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. This not only ensures that you receive proper medical treatment but also provides documentation of your injuries for your DBA claim. Make sure to keep copies of all medical records related to your injury. If you are injured overseas, make sure you leave your post with your medical records.
- Notify your supervisor. It is important to notify your employer of your intent to file a DBA claim. Once you have reported your injury and sought medical attention, you should notify your employer that you intend to file a DBA claim. You can do this in writing or verbally, but it is best to have a record of your notification. You should complete this form, LS-201 Notice of Employee’s Injury or Death. and provide it to your employer and send it to the District Director of the DOL at the address listed on the form. You should contact a DBA law firm, preferably before filing the LS-201.
- File a claim with the Department of Labor. You must complete and submit Form LS-203 to the Department of Labor (DOL). This form requires you to provide detailed information about your injury, your employer, and your employment status. You must also provide supporting documentation, such as medical records and witness statements. Again, contact a DBA lawyer for more information on how to file a DBA claim and the information needed to provide to the DOL.
- Select an experienced medical doctor when you return home. You are entitled to a physician of your choice to treat your overseas injury(ies). Do not let the insurance company select a doctor. Search for doctors near your home with at least 10 years of experience, preferably board-certified. The most important person in your DBA claim is your doctor, the second is your DBA attorney,
- Cooperate with the claims examiner. Once you have filed your DBA claim, a claims examiner from the DOL will review your case. The examiner may request additional information or documentation from you or your employer. It is important to cooperate fully with the examiner and provide any requested information in a timely manner. It is preferable that you retain a DBA lawyer to make sure you file what needs to be filed.
- Attend any DBA informal conferences, hearings, and/or mediations. If your DBA claim is disputed, you may be required to attend a formal hearing at the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) to resolve the dispute. You may also attend a mediation to resolve your case. It is important to attend this proceeding and provide any evidence or testimony that supports your claim. Again, attending DBA mediations or formal hearings at the OAL is important and you should retain a DBA lawyer to represent you.
Filing a DBA claim can be a daunting process, but it is essential if you have been injured while working overseas on behalf of the government or its contractors. By following these steps and seeking the assistance of a qualified attorney if necessary, you can maximize your chances of obtaining the DBA compensation you deserve. Our attorney, Tim Nies, a veteran of the U.S. Army Rangers (3/75), will go to battle for you against Defense Base Act insurance company lawyers. These DBA insurance company lawyers fight hard in defending DBA claims. Contact Tim for free at 772-283-8712 for more important information on how to file a DBA claim and important steps to take following an injury covered by the Defense Base Act.