Under the Defense Base Act, nearly all injuries sustained in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria are covered. The U.S. Defense Base Act (DBA) is very much unlike other workers’ compensation programs in the United States. The Defense Base Act is highly specialized. Not many lawyers understand how to litigate in this field. Unlike many state workers compensation programs, through the Defense Base Act, an injury is covered by the DBA even if the injury did not occur while a worker was on the clock. Meaning, there is 24 hour coverage for injuries that occur while working under a U.S. Government contract in war or hostile zones such as in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
By way of example, a lower back injury sustained by a contractor while doing squats in a gym at Bagram Airbase is covered. Under the Defense Base Act, injuries resulting from reasonable and foreseeable recreational and sporting activities, such as doing squats, in dangerous locations such as Afghanistan take place in a zone of special danger and are compensable under the DBA. A few other examples of “off-duty” injuries that are covered by the DBA include:
- Falling while walking to the Dfac for breakfast.
- Falling over the river rocks while walking back to your quarters after working for the day.
- Getting hit by a car while riding a bicycle for exercise.
- Falling in the shower.
- Sustaining an injury when falling from a bunk bed while sleeping.
I have obtained compensation, medical benefits and DBA settlements for each of the situations above. You should always assume that your injury sustained over in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or Somalia is covered and compensable under the Defense Base Act and talk to a lawyer experienced with litigating Defense Base Act Claims. By not filing a claim timely, you may be barred from receiving compensation and medical benefits later.
Our attorney, Tim Nies, a U.S. Army Ranger Veteran and experienced DBA attorney is available day or night for free. You may reach him at 772-283-8712 or via his website defensebaseactlawyers.com. The best time to talk to a lawyer is while you are still overseas, before coming home, to make sure you set your claim up right before coming back home. Tim Nies has a What’s App account and regularly speaks with workers before they come home.