Brewster Law Firm LLC

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Will the Defense Base Act cover your injuries?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2018 | Defense Base Act |

Many Louisiana residents want to see the world. One way to do that is to work for a company that provides you with the opportunity to travel. Perhaps you ended up working for the Armed Forces or another federal agency in a foreign country, a U.S. territory or a U.S. possession. While there, you suffered injuries. You may wonder whether you could receive benefits through the Defense Base Act.

Even if you work for an organization that benefits members of the Armed Forces, you may qualify for benefits under the DBA if you suffer injuries. Construction workers employed to repair, build or remove structures used by the United States or its allies, along with others who work service contracts pertaining to U.S. wartime activities or the national defense on U.S. military bases or in the country’s territories or possessions. The act includes many nonmilitary personnel, including U.S. citizens, nationals, residents and foreign nationals.

It may be easier to talk about those not included such as crew members or captains of vessels. Another group not covered by the DBA is federal employees covered under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. If the individual is involved in service, domestic agriculture or other duties considered secondary to the primary contract or casual, coverage may not be available. However, for those are not included in one of these groups and do fall under the DBA, family members who accompanied them will also be covered.

If an individual suffers injuries and falls into one of the groups eligible for benefits under the Defense Base Act, obtaining those benefits may not be without its difficulties. Just as would be the case for Louisiana workers attempting to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, it involves more than just filling out an application. Benefits could be denied, or an award could be for less than warranted. Involving an attorney with experience in this area of the law may spell the difference between reduced or denied coverage and full recovery of all applicable benefits.