What is the Defense Base Act?
The Defense Base Act (DBA), enacted in 1941, is an extension of the Longshore Act and primarily extends benefits to defense contractors injured at overseas military bases. This means that the same benefits afforded to longshoremen are also available to injured defense contractors, including compensation for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, past and future medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation, death benefits, and more. The difference is that a DBA claimant need not be a longshoreman or offshore worker. Rather, a DBA claimant is one who is working for a private company that is contracted by the U.S. military and who is injured at a domestic or overseas U.S. military base or who is injured while in transit to a U.S. military base. The Defense Base Act can be a complicated area of law, so it is imperative that you contact a DBA attorney early in the process.
What is the War Hazards Compensation Act?
The War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA) enables insurance companies to apply for reimbursement from the Federal government for any benefits it paid to an injured worker if his or her injury was the result of a “war risk hazard.” It is important to have an attorney well versed in WHCA claims as the insurance companies handle these claims differently. Not only will the insurance company be quicker to come to the negotiation table, but they are also more likely to value your claim in a more favorable light.
Common DBA Injuries:
- Physical injuries, including combat wounds, trip and falls while retreating, crashes, etc.
- Psychological injuries, including PTSD
- Respiratory problems, resulting from exposure to burn pits or other chemical exposure
- Aggravation of pre-existing medical conditions