It is common knowledge that the United States government has grown increasingly reliant on private companies and subcontractors overseas. The military has established a long-term presence in countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and other areas, often putting government contractors in harm’s way. In addition, many private corporations have their own individual footprint overseas that include building/construction, engaging in public works projects or expanding their sources for raw materials.
It is less commonly known, however, that thousands of contractors are seriously injured each year while working on projects for the U.S. government, largely due to a failure of the American media to report on this issue.
In fact, it would be incorrect to refer to the issue as “underreported,” as it is simply not reported on at all. At the time of this writing, a Google search for “Number of Contractors Injured Overseas” did not result in any statistics on the issue, but rather links to various sites explaining Defense Base Act coverage and other sites for attorneys and law firms who represent contractor-victims of overseas accidents.
Hundreds of Thousands of Injured Contractors
According to the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, there have been no fewer than 117,223 claims made under the Defense Base Act since September 1st, 2001. The Defense Base Act, or DBA, is a federal law that provides benefits to individuals and family members of individuals who sustain an injury while working under a U.S. government contract or while employed by a private contractor overseas. The system operates similarly to state workers’ compensation programs and provides the following types of benefits:
● Medical expenses;
● Benefits for time away from work;
● Vocational rehabilitation;
● Compensation for permanent disability;
● Compensation for the loss of earning potential.
The Defense Base Act creates a no-fault insurance system for overseas contractors, which means that injured victims are entitled to benefits regardless of who was at fault for an accident. While this may cause you to believe that obtaining benefits is simple and straightforward, this is often not the case and injured workers are routinely denied coverage for valid claims.
Fortunately, the assistance of an attorney who is familiar with representing victims who have claims under the Defense Base Act can make the process of getting benefits significantly easier. Some of the ways in which a lawyercan help include helping filing the initial claim, communicating on your behalf with the insurance company handling your claim, filing an appeal if your claim is denied, and representing you in any administrative or judicial proceeding that may occur.
Contact a Chicago Defense Base Act Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have been hurt while working as a government contractor overseas, you may be legally entitled to significant benefits under federal law. To schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Chicago Defense Base Act lawyer, call Capron & Avgerinos, P.C. today at 312.346.6444.