Burn Pit Illness FAQs
For Civilians Injured Overseas
DBA Attorneys Answer Burn Pit Exposure FAQs
Burn pits used by the military to destroy trash in Iraq and Afghanistan have been linked to numerous cases of lung disease and cancer in both military personnel and civilian workers employed by government contractors overseas.
Sadly, a large number of workers employed by private military contractor on overseas U.S. military bases were exposed to carcinogens released during the use of burn pits. And, even worse, most of these employees were or are unaware of the link between their burn pit exposure and their subsequent health issues, including cancer.
If you were employed overseas at or near a burn pit, and you are now suffering from cancer, respiratory or pulmonary illness, skin lesions, rashes, a heart condition, liver or kidney problems, or are experiencing other serious health issues, you DO have the right to pursue legal action and collect compensation under the Defense Base Act.
The attorneys at Cantrell Green are among very few who are specialized in Defense Base Act cases who have handled burn pit cases. We are here to help you collect the compensation you and your family deserve for the devastating illness you have suffered as a result of your exposure to toxic burn pits.
What Is a Burn Pit?
During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as some other military operations, every imaginable type of military waste was destroyed by burning it collectively in a large pit. Everything from food, to medical waste, to military surplus, to human waste was routinely burned. This included: bloody tourniquets, dressings and gloves; cans of paint and other solvents; plastics including water bottles; batteries, tires, appliances, and much more. Even unexploded ordnance, airplane fuselage and entire Humvees were disposed of in burn pits.
To make matters even worse, diesel fuel and/or jet fuel – both known to cause cancer – were used as accelerants to help burn the massive trash piles. These pits typically burned around the clock, emitting toxic black smoke and carcinogenic fumes.
Who was exposed to Burn Pits?
A recent article by CNN reported on a study by the nonprofit group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America which stated that 86% of post-9/11 Iraq or Afghanistan veterans were exposed to burn pits. And these numbers do not include the thousands of civilian employees employed by government contractors on military bases who were also exposed to toxic burn pit smoke and fumes.
CNN also reported that, according to the Government Accountability Office, at least 230 burn pits were being operated at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
And, often times on combat outposts, these burn pits were located just a few hundred feet from barracks where the civilian military contractors were residing. With civilian workers reporting that the burn pits in Iraq were larger than five or more football fields, the toxic smoke and fumes were breathed in by almost any person – civilian or military – in the area.
What Illnesses are Caused by Burn Pit Exposure?
Troops as well as overseas civilian workers who breathed toxic burn pit fumes would routinely experience blinding tears, runny nose, sore or irritated throat, as well as coughing, at the time of exposure. Years later, after returning home, many of these contracted employee began to develop severe respiratory problems and even various forms of cancers.
According to data compiled from the Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry troops exposed to burn pits demonstrate higher rates of common respiratory illnesses like asthma and emphysema, as well as rare lung disorders.
And, while the VA still stubbornly denies that cancer can result from exposure to toxic burn pit smoke and fumes, medical experts and Defense Base Act attorneys are proving otherwise in court.
What are My Legal Rights if I am Sick Due to Burn Pit Exposure?
Under The Defense Base Act any civilian employees who were made sick or injured abroad while working under contract by the United States government are entitled to benefits. Compensation includes all medical treatment costs, disability benefits, and death benefits.
Unlike regular workers’ compensation, you are entitled to Defense Base Act benefits whether the injury or illness was caused while you were “on the clock” or not.
What Should I do if I am Sick Due to Burn Pit Exposure?
To ensure that you receive the Defense Base Act benefits that you deserve for your burn pit exposure, it is important to have an experienced DBA attorney who handles burn pit cases help you from the start. An experienced attorney can help you avoid a denial or delay in collecting the compensation that you deserve, and help fight the denial of the claim is wrongly controverted.
The DBA attorneys at the Law Offices of Cantrell Green have more than 45 years of experience protecting the rights of injured and sick workers. Our DBA attorneys have obtained millions of dollars in Defense Base Act compensation for civilian workers injured overseas.
Our experienced and caring attorneys are currently representing several defense contractors who were made ill due to burn pit exposure during their service in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.
DBA Burn Pit Exposure Attorneys
If you were employed overseas by a private military contractor, and you believe you were injured or made ill by exposure to burn pit smoke and fumes, our attorneys can help you.
Defense Base Act compensation is a highly specific area of law, in which only a few law firms like Cantrell Green are specialized. And – due to the government and the insurance companies’ ongoing denial of responsibility – burn pit exposure cases represent an even more difficult area of DBA compensation law.
Our skilled and caring attorneys will offer any civilian injured overseas by burn pit exposure a free consultation to help you understand your rights and ensure you collect the compensation you deserve.
While we understand that your health may never be the same, our attorneys can help you obtain the DBA compensation you deserve – to ease the financial strain of mounting medical bills, and help alleviate some of the worry of financially supporting your family.
Our highly specialized Defense Base Act attorneys have successfully filed hundreds of Defense Base Act applications and appeals – obtaining millions of dollars in DBA benefits in our four decades of legal service.
In our Defense Base Act Blog, our attorneys keep you updated on the latest news and information pertaining to issues affecting civilian contractor employees working overseas and abroad.
Read our articles, then fill out the short form below to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our skilled Defense Base Act Attorneys.
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