Defense Base Act Articles
What are Aggravation Injuries Under the Defense Base Act?
Don’t let your employer or DBA insurance company try to deny your Defense Base Act claim by blaming your present medical problems on pre-existing medical conditions. That is not how the DBA law works. The Defense Base Act covers both new injuries and any aggravation of an existing injury.
If you sustain an injury in the scope of your employment that aggravates a pre-existing condition by even 1%, then you may be eligible to receive compensation from your employer and its insurance carrier for your entire disability.
Pre-existing Conditions in a Defense Base Act Case
Imagine that an employee suffers a back injury at work. While healing from the back injury, the injured worker walks with a limp, leaning more heavily on his left knee. Eventually, his knee begins to hurt because of the additional use. This is known as an “aggravation injury” – an injury that occurred or became aggravated as a consequence of his initial back injury.
Under the Defense Base Act, an aggravation injury is compensable just as the original back injury was, and the injured employee should qualify for compensation. As such, that employee would be entitled to medical care and wage loss benefits.
Let’s say that the back injury was not related to the employment. Even if the initial injury was caused by a previous job, a car accident or other incident, he could still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits under the DBA if his duties in some way aggravate a pre-existing injury.
Further, when an injured worker has a consequential or secondary injury, the employer and its insurance carrier will still liable for the entire disability if the second injury is the natural, unavoidable consequence of the initial work injury.
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