Can I Get Pain & Suffering in a Defense Base Act Case?
The Defense Base Act offers many protections for civilian contractors working abroad. One of the benefits of DBA workers’ comopensation is that the employee does NOT have to prove fault or negligence on the part of the employers in order to get benefits.
The injured civillian only has to prove that their injuries were caused or worsened by their employment and or the reasonable consequences of being deployed abroad. DBA benefits are even broader than traditional workers comp cases in that the Defense Base Act also covers leisure, recreational and athletic injuries sustained while working overseas.
However, the “trade off” is that employers cannot be sued for additional costs of an accident or injury, such as pain and suffering. So, in most cases, the injured civilian contractor only gets medical costs covered, as well as disability comopensation equal to 2/3 or their average weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. But they do not qualify for pain and suffering compoensation under DBA.
In some cases, however there may be other way to collect damages for pain and suffering in a DBA situation.
Other Ways to Collect Pain and Suffering in a DBA Case
Although the DBA prevents employees from getting pain and suffering from an employer, there are still some ways to receive this compensation.
Defense Base Act Second & Third Parties
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the law may still allow you to file a case against your employer as a “second party”.
If you are filing a case against someone else for your injury, your employer can in some cases be named as a second party to the civil lawsuit. For example, if your injury occurred due to the recklessness of another employee, the employer may be named as a “second party.”
In this case you might get damages for pain and suffering from the first party, as well as from the employer as a second party in the civil suit.
Defense Base Act Uninsured Employers
Additionally, if an employer, contractor, or a subcontractor fails to have the legally required Defense Base Act insurance coverage, employees can sue the employer for “civil” damages in a “tort” case.
In these cases, employers are not allowed to defend themselves against the case by saying the worker’s injury was caused by the employee’s negligence or assumption of risk in taking the job.
In such a tort case against an uninsured employer, the civilian contractor CAN collect pain and suffering.
Best Defense Base Act Attorneys
Our highly specialized Defense Base Act attorneys are committed to ensuring that every injured or disabled civilian employee obtains the benefits he or she has earned. We have successfully filed hundreds of Defense Base Act applications and appeals – obtaining millions of dollars in DBA benefits in over four decades of legal service.
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