In 1941, the United States Congress passed the Defense Base Act. This incredibly important piece of legislation required an employer of an overseas employee who was working on a military base to purchase an insurance policy. This policy is meant to cover the employee in case of an injury that occurred during the course of employment and as a result of that employment.
Like workers' compensation laws, the Defense Base Act protects workers and provides them with the security of knowing that should the be injured on the job, they may be entitled to receive benefits. These benefits may cover not only their medical expenses, but also their lost wages. However, for those who have been injured overseas on a military base, it is important to know who is covered by the Defense Base Act and the procedures for filing a claim for compensation. Additionally, to assist with this, it may well be beneficial to meet with Defense Base Act Attorneys who are knowledgeable in this area.
Who is covered by the Defense Base Act?
The Defense Base Act covers employees of government contractors working on an overseas military base. This includes, but is not limited to, employees of companies like Haliburton, Blackwater, Bechtel, Service Employees International, and Dyncorp. Furthermore, these employees may be employed in a wide range of industries, ranging from food service to construction work. Additionally, the Defense Base Act may cover in some circumstances employees of the US Government.
The Defense Base Act also applies regardless of nationality. Thus, even if you are not a United States citizen, you may still be able to collect compensation for an injury incurred during the course of employment on an overseas military base.
What are the procedures for applying for compensation?
To successfully collect compensation for an injury, the employee must give the employer notice of the injury within 30 days. Notice merely means that the employer is told that the injury happened. It is not an actual claim of compensation, and it may not even detail the full extent of the injury or the estimated medical expenses.
However, the actual claim for benefits must be filed with the employer within one year of the injury. Missing either this date or the date to give notice may mean that the employee will not receive any compensation whatsoever. It may thus be helpful to contact Defense Base Act attorneys as soon as possible following an injury to ensure that one does not miss a deadline.
The law can be complicated - let an attorney help
As with any other law, the Defense Base Act has a language all its own. Moreover, in some circumstances, one may find that they have to go to court in order to collect the compensation they deserve. But by working with Defense Base Act attorneys, one may be able to not only successfully navigate the judicial system, but they may also be able to obtain the benefits they need. After all, a personal injury that was caused on the job should not be compounded by becoming a financial injury as well.