Best Defense Base Act Lawyers

Defense Base Act Lawyers with 60+ Years of Experience, Training And Expertise Handling Cases World-Wide

Call Us Now: 1-833-595-3350

$250 Million

In Benefits & Settlements

60+ Years

Combined Experience

6,000+

Claims Filed

2,500+

Cases Mediated

Experience. Training. Expertise.

Skilled Defense Base Act Lawyers Ready to Fight for You

Were you injured in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait or anywhere overseas while working for a U.S. company?

If so, you are covered under the Defense Base Act (DBA) which is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Our firm can handle your claim if you are a civilian injured in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait or anywhere overseas while working for a U.S. company under a contract with the U.S. government when you suffered your accident. If you are looking for a DBA attorney, trust the experts at The Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A. to file your DBA claim and get you the compensation you deserve.

What is the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act provides workers' compensation protection to civilian employees working outside the United States on U.S. military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense.

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Global Representation

Defense Base Act Lawyers Representing Clients Around the World

The knowledgable DBA lawyers at The Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A. have represented civilians injured under the Defense Base Act from every state in the United States and from many countries around the world. Whether you are a U.S. citizen or a foreign national, our qualified DBA attorneys are ready to represent you.

Representing Civilians in the U.S.:

And Overseas:

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Afghanistan

Australlia

Canada

Costa Rica

England

Germany

Iraq

Ireland

Israel

Kosovo

Kuwait

Macedonia

 

 

Mexico

New Zeland

Peru

Scotland

Syria

Wales

Trusted By Workers Around the World

Over $250 Million Obtained in Benefits & Settlements

Our skilled Defense Base Act lawyers are proud to obtain significant cash settlements for our clients. With our experience, knowledge and reputation, you can be sure that you will either get an excellent settlement, or have your case pushed to trial with a great chance of success.

"Mr. Mermell has a great law firm for representing civilian contractors and expats like me for when we get injured while working overseas. This was my first time suing an insurance company. Man did they give me a hard time. They put me through the grinder twice. But Mr. Mermell and his law firm, especially Gladis and Mason, hung in there and fought them at their own game. Mr. Mermell knows all of the tricks and games they play and he straightened them out for me. I got my benefits and I got a settlement that was about 7 times what I thought it would be. I am recommending Mr. Mermell and his firm to any expats injured in Afghanistan or anywhere overseas"

Mark

Injured in Afghanistan

"Mr. Mermell handled my Defense Base Act case. I was injured in Kuwait while working a as a security specialist. Mr. Mermell walked me through my case step by step. He won my case for me and explained everything to me carefully. I am 100% satisfied with Mr. Mermell and his staff. I am recommending Mr. Mermell to all contractors injured while working overseas."

John

Injured in Kuwait

"A coworker recommended me to Mr. Mermell and the firm of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco for my Defense Base Act case. I felt protected right from the start of my case. My medical situation was their priority and they took care of me both during the case and with a settlement that will cover my future medical needs. I am very happy with my result and I highly recommend Mr. Mermell and the firm to anyone injured on the job, including overseas injuries."

Jennifer

Injured in Afghanistan
About the Defense Base Act

Who is Covered Under the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act covers civilian employees and/or contractors who are injured while assisting the US military under a contract with the US government in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Kuwait. The Defense Base Act also covers civilian employees injured on any military base outside of the United States.

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About the Defense Base Act

What Are the Benefits Under the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act extends Longshore benefits to civilian employees injured while working overseas. The types of benefits provided under the Longshore Act, as extended by the Defense Base Act, include compensation for lost wages and reasonable and necessary medical care. Compensation is paid at 2/3 of your average weekly wage for so long as your doctor says that you are unable to work.

About the Defense Base Act

What Injuries Are Covered Under the Defense Base Act?

At The Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A., we have handled injuries to the head, neck, back, arms, legs, feet, hands, shoulders, knees, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder injuries, psychiatric injuries, injuries to the heart, respiratory injuries. We have handled the claims of interpreters, security specialists, mechanics, truck drivers, bus drivers, food workers, and every other kind of employee.

Injuries can be classified into two categories:

Injuries to a Specific Body Part

Injuries to a specific body part, such as an arm, leg, hand, foot, eye, finger, or hearing loss.

Injuries to the Body as a Whole

An injury to the body as a whole would include the head, the neck, shoulders, back, hips, psychiatric claims and occupational diseases.

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About the Defense Base Act

What Should I Do If I Am Injured Under the Defense Base Act?

01. Report Your Accident to Your Employer

You should immediately report your accident to your employer. The law requires you to report your accident within 30 days. There are some exceptions to this, however, the general rule is that you have an obligation to report your accident within 30 days.

02. Request Medical Care From Your Employer

You should request medical care from your employer with a doctor of your own choosing. The law requires your employer to furnish medical care for injuries on the job. The law requires your employer to allow you to choose your own doctor.

Keep in mind that if you are working in what is considered to be a zone of special danger, you will be covered 24 hours per day even if you were not performing work related activities. In our opinion, anyone injured in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria will be covered 24 hours per day for any injuries as a result of the zone of special danger rule.

Before coming back from overseas, try to collect your medical records and obtain an opinion that documents your injuries, provides your work status, and makes recommendations for future care and treatment.

03. Contact a DBA Attorney at The Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A. for Representation

Contact a qualified DBA attorney who understands the complexities of handling this type of case. At The Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P. A., our lawyers have over 60 years of combined experience handling Defense Base Act cases. We have seen every type of injury; we have handled these cases at every stage of trial, and we have seen every kind of issue imaginable. From filing DBA claims to getting you the maximum compensation, we know the tricks that the insurance companies play, and we can beat them at their own game. 

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Working with a DBA Law Firm

Why You Should Hire a DBA Attorney Today

Defense Base Act lawsuits are complex and often involve fighting insurance companies that have a team of defense lawyers who will do everything they can to pay as little as possible in compensation. That is why it is important to hire the best Defense Base Act lawyers at The Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A. to represent you. Our qualified DBA attorneys know what it takes to fight big insurance companies and get you the maximum compensation value. 

If you have been injured abroad while working for a U.S. company, contact us to learn your rights, file your DBA claim, and take the first step toward compensation. 

Contact Us Today

Schedule Your FREE Consultation

We are experienced attorneys with a proven track record of obtaining exceptional results for clients since 1996.

Call Now: 1-833-595-3350

About Us

Our Law Firm at a Glance

The Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A., fighting for injured workers under since 1996

Over $250,000,000.00 obtained in benefits and/or settlements for our clients during the past 20 years

Over 2,500 mediations on behalf of injured workers

Over 3,500 claims of injured workers under the Defense Base Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Over 60 years of combined attorney experience in assisting injured workers

Over 3,000 injured workers’ cases

Over 6,000 claims filed on behalf of injured workers

Over 200 injured workers’ cases taken to trial

You can rely upon our experience, knowledge, expertise and commitment to get the job done on your DBA case. We are ready to go to work for you today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Common Defense Base Act Questions

If you are injured in the course and scope of your employment you are covered. However, even if your injury has nothing to do with your employment, you may still be covered under the Defense Base Act if you are considered to be in a “zone of danger.”

In our opinion, anyone working under a contract with the U.S. anywhere in Iraq or Afghanistan would be covered 24 hours per day due to the “zone of danger” rule.

Case law is very liberal in this regard and has afforded coverage to injured workers for a variety of injuries which had nothing to do with their employment.

If you are uncertain if you are covered, we invite you to contact us to discuss your particular situation. Our Experienced Defense Base Act attorneys will inform you of your rights, and fight to make sure you receive the full benefits you deserve.

Yes. The law provides you with your “first free choice of physician.” This is a very critical part of your case. You should make sure that you choose a qualified doctor who is capable of treating your particular condition and who is a patient advocate.

We can help you choose your first physician as this may become the single most important aspect of your case. We would encourage you not to make that decision without carefully considering how it will impact the rest of your case. Many insurance companies try to make that decision for you, which can be a huge mistake, and may result in you not receiving adequate medical care or full compensation.

We recommend that you not sign any form giving away your right to your choice physician.

We invite you to contact us to discuss your particular situation. Our Experienced Defense Base Act attorneys will inform you of your rights, and fight to make sure you receive the full benefits you deserve.

You are entitled to compensation for temporary total disability at the rate of two thirds of your average weekly wage, up to the maximum compensation rate (for 2007 that is $1,114.44 per week) for so long as a doctor says you are unable to return to work on a temporary basis. If you are able to return to work with restrictions on a temporary basis, you are entitled to temporary partial disability compensation at two thirds of the difference between your previous average weekly wage and what you are now able to earn.

Once you reach the point of maximum medical improvement, your benefits change from temporary to permanent benefits. At that point, if you have an injury to the head, neck, shoulders, back or spine, you have what is called a “body as a whole” case, and you are eligible for either permanent total or permanent partial disability which may be payable for the remainder of your life. If you do not have an injury that qualifies for “body as a whole” benefits, you are eligible for a “scheduled award” benefit in accordance with a table that allows a certain number of weeks to be paid per the injured body part. For example, the law states that if you were to lose a leg, you would be entitled to 284 weeks of compensation for that injury upon reaching maximum medical improvement. While this does not seem fair, there are arguments which we have successfully made to cause a scheduled award case to become a “body as a whole” case, opening eligibility for permanent partial and/or permanent total disability in some scheduled award situations.

According to the law, you are also entitled to reasonable and necessary medical care for your injuries. You are entitled to treat your injuries with a doctor of your own choosing.

We invite you to contact us to discuss your particular situation. Our Experienced Defense Base Act attorneys will inform you of your rights, and fight to make sure you receive the full benefits you deserve.

If your loved one dies as a result of an injury on the job, you are entitled to death benefits.

Death benefits are payable at the rate of one half of the employee’s average weekly wage to a surviving spouse or child, or two-thirds of the average weekly wage for two or more eligible survivors up the current maximum rate of $1,114.44 per week.

In order to receive death benefits, you may be required to prove dependency at the time of death. These death benefits may be payable to a spouse for the remainder of the life of the spouse, so long as the spouse does not re-marry. The death benefits to a child may last through college. You are also entitled to funeral expenses up to $3,000.00.

We invite you to contact us to discuss your particular situation. Our Experienced Defense Base Act attorneys will inform you of your rights, and fight to make sure you receive the full benefits you deserve.

No. Aliens and non-U.S. residents are entitled to receive benefits under the Defense Base Act. However, there are some limitations regarding the amount of benefits payable and death benefits.

We invite you to contact us to discuss your particular situation. Our Experienced Defense Base Act attorneys will inform you of your rights, and fight to make sure you receive the full benefits you deserve.

Your compensation rate is calculated at 2/3 of your Average Weekly Wage. Your Average Weekly Wage is a determination of your earning capacity during the 52 weeks prior to your date of accident. We can use your W-2s, paycheck stubs, tax returns and/or your contract of hire to make a calculation of your Average Weekly Wage. If you did not work substantially the whole of the 52 weeks prior to your date of accident, we can calculate your Average Weekly Wage based upon a similar employee or your contract of hire or another alternative method.

Other DBA Resources

FAQ

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Defense Base Act. 

Settlement & Verdicts

View actual settlements from clients represented by The Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A.

Client Testimonials

Read our glowing testimonials from previous happy clients. Get the representation you deserve. 

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