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


Claims Filed


Cases Mediated

Experience. Training. Expertise.

Civilian Workers Injured Abroad

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.

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:





























New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota







West Virginia






Costa Rica












New Zeland





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"


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."


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."


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.

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.

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 The Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A. for Representation

Contact a qualified Defense Base Act lawyer 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. We know the tricks that the insurance companies play, and we can beat them at their own game. 

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!

Other DBA Resources


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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