Legislative Changes Concern Los Angeles Defense Base Act Lawyers –
Will Civilian Government Employees Workers Comp Benefits Be Protected? Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim, Lawyers
Big changes may be ahead for the Defense Base Act – which is the law that provides workers’ compensation for injured civilian employees working abroad for US Government contractors.
The Department of Labor has recently indicated that a piece of legislation soon to be introduced aims to replace the Defense Base Act (DBA) with the Overseas Contractors Compensation Act (OCCA).
According to inside sources, the goal of the law’s restructuring is to streamline the program as well as reduce costs. While this legislative change may be good for claimants in the long run, there are some issues that are causing experienced Defense Base Act lawyers concern.
Currently Defense Base Act claimants are entitled to benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. But under the proposed Overseas Contractors Compensation Act (OCCA) US contractor employee claims will now be handled under a completely new, separate and distinct set of laws.
Los Angeles Lawyers Worry Injured Government Contractors May Lose Workers’ Comp Benefits – Long Beach, Anaheim
Defense Base Act attorneys worry that some of the current advantages employees have may be stripped from the new legislation.
For example, the Defense Base Act currently compensates employees abroad for injuries incurred in the “Zone of Special Danger.” This means that “unusual” injuries or deaths that would be unlikely at home in the U.S. (for example Post Traumatic Stress Disorder / “PTSD”, Malaria, etc.) are handled fairly easily and routinely under the current law. However, if the “zone of special danger” provision is not included in the new law, injuries or deaths that occur because of the remoteness or extreme circumstances of a work location may not be as easily won.
Additionally, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides that the injured claimant has the right to a trial before an impartial judge who does not work for either side AND the right to an attorney whose fees will be paid for by the insurance company if the employee wins his or her benefits.
Even more importantly, the current Defense Base Act under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act operates under a PRESUMPTION that the employee SHOULD be compensated for his or her injuries or illness, and it is up to the insurance company to prove otherwise.
If You Are an Injured Government Contractor – Contact an Experienced Lawyer before Workers Comp Laws Change
As experienced Defense Base Act attorneys, we are concerned that some of these protections and favorable “presumptions” may be lost under the new Overseas Contractors Compensation Act (OCCA), as the government seeks to save money by streamlining the compensation process.
Los Angeles Best Defense Base Act Lawyers – Long Beach, Orange County, Anaheim, Irvine, Torrance, Santa Ana
At Cantrell Green our lawyers care deeply about their clients. Our attorneys are closely monitoring the progress of this proposed legislation – and its potential affect on injured US contract employees abroad – in order to continue to provide the best legal representation to employees injured overseas.
If you have been injured or made sick while working abroad for a U.S. government contractor, time is of the essence to consult an experienced attorney before potentially harmful legislative changes are enacted. Our experienced Defense Base Act lawyers will provide you with a free consultation to help you understand your rights under the current Defense Base Act.
Click here for a free consultation with an experienced Defense Base Act attorney.