Hi this is Brian Wiklendt I’m lead counsel at Garfinkel Schwartz. I’m coming to you today from our Maitland Florida office which is a suburb of Orlando Florida and we also have a satellite office in Cocoa Beach on the Space Coast near Port Canaveral.
Defense Base Act Death Benefits Cover Third Country Nationals
But I travel all across the country and to other countries to represent people under the Defense Base Act. The Defense Base Act is a federal law that covers overseas contractors and sub-contractors including Third Country Nationals that get injured or killed while working on a contract from the government, the U.S. Government.
Death Benefits Under the DBA
Today I’m coming to you to discuss death benefits under the Defense Base Act. A lot of people don’t know that these benefits are out there and the benefits are very significant for the families who lose a loved one as a result of an overseas contract.
Basically what happens is when a person dies, one of your loved ones dies, the spouse of that person receives fifty percent of the employees’ average weekly wage for the rest of her life. That’s very significant meaning that we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars here that a lot of people have no idea that they’re entitled to.
- If the wife remarries, she gets fifty percent of two years of his average weekly wage in a lump sum.
- Also any surviving children get a certain percentage that they share equally until they’re 18 years old which is normally sixteen and a half percent of the dead person’s average weekly wage. That also can become significant.
- That happens until they’re 18 however if they go to college it can be extended until they’re 23.
- Most people don’t know that these exist especially Third Country Nationals.
Now Third Country Nationals are people under a sub-contract that probably never have met or know the person who has the direct contract with the government. These people have no clue and no idea that if they get injured or they get killed that they have benefits under the United States government.
My Job is to Help Everyone Possible
My job is to try to hit those people and to find them and explain to them what their rights are.
Now you may think that there’s a one year statute of limitations normally on Defense Base Act claims including on death claims however there is a presumption in the law that states that if when you know or should have known that your entitled to these benefits that’s when the statute starts running. Not when the person dies. In a lot of cases the employer or the sub-contractor never notifies the Department of Labor of the death.
If that occurs and they don’t notify the Department of Labor within one year, the statute of limitations is no longer valid.
Also if the employer doesn’t help assist you and explain to you what your benefits might be, a judge may rule that that was improper by the employer to not tell you what your rights are and then that presumption that they filed your claim timely applies.
I’ve seen people who’ve had loved ones killed in the line of duty back as far as 2004 and 2005 who may possibly be successfully able to continue a claim and go forward with a judge on their death benefits based on the lack of an employer’s input and notice that a death occurred while under a subcontract.
Garfinkel Schwartz Handles Death Benefit Claims
No Matter Where the Accident or Injury
So I just wanted to let everyone know that we handle these types of claims no matter where you live, or where the accident or injury. Not many people know about these benefits. The benefits are significant for the family.
And I’d like to try to help every family out there that ever lost a loved one under a civilian contract. Including civilian sub-contracts in Turkey, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, a lot of these people have no idea that they were working under a U.S. government contract because the sub-contractors don’t notify them and explain to them what the situation is in terms of the hierarchy of the different contracts.
Sometimes they could be so co-mingled and mixed that a giant graph or flow-chart is necessary just to figure out who is liable for what and whether you have benefits under the Defense Base Act. And most likely you probably do
Did You Know of Someone Working in a Danger Zone?
And again this is Brian Wiklendt lead counsel at Garfinkel Schwartz if you have any questions about this or you know any family members or friends or anyone thats lives overseas that suffered the death of a loved one who was working on behalf of the government. Even if you don’t know whether they were actively working on behalf of the government or under a government contract.
If they were working in some sort of a danger zone or driving a truck transporting goods, there’s a good chance that they were doing that for someone that is connected with or has a contract with United States government.
I hope this helps. I’m here to help. Our firm is here to help 24 hours a day. Please take a look at our website at www.DefenseBaseActLaw.com where we will have a section under Death Benefits for you to look at. Thank you very much for your time I do appreciate it. Take care.