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I suffered a head injury while working in overseas as a defense contractor. Immediately after my injury I suffered...

Orlando, FL |

I suffered a head injury while working in overseas as a contractor. Immediately after my injury I suffered vision impairment. I saw my assigned medical officer and she stated that I was suffering from eye strain and that I go and purchase eye drops. In the meantime as days went on, my vision continue to worsen to a point were I couldn't see out of my right eye. I experience symptoms such as blurry and double vision and ptosis. It was clear that I need to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, the medical officer refuse to take my injury seriously until my supervisor intervene and got me onboard a helicopter to fly to the nearest hospital and eventually back to the united states. If it wasn't for him, I would probably still be stuck overseas. I feel a sense of negligence towards my care.

In regards to medical care, I being covered under the Defense Base Act (DBA). My main concerns is the level of treatment I received from the medical officer. Not to mention before I flew back to the US, my medical officer lost my medical records. I don't like to assume, but she took a great deal of heat for the lack of care and action. Colleagues are recommending I sue her for the lack of treatment I received and the worsening of my injury. Again I suffered a head injury that i experience vision problems that consistently became worst throughout time. It took over 5 days after the injury to receive any real medical care. This is also not the first time a complaint has been filed towards medical officer hired by my employer.

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Best Answer

You may not be covered under the Florida Workers compensation law working for a defense contractor. Your case may be covered by federal law, such as the Federal Employee's Compensation Act or FECA, or it may simply be covered by a contractual clause for private arbitration pursuant to the government contract. You need to find out since the law which applies will determine whether the negligence of the assigned medical officer is an actionable claim or not. The law which applies will also determine what benefits you're entitled to and what kind of lawyer will handle your claim for you. There are only a few laywers in Florida handling FECA cases, despite hundreds of lawyers who handle Florida workers compensation cases. In either case, it is important you find a lawyer to protect your rights especially if this problem will continue in the future.
Bob Shapiro


You do have a WC claim.

WC is a no-fault system so "negligence" has nothing to do with anything. The only question is the condition of your vision and any other sequelae of your head injury, once you do NOT need further medical care. Consult a local WC attorney.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links:


As far as negligence having nothing to do with anything such as your rights, I would not necessarily agree. I would not give up on that yet. We would need to know more facts.

As far as your being covered by the Federal Employee's Compensation Act (FECA), I cannot see where you would be covered by that act from what you tell us. It only covers persons who are employees of the federal government.

If you are working for a private (that is a private business not some unit of government like a county, state or a country) contractor and you are doing some sort of work in fulfilling your employer's contract on a military base or anything having to do with public works for the US government or a service contract in connection with national defense or with military affairs, you may be covered by an extension of the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) called the Defense Base Act (DBA). This is a federal workers compensation law. If from your job, you think you may be covered under this act, you should do what others told you to do, which was to consult with a workers' compensation lawyer but very few workers' compensation lawyers handle DBA cases so be prepared to speak with a few.

Disclaimer: the above does not constitute legal advice and is only an opinion of the author as to current law. You should consult an attorney with questions about your particular situation.


There are 4 laws that define I influence coverage under the Defense Base Act.
Defense Base Act
Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act
Mutual Security Act of 1954
Dayton Peace Accords

Best bet is to retain a local DBA lawyer to discuss in detail.


I'd be interested in reviewing the terms and conditions of your employment contract. I've got a suspicion that your potential injury claim may be contemplated.

Further, you may have relief under different Federal laws based on more facts as to your employment.

Lastly, don't confuse negligence and workers compensation - they are didferent and sometimes both causes of action are possible for the same injury.