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A Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and Defense Base Act Law Firm Fighting for the Injured.
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post-trau·mat·ic stress dis·or·der
  1. a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.

If you are a widow or a loved one of a civilian contractor who has struggled with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or has committed suicide as a result of a work-related injury while working overseas in a war zone you may be wondering whether your loved one’s death is covered by the Defense Base Act. Our firm can help guide you on the law and the rights of your loved one who performed work overseas.


As we move into unprecedent times the Attorneys at Jo Ann Hoffman & Associates are here to help you not only through your legal case, but also guide you on how to get help for your personal issues caused as a result of your Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from your work-related overseas injuries. As many of our clients are suffering from PTSD, as a consequence of war, we are very vigilant and attentive to address our client’s specific needs on a day-to-day basis. Not only do we provide our clients with access to a group of attorneys in our firm with vast knowledge of their case to help them from the beginning to the end of their legal process, we also have a firm that is willing to help locate professionals who can help our clients cope with their symptoms. PTSD develops when a person experiences a form of a severe trauma and as a result of that trauma their personal life as well as their health are affected. Civilian contractors experience many of the same traumatic experiences and war related attacks as U.S. military veterans. While US Military veteran injuries are covered by the Veterans Administration, civilian contractors that are hired by the Department of State or private companies are covered by the Defense Base Act.

We understand that the aggravation and excruciating pain associated with PTSD or even physical injuries may be too much to handle at times, which can lead to depressive thoughts and even thoughts of harming yourself. However, the Defense Base Act does not usually cover self-inflicted injuries, such as suicide. Truczinskas v. Director, OWCP, 699 F.3d 672, (1st Cir. 2012). In this case, the court ruled that suicide in the ordinary case is not covered by the act. Nevertheless, due to the increase of suicides caused by these overseas injuries it is becoming more common for courts to make the connection between the work-related injury and the cause of the suicide. As stated above, the DBA usually does not cover self-inflicted injuries such as suicide but if it can be proved that the suicide was the direct result of not being able to cope with these work-related injuries and the disability this may be deemed a work-related injury covered under the Defense Base Act.

The Attorneys at Jo Ann Hoffman & Associates understand, through many years of experience providing legal assistance to clients with PTSD, that as a result of working overseas and returning home to deal with the pressures of adjusting to civilian life, that these changes may not be easy and can take a mental toll. We also understand that the stress of trying to adjust may cause difficulties in your personal family life which could lead to thoughts of harming yourself or others. We assure you that our ultimate duty is to help and protect the health and safety of our clients. While we have clients from all over the world who have served overseas, we recognize your pain in not being able to cope with your injury.   Jo Ann Hoffman & Associates will continue to help our clients all over the world. If you have any questions regarding a Defense Base Act injury claim, contact us today.

Please do not hesitate to call the National Suicide prevention hotline 800-235-8619 if you need help.

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