New Jersey Mercenary Injury Lawyers

Background Information

Although traditional soldiers are not eligible for workers’ compensation, mercenaries are. Mercenaries are security consultants or private military contractors who provide armed combat or security services. They do not always work for a nation; a large company or an organization such as the United Nations may hire mercenaries to provide operational support in military missions.[1] These may take place in combat zones. Sometimes they may be hired for peacekeeping. Mercenary warfare is part of American history; French General Marquis de Lafayette, a notable mercenary, was hired to train George Washington’s forces during the Revolutionary War.[2] In this regard, mercenaries have their role to play.

Mercenaries have often played a supplemental role alongside militaries since the earliest days of organized warfare. They can bring unique skillsets unseen among members of the military and are usually skilled at their profession for them to be able to be hired. They might have had previous quasi-military experience before working as a mercenary, such as working in a police force or law enforcement. They may have even been previous military members, or veterans.

The business of hiring mercenaries is increasing within its scope. As state and non-state actors realize the importance of security services in unstable regions around the world, mercenaries are an attractive option. Many people go into mercenary work because of the good pay, notably higher than a soldier. Types of missions mercenaries may be tasked with are guarding oil wells, or client compounds in hostile territory, including from protests. They may also be hired for more high-risk engagements, such as overthrowing a government (coup d’état).

Mercenary Injuries

Mercenaries can see a variety of injuries during their work, including death. They may sustain similar injuries to soldiers, including:

  • Shrapnel and gunshot wounds
  • Lost limbs
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Tinnitus and hearing loss, typically from exposure to noise
  • Sprains and strains
  • Limited range of motion, especially in ankles and knees[3]

Mercenaries may also be victims of post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition not uncommon among soldiers.

Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

To be eligible for workers’ compensation as a mercenary, you must meet one of the qualifications of the Defense Base Act, passed in 1941. It covers:

  • All employees working overseas for private employers on U.S. military bases or on any lands used by the U.S. for military purposes outside the continental U.S. in any Territory or possession.
  • All employees working on public works contracts with any U.S. government agency outside the continental U.S.
  • All employees working on contracts approved or funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act, generally providing for cash sale of military equipment, materials, or services to allies, if the contract is performed outside the continental U.S.
  • All employees working for American employers providing welfare or similar services outside the U.S. for the benefit of the armed forces (such as the United Service Organizations).[4]

Further Eligibilities

In addition to these qualifications, the Defense Base Act was created in a way that provided fewer limitations on who would be eligible for coverage. You should know that:

  • The DBA applies to all employees, not just U.S. citizens.
  • The DBA applies to foreign employers employing only third country nationals.
  • The DBA applies to the prime contractor and to every subcontractor.
  • The language in a government contract does not determine whether the DBA applies. If the private military contractor does not require DBA coverage as part of their contract, the employer/contractor takes on the risk of being uninsured.
  • The DBA applies regardless of the length of the mercenary’s contract, whether it be a few days a year, or longer.
  • The conditions of the work make it so that a causal relationship between the employment of the injured worker and the injury is not necessarily required. The private military contractor (PMC) does not even have to be engaged in an activity benefiting the employer at the time of injury. The “Zone of Special Danger” doctrine is applicable in this regard, where if a person is at a particular place through virtue of his or her employment, then any injury that occurs in that place should be covered by workers’ compensation.[5]

Additional Information

Mercenaries have found success in their engagements in third word countries, such as in Africa, where their services are sought after by government and antigovernment groups. Their presence makes it possible for nations and organizations to execute their missions. Fighting or living in a combat zone, however, can be stressful and demanding. They may experience disruptions in sleep schedules due to the nature of their work, which weakens the immune system and makes one more prone to injury. Mercenaries are also often required to be highly vigilant to seek out and avoid danger, which can take a toll on the mind over time. It is important that taking these uncertainties into consideration, that mercenaries apply self-care techniques, such as getting adequate sleep, eating healthy, staying hydrated, and taking rest breaks by coordinating with coworkers if possible. This has the effect of heightening one’s attentive abilities, which may make the difference in avoiding injury, and even death.

Like soldiers, mercenaries may see their families seldom due to the nature of their work. It is recommended that they keep in contact with their families so that they can be able to perform their work to the highest extent. This could be through traditional mail, cell phone, or a computer if possible.

Why Choose Us?

At Livingston DiMarzio, our codename is not The Workplace Lawyers for any reason. We specifically home in on the circumstances surrounding your injury. Even if the injury was your fault, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Our mercenary injury lawyers understand the critical nature of a mercenary’s work in providing support in security peacekeeping missions, for example. We also know that it is one of the most dangerous jobs and requires representation you can be proud of. You can call us for a free consultation at (973) 718-5173 or fill out a case form with your case details and we will get back to you. If we choose to take your case, you pay nothing unless you win.

[1] Amza, A. (2018, October 16). Six things you should know about modern mercenaries of war. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from https://www.trtworld.com/americas/six-things-you-should-know-about-modern-mercenaries-of-war-20831

[2] Richardson, D. (2018, March 21). US mercenaries define overseas warfare-but at home, they still fight for Healthcare. Observer. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from https://observer.com/2018/03/mercenaries-define-modern-warfare-healthcare-fight/

[3] U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2022, January 20). Veterans and Military Health. MedlinePlus. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/veteransandmilitaryhealth.html

[4] The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. (2020, December 14). What is the defense base act? AmEquity. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from https://www.amequity.com/longshore-insider/article/what-is-the-defense-base-act

[5] Ibid.

WorkplaceLawyers.com is the website for the workers compensation attorneys firm of Livingston, DiMarzio LLP Our team of attorneys is made up of New Jersey Mesothelioma Lawyers, NJ Workers Comp Lawyers, Employment Lawyers and Certified New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Attorneys.

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