The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) provides compensation to families when they have lost a shipboard worker to a fatal accident resulting from negligence. For a DOHSA claim to be successful, it’s critical to demonstrate that the worker’s death would not have occurred if the vessel’s owner(s) had taken the proper precautions to ensure the worker’s safety.
At the Amaro Law Firm, our Houston maritime injury lawyers know how help bereaved families successfully navigate the DOHSA claims process. Compassionate and experienced, our attorneys are ready to explain your rights and legal recovery options.
When negligence kills a shipboard worker, Death on the High Seas Act claims can provide grieving families with a means of seeking justice and recovery.
Requirements for Death on the High Seas Act Claims
To qualify for compensation under the DOHSA, the following requirements must be met:
The death occurred more than a “marine league,” or three nautical miles, offshore.
The death resulted from negligence on the part of the vessel’s owner.
The death occurred on a commercial vessel.
The vessel was unseaworthy.
The fatal incident occurred within three years of the claim being filed.
The claim is being pursued by a surviving dependent. This can include a spouse, a child, parents, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren. It does not include adult children who are not living at home or relatives who were not financially dependent on the worker.
The Death on the High Seas Act also applies to the dependents of American citizens who lose their lives on cruise ships or airplanes traveling over international waters.
Limitations on Death on the High Seas Act Lawsuits
In addition to the above requirements, the Death on the High Seas Act does come with some restrictions. Specifically, the DOHSA does not apply to fatalities incurred in U.S. territorial waters, such as:
The Great Lakes
Any offshore location within three nautical miles of the U.S. coastline.
Filing a Death on the High Seas Act Claim: How a Lawyer Can Help
Pursing a DOHSA claim with the help of an experienced lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm can position your claim for the maximum possible recovery. Our attorneys have years of experience filing Death on the High Seas Act claims. This has endowed us with the skills and insight necessary to:
Effectively advocate your rights
Properly value the extent of your losses
Gather all necessary evidence to prove negligence and unseaworthiness
Help you pursue all available legal remedies
Bring your DOHSA claim to the best possible resolution.
Compensation for Death on the High Seas Act Claims
The Death on the High Seas Act calls for “fair and just compensation for the pecuniary loss” stemming from the worker’s death. The “pecuniary loss” includes financial losses that have objective measurements. These include:
Lost financial support, including lost income and lost benefits or pensions
Lost guidance and instruction for minor children
Lost services (transportation, home repairs, etc.)
While pain and suffering is not covered by the DOHSA, that compensation may be available via a Jones Act claim.
Get Answers about Your Rights & Legal Options: Contact a Houston Maritime & Offshore Injury Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston maritime & offshore injury lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is waiting to advise you about your recovery options.
Call (877) 892-2797 or email our firm to set up a free initial consultation and start getting the answers that could make a big difference in your future.
Our superior representation and record of successfully resolving clients’ claims has earned us 5-star ratings on Google and Facebook.
Virtual consultations are available, and we can travel to meet you if you are unable to visit our office.
While we understand that money can never replace or bring back a loved one, we also know how beneficial these financial recoveries can be as families cope with grief and focus on picking up the pieces.