Can I File a Lawsuit If a Loved One Died Working Offshore?
Yes. Under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOSHA), the personal representative of an offshore worker may bring a civil action in admiralty against the person or vessel responsible if the death was caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on high seas beyond three nautical miles from U.S. shores.
Compensation is for the exclusive benefit of the killed worker's spouse, parent, child, or dependent relative, and it is strictly limited to monetary losses. Benefits may also be found under the Jones Act, which provides wrongful death benefits to the family of a seaman who dies due to his employer's negligence. As a seaman, you and your family would be covered under some time of maritime law, most likely either of these two.
This is, essentially, a wrongful death claim for families of seamen.
The maritime work environment is dangerous, but thankfully there are provisions and laws in place in the event of an accident or death. Work on an oil platform is not only physically demanding, but it also it comes with a large set of risks. These include flammable material, heavy equipment, and the risk of slip and fall injuries, just to name a few. Accidents can occur even if the proper safety regulations are being adhered to.
Many incidents that take place offshore could have been prevented, but often safety is sacrificed for time and cost-effectiveness. If your loved one was killed due to the negligence of another, you can file a claim under DOHSA.