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Death on the High Seas Act

Over $10 billion won for the injured & Grieving

Louisiana DOHSA Attorneys

The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) of 1920

The DOHSA is an act passed in 1920 to protect maritime workers and their families by allowing them to seek financial compensation for a wrongful death accident occurring at sea. Recently, the DOHSA has branched out to include commercial airline crashes that fall at least 12 nautical miles from the U.S. waters border. Dock workers and other offshore employees who work within 3 miles of the shore are not covered by DOHSA—instead, they are covered by the Longshoreman & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. To learn more about that law, visit our page on it.

Before this act was passed, there was no tangible piece of legislature plaintiffs could use against shipping companies to seek retribution for the loss of their loved one.

Since its creation, workers, manufacturers, supervisors, and owners of airlines and shipping vessels are now held to a higher set of standards and regulations designed create a safe working environment. When theses standard are not met, and a family loses a loved one because of accident that could have been avoided, said families now have a piece of ground to stand on in fighting for the compensation they absolutely deserve.

The Dangers of Maritime Work

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the regulative organization in charge of setting standards of practice, gathering evidence from, and enforcing violations of rules pertaining to the safety of workplaces in every industry in the United States. In their findings, OSHA has concluded that maritime workers have double the likelihood of experiencing and injury or death in an accident than even the construction industry. This would make maritime work one of the most perilous types of work in our country today.

Employees on offshore sites face dangers including:

  • The possibility of falling overboard
  • Exposure to harmful fumes in enclosed spaces
  • Chemical burns
  • Powerful electrical shocks
  • Explosions of machinery
  • Piracy

If the death of your loved was the result of or related to any of these kinds of accidents, or an accident unlisted here, it is important that you understand the DOHSA and how it can help you. Additionally, it is important to hire expert maritime legal counsel that can navigate this act and put it to use in at least partially providing recovery for your significant loss.

DOHSA Limitations

Although it has been a vastly helpful piece of legislature since its establishment in 1920, the DOHSA has notable restrictions. As mentioned, it will cover death in the event of a commercial airline crash, but only if the airline crash occurred 12 mile past the border of United States waters.

If your case qualifies, and it comes time for recovering financial compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one, DOHSA compensation only covers certain aspects of your loss. In many wrongful death suits, families can receive compensation for pain and suffering, loss of future wages, and loss of companionship, but these losses are not covered under DOHSA.

The act only covers financial compensation immediately pertaining to the loss of your loved one and no other related expenses. However, there are other avenues through which to obtain compensation for those expenses and an expert legal team can navigate them for you.

Maritime Legal Representation

Arnold & Itkin LLP is a nationally renowned personal injury firm dedicated to bringing justice and order back to victims and families of victims who have suffered a tragedy that should have been avoided. Our experts will go to any length to provide you with the help you need.

If your loved one was wrongfully killed at sea in a commercial shipping or aviation accident off the coast of Louisiana, call us today at (888) 493-1629 to schedule your free consultation and begin your fight for compensation.

Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $8 Billion Top 3 Largest Jury Verdict in U.S. History Arnold & Itkin LLP tried a Risperdal case against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn about one of the drug’s most damaging side effects: gynecomastia. Our skill, hard work, and dedication resulted in the third-largest jury verdict ever obtained ...
  • $357 Million Largest Workplace Accident Settlement in Texas history Arnold & Itkin LLP secured a massive nine-figure settlement against a transnational corporation for a workplace incident. The settlement set a Texas record for being the largest personal injury settlement in the state’s history.
  • $205 Million Confidential Settlement Obtained for Numerous Clients Arnold & Itkin reached a record $205,000,000 settlement on behalf of clients after several years of hard-fought litigation. The case settled just before trial was set to begin.
  • $171 Million One of the Largest Confidential Settlements in History Arnold & Itkin worked over the course of several years to represent clients in a case that many other law firms turned down. In the end, we were able to obtain a record-setting confidential settlement of $171 million.
  • $117 Million Largest Single-Event Personal Injury Verdict in Louisiana History Arnold & Itkin represented a pregnant woman who experienced stomach pain and called Acadian Ambulance. The driver of the ambulance drove the ambulance into the back of a sugar cane truck causing the plaintiff's spine to be severed at T4 and for her ...
  • $116 Million Confidential Settlement Arnold & Itkin LLP negotiated a massive nine figure settlement on behalf of their clients after several years of hard fought litigation.
  • $110 Million Record Settlement Achieved for Victims of Defective Products Arnold & Itkin obtained a record settlement for individuals harmed by defective, dangerous products. The result exemplifies our commitment to clients and justice for those seriously injured by the conduct of others.
  • $105 Million Record Settlement for Dangerous Product Victims Arnold & Itkin’s legal team helped represent those harmed by dangerous products. We were successful in recovering a $105 million settlement.
  • $97 Million Massive Settlement Secured for Refinery Workers Arnold & Itkin is proud to share that after months of preparation for trial, our firm was able to secure a huge settlement for clients who were injured in a refinery fire. Find out more now.
  • $92.7 Million Record Settlement for Burn Injury Victim Arnold & Itkin LLP secured a substantial settlement for a man who suffered severe burns in an accident at his job. The settlement set a new record statewide for workers with similar injuries.
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“They really did have your back and fought a giant. That's what it was. I mean, me, just a little guy going against a major corporation—I was nothing. But then Arnold & Itkin came in and they just really took over.”
Dakota Workplace Explosion Victim

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