Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA)
The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) is a United States admiralty law that was created in 1920 to permit recovery of damages by family members of a seaman who was killed in international waters or in a wrongful death situation. Today, the DOHSA has also extended to protect cases where an airline disaster over the high seas occurred beyond 12 nautical miles of the territorial limit of U.S. waters.
This act was created to hold employers accountable for the safety measures that are required for a safe working environment. Seamen and harbor workers are required to complete hazardous tasks on a daily basis, and their lives depend on the ability of their employers to create a safe work environment. When a maritime employer's irresponsibility or negligence leads to the death of a worker, the survivor's family can file for compensation under the Death on High Seas Act.
Hazards of Maritime Work
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), the rate of injuries and accidents for shipyard work is more than twice that of the construction industry, making it one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. It is especially important for shipyard workers to understand their rights under maritime law so that they and their families can be prepared for when an accident or fatality occurs. When you contact a maritime attorney from our firm about a wrongful death situation, you will receive knowledgeable legal counsel about how to proceed with filing a claim and seeking compensation.
A personal representative of the deceased can bring a DOHSA claim on the behalf of the decedent's spouse, children, or other dependents. The DOHSA limits the compensation available to the monetary loss suffered by the family as a result of the death and does not cover non-pecuniary damages. In short, this means that family members are not compensated for loss of companionship, pain and suffering, as well as earning potential or future medical expenses. If the death occurred on an offshore vessel, it must be beyond three nautical miles from the shore of any state to qualify under the DOHSA.
Maritime Injury Lawyer for DOHSA Claims
At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we understand the pain and grief that is involved with a wrongful death accident. Our caring team will serve you tirelessly to provide you with the highest quality of legal representation during this trying time. Please contact us about your situation, even if you don't see the need to recover monetary compensation. It is important for negligent employers to be held responsible for their actions, and you may be able to prevent future accidents on offshore rigs by taking legal action with the help of a personal injury attorney.