Death on the High Seas Act Attorney

The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) was passed in 1920 and picks up where wrongful death statutes leave off in international waters. When a seamen or passenger dies more than three nautical miles from the coast of the United States, DOHSA provides a means for surviving family members to secure compensation. If you have a loved one who was a seamen and or passenger who passed away at sea, more then three miles from land, contact an experienced Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) Lawyer for a free legal consultation.

For DOHSA to apply, the decedent must have died as the result of the unseaworthiness of a vessel, strict liability (on the part of an employer or 3rd party), or negligence. Many cases of wrongful death at sea can be complicated for surviving family members to pursue. Lengthy investigations, the natural or purposeful destruction of evidence, and circumstances surrounding the death all figure into whether or not surviving family members can claim federal benefits.

Benefits Available Through DOHSA

Family members, including parents, spouses, and dependents, may all receive benefits under the act. Unlike traditional wrongful death claims, DOHSA only provides recompense for the monetary amount lost as a result of the death, not funeral or medical expenses. If the investigation finds that the victim played a contributory role in the accident, the total benefits available may be comparatively reduced.

In the event that the decedent had started a civil action regarding the maritime incident prior to death, the act also allows surviving family members or a personal representative to continue the action on the decedent’s behalf.

While families are not required to secure the services of a legal representative to claim benefits under DOHSA, doing so may improve the likelihood of securing fair compensation. While employers and insurance companies may sympathize with surviving family members, they are also responsible for keeping their costs as low as possible. By securing experienced legal assistance from a Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) lawyer, families of seamen and passengers on vessels can better prepare for the inevitable and unforeseen obstacles that may arise during the course of a claim.

Aviation Accidents and DOHSA

In addition to vessel-related accidents, DOHSA also covers deaths from aviation accidents that occur in international waters. Survivors of these accidents are entitled to the same benefits as those in vessel-related accidents, as well as compensation for loss of companionship. The only aircraft not included in the act are those that are corporate, privately owned, or personal (non-compensation earning) helicopter flights.

Liability for Wrongful Death at Sea

Wrongful death cases that occur at sea can lead to complex and lengthy court processes. Having a knowledgeable DOHSA attorney by your side can lessen the stress and improve the chances of securing the amount of compensation your family deserves. At The Daspit Law Firm, our national maritime law attorneys approach every case with the same degree of precision and care we would for our own family members. We have seen the heartbreak wrongful death accidents at sea cause in surviving family members, and our primary goal is to help our clients move through the grieving process with exemplary legal support.

Our Death on the High Seas Act attorneys understand you may be dealing with several confusing and overwhelming matters after the death of a loved one. Our firm charges no fees unless we secure compensation, and we are available around the clock. If you have a simple question about filing a claim or you are ready for a complete case review, we want to help you make an informed decision about the legal actions available to you. Contact us for a free legal consultation. We serve Gulfport, Victoria, Beaumont, and nationwide.

Every DOHSA case is different. Different causes of accidents, death, and surrounding circumstances change the way each victim’s claim is evaluated and pursued. Make sure your loved one’s death is appropriately addressed in your claim by hiring a committed law firm that offers compassion and accessibility during the most difficult times of life.