Family members of seamen who lost their lives in the line of duty may have legal options under United States maritime laws. The situation will decide which laws you are eligible to file claims under.
If your family member was killed at sea on the job, an expert maritime attorney can assist you to determine your legal rights and assist you in determining whether to file a claim.
What Is The Death On The High Seas Act
The Death on the High Seas Act, also known as DOHSA, is a maritime law providing for the reparation of families of seamen killed in global waters because of neglect on behalf of a coworker or the vessel he was on. In the event that the death happened more than 3 miles from the coast of the U.S. or its territories, families may be entitled to file grievances under these laws.
Compensation can only be given to the employee's spouse, offspring or dependent relatives and is limited to monetary and pecuniary damages. Family members may also be qualified to receive emotional damages under some circumstances.
Spouses might also be qualified to claim loss of household services, which means the loss of assistance provided by the seaman in raising children and household functions. DOHSA does not allow for loss of support, consortium and companionship damages and preempts state or other maritime regulations that do.
Jones Act Claims
As the name would indicate, the DOHSA is especially for death incidences of a seaman. If your loved one was hurt as a seaman, he should go after a case under the Jones act law, which harbors specific varieties of maritime workers who have been hurt in the line of their job by reason of disregard. There will be instances, nonetheless, where surviving immediate family members could file a Jones Act wrongful death claim.
If your family member was killed in U.S. seas within a marine league of shore or while in port, the surviving family members could be qualified to file a suit under this legislation as opposed to the DOHSA. In this situation, the family members can be permitted to claim further compensation. If carelessness or reports of unseaworthiness against the vessel owner can be determined, reparation for loss of consortium and punitive damages might be viable.
Other Applicable Wrongful Death Laws
The Jones Act sets forth a solution for the families of seamen deceased due to employer disregard. In the event that the death was the result of negligence in part or in whole by an individual other than the employer, the seaman's family could be able to file suit under general maritime law or state wrongful death statutes.
When the death happens in federal waters, the wrongful death law of the adjacent state might be applied. However, with the a large number components that go into concluding not just whether a legal claim is feasible but also what law it should be submitted under, talking with a maritime lawyer is the advisable solution for the families of seamen who lost their lives in the course of duty.