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Death on the High Seas Act Lawyer (DOHSA)

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    The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) serves to compensate family members after their loved ones are killed in international waters. In order for a claim to be made under the act, the death at issue must have occurred because of another party’s wrongful act, neglect, or default.

    There are several conditions that must be satisfied when filing a claim under the DOHSA. Our attorneys can help claimants take the appropriate steps toward compensation.

    If your loved one was killed at sea because of another party’s negligence, get help obtaining the payment available to you. Get in touch with our experienced Death on the High Seas Act lawyers by calling Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369. Our attorneys can review your case for free.

    What Deaths Does the Death on the High Seas Act Apply to?

    In order for a claim made under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) to succeed, the claimant must be a dependent of the deceased mariner. Still, compensation may be afforded to multiple family members of the deceased. For example, a victim’s spouse, children, parents, grandchildren, and grandparents may all receive payment.

    Also, the fatal accident at issue must have occurred beyond three nautical miles from the shore of the United States. DOHSA claims can also compensate family members after airplane accidents that occur at least 12 miles from U.S. territorial waters. Our Death on the High Seas Act lawyers can help determine if an accident occurred in a location that allows for a claim to be made under the act.

    Furthermore, when filing a claim under the DOHSA, the death must have happened because of another party’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. The following are examples of negligent acts committed by vessel owners that can cause fatal accidents on the high seas:

    • Failure to provide proper maintenance and upkeep for a vessel
    • Failure to replace old or poorly maintained equipment
    • Improper safety inspections or lack of safety inspections
    • Failure to tend to hazardous conditions on a vessel
    • Failure to provide enough lifeboats for crew and passengers
    • Failure to provide proper safety equipment
    • Failure to provide adequate medical care
    • Failure to follow safety procedures

    Still, there are many other forms of negligent conduct that can cause fatal accidents on the high seas. Victims’ families can contact our Death on the High Seas Act lawyers for help evaluating the strength of their potential claims.

    What is the Difference Between the Death on the High Seas Act and the Jones Act?

    There are key differences to remember between the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) and the Jones Act. The Jones Act serves to compensation seamen who are injured during the course of their employment. In order for claims to be made under the Jones Act, victims must have been hurt while assisting in the operation of the covered vessel. For example, employees on cruise ships will be covered by the Jones Act for on-the-job injuries they sustain.

    The DOHSA does not carry the same occupational necessity outlined by the Jones Act. This means that the DOHSA also covers passengers who suffer fatal accidents on maritime vessels over three miles outside the coast of the United States. For example, the family of a cruise ship passenger who fell overboard may be compensated under the DOHSA, but not the Jones Act. Additionally, the DOHSA will cover deaths suffered by airline passengers after crashes that occur at least 12 miles from territorial waters.

    During your free case review, our Death on the High Seas Act lawyers can help determine if you should seek compensation through the DOHSA or through the Jones Act.

    Categories of Damages Available Through the Death on the High Seas Act

    After a death that occurs on the high seas, there are multiple forms of compensation available to victims’ family members. Spouses, children, parents, grandchildren, and other dependent relatives may all recover payment. However, the categories of damages that may be awarded are limited to financial losses suffered by qualifying family members. The following are examples of damages that may be compensated:

    • Loss of expected financial support
    • The cost of counseling services
    • Loss of inheritance
    • Loss of familial services

    Unfortunately, claims for non-economic damages may not be made under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). Accordingly, victims’ family members will be unable to recover payment for their grief and mental anguish. Furthermore, claims for loss of consortium and loss of society are also prohibited under the act. When filing your claim, the assistance of our attorneys can be highly valuable when fighting for the full range of compensation available to you.

    Time Limit to File a Claim Under the Death on the High Seas Act

    After a death that occurs on the high seas, the victim’s family will typically have three years to file claim for benefits under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). Failure to adhere to this deadline could cause you to miss out on crucial compensation.

    Furthermore, claims made under the DOHSA require a great deal of preparation. Claimants must present evidence that demonstrates that the required elements have been met. Accordingly, the longer you wait to begin building your case, the more difficult it can become to gather necessary evidence. The sooner you reach out to our experienced Death on the High Seas Act lawyers, the more easily our team can collect the information needed to support your claim.

    Proving Negligence in a Death on the High Seas Act Claim

    The Death on the High Seas Act applies to deaths that occur because of other party’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. There are several forms of evidence that can be used to accomplish this task. The following are examples of evidence utilized by our experienced Death on the High Seas Act lawyers:

    • Witness statements
    • Accident reports
    • Expert witness statements
    • Surveillance footage
    • Personal recollections

    Our attorneys can help investigate the cause of an accident on the high seas. Afterwards, our team will help victims’ families collect evidence and determine the proper course of action.

    If You Need to File a Claim Under the Death on the High Seas Act, Our Attorneys Can Help

    If your loved one was killed at sea because of another party’s negligence, seek assistance from our experienced Death on the High Seas Act lawyers by calling Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369 to review your case for free.

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