Biloxi and Gulfport Mississippi Lawyers
The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) can help families whose loved ones have died at sea. It covers death occurring at least three nautical miles from the shore of any U.S. state, district, or territory. There are some important differences between DOHSA and other types of wrongful death laws. If DOHSA does not apply in your case you may still be eligible for wrongful death compensation under other laws. The experienced maritime law attorneys of Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC can help you determine which laws apply to you.
Who Is Entitled to DOHSA Compensation
DOHSA was created to help the widows of seaman collect damages when their spouses were killed in international waters. Under DOHSA, families of maritime workers can claim compensation if the worker dies at sea. DOHSA can also provide for families of non-workers who die at sea. Those who may claim compensation under DOHSA include:
- Other dependent relatives
If your loved one died at sea because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation under DOHSA. Most claims are brought based on unseaworthiness of the vessel.
Unseaworthiness is a broad term. While it can refer to the condition and maintenance of the vessel itself and its likelihood to fail or sink, it also refers to other conditions such as the competence and behavior of crew members, safe and adequate food preparation, and overall safety conditions on the vessel.
The damages you can receive under DOSHA are based on monetary harm only. The drawback of DOHSA vs. other types of wrongful death claims is that DOHSA does not allow you to receive compensation for loss of consortium. Compensation under DOHSA can include:
- Financial contributions the deceased would have made through his income, minus the cost of his own maintenance
- Monetary value of the household services the deceased would have provided, calculated based on an hourly rate and the number of hours the deceased would have provided in services for the rest of his lifetime
- Monetary value of care and guidance children would have received from the deceased
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC at 228-374-5151 or toll free 1-855-558-2977 or contact us online. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.