The Death on High Seas Act was enacted in 1920 to protect any kind of death action on the high seas or other navigable waters. It was initially intended to permit recovery of damages against a shipowner by a spouse, child or dependent family member of a seaman killed in international waters in wrongful death cases caused by negligence or unseaworthiness. It also applies to cases arising out of airline disasters over the high seas that occur beyond the 12-nautical miles of U.S. territorial waters.
If your loved one was killed in international waters, a dedicated Pascagoula Death on High Seas Act lawyer could help your case. They could investigate the incident and help the decedent’s surviving estate recover compensation. Speak to a seasoned maritime injury attorney to learn about your legal rights and options.
The Death on the High Seas Act, DOHSA, applies “when the death of an individual is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas beyond three nautical miles from the shore of the United States,” per 46 U.S.C. §30302. Courts have interpreted this provision to refer to the site of an accident on the high seas, not to where the death occurs or where the wrongful act may have originated.
The high seas are those international waters more than 12 nautical miles from the shore of the United States or one of its islands. Deaths that occur within three miles of shore are covered by state law, the Jones Act, or general maritime law wrongful death and survival provisions. An aircraft disaster has to occur on or over international waters to qualify as a Death on High Seas Act case.
A skilled Pascagoula Death on High Seas Act lawyer could help the decedent’s surviving family understand the unique aspects of maritime law.
Only a representative appointed by the court may file a wrongful death claim on the family’s behalf. Family members may not sue individually. The role of a personal representative in a Death on High Seas Act case is to represent the family and work with the attorney to benefit the Decedent’s beneficiaries.
The only family members who are entitled to compensation from the suit are the passenger’s wife, husband, parent, child, or dependent relative. It is best to speak to a knowledgeable Pascagoula Death on High Seas Act lawyer to determine which of the decedent’s surviving family members may be eligible to recover from a wrongful death claim.
Contributory negligence plays a role when it comes to death on the high seas, but it is not a bar to recovery. If the decedent was somehow negligent, it is not a complete bar to financial recovery. The amount of recoverable compensation could be reduced depending on their degree of negligence.
A diligent Death on High Seas Act attorney in Pascagoula could help individuals understand the law regarding contributory negligence and help them prove the defendant’s liability.
What constitutes a qualifying situation under the Death on High Seas Act is when a death is caused by a wrongful act occurring on the high seas. The Death on High Seas Act is designed to protect seamen killed in international waters. It also covers plane crashes in international waters.
When a wrongful death occurs, the responsible party could be held liable in court. Speak to an experienced Pascagoula Death on High Seas Act lawyer to learn about how your family may be eligible for compensation. Call today to schedule a consultation.