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Death On The High Seas Act

New Orleans, LA Offshore Fatal Accident Lawyer

The Death On The High Seas Act (DOHSA) was enacted in 1920 and provides the families of maritime workers that die as a result of offshore accidents in international waters with a method of recovery against an offshore employer and/or vessel owner.  

DOHSA claims are similar to wrongful death claims.  However, DOHSA claims involve several issues that are unique to maritime law.  

Mother consoling her daughter

Who May Pursue A DOHSA Claim?

Under DOHSA, the spouse, children, and other dependents of a deceased seaman have the ability to pursue damages.  However, DOHSA requires that a personal representative of the family pursue damages on behalf of all family members and dependents.

A personal representative is an individual chosen by the deceased or appointed by the court to administer the deceased’s estate.  When a personal representative pursues a claim on behalf of the victim of a wrongful death, the damages recovered from the claim are added to the estate and disbursed in accordance with the decedent’s established estate plan and/or the laws of the state where the succession is established.     

What Types Of Accidents Fall Under DOHSA?

A qualifying DOHSA incident includes the death of an individual “caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas beyond a marine league from the shore of any state.”  While each case is different, generally speaking those falling under DOHSA are seamen, seafarers, and passengers of unseaworthy vessels.

What Types Of Damages Are Recoverable Under DOHSA?

DOHSA provides families of deceased seamen with an ability to recover financial compensation for pecuniary losses suffered as a result of the loss of their deceased loved one.  This means that damages provided by DOHSA are intended to compensate families for financial losses as opposed to the emotional and mental damages that naturally occur after the death of a loved one.  Recoverable damages under DOHSA include:

  • Loss of Financial Support
  • Loss of Household Services
  • Loss of Guidance   
  • Deceased’s Pre Death Pain and Suffering

If you or a family member has been seriously injured or killed as a result of an offshore maritime accident, it is very important that you contact a highly skilled, New Orleans Death on the High Seas Act attorney immediately.  No firm is better equipped than HHK to handle your personal injury claim stemming from an offshore maritime accident.  Learn about your legal rights from an experienced Louisiana offshore maritime injury lawyer by calling 504-581-4892 or by filling out our free, no obligation case review form.



Herman Herman & Katz, LLC
820 O Keefe Ave
New Orleans, LA 70113
Phone: (504) 581-4892

Copyright ©2017 Herman Herman & Katz, L.L.C.

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