The Death on the High Seas Act, also known as DOHSA, is a wrongful death statute designed to protect the family of a seaman who died as a result of an employer’s negligence or because of an unseaworthy vessel. The injury must occur three miles off the shore of any State, the District of Columbia, or United States territory. The beneficiaries of the DOHSA include the decedent’s wife, husband, parent, child, or dependent relative.
The DOHSA is not limited to maritime-based injuries. Congress amended the DOHSA to also include commercial aviation crashes that occurred beyond twelve nautical miles from the shore of the United States. In some cases, additional damages may be available for aviation crashes that are not included in maritime DOHSA claims.
What Damages Are Available Under DOHSA?
A plaintiff who brings a Death on the High Seas Act lawsuit may be entitled to significant damages, including:
- Loss of Support
- Loss of Inheritance
- Loss of Services
- Loss of Nurture, Guidance, and Instruction
- Funeral Expenses
When the decedent’s death was the result of a commercial airline accident, the family may seek additional compensation for “loss of care, comfort, and companionship.”
Importantly, Death on the High Seas damages is limited to pecuniary damages. This means that grief, bereavement, and mental anguish damages are not compensable. Further, loss of society and consortium damages are prohibited.
Let Us Help with Your Death on the High Seas Act Lawsuit
Strongpoint Law Firm has the tools to help you with your Death on the High Seas Act lawsuit. Jon Robinson can be reached at (985) 246-3194, or you can fill out the contact form and let Jon contact you for a free case evaluation. Let Jon evaluate whether you may be entitled to damages for the loss of your loved one.