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Death on the High Seas Act

The Death on the High Seas Act is one of several legal acts that were developed to protect the legal rights of maritime workers and their families. The Death on the High Seas Act allows immediate family members to sue their loved one’s employer for damages in the event of a fatality at sea.

Reaching out to a lawyer who specializes in maritime law is the first step to obtaining the compensation that your family deserves. A maritime personal injury and wrongful death lawyer is a legal professional who has extensive knowledge of maritime legal acts. A maritime lawyer can work to build a case that proves that your loved one’s employer and/or another crew member is liable for the incident.

Do not accept any offers from the insurance company or employer without first consulting with a maritime lawyer. Willie D. Powells III is an experienced Death on the High Seas Act lawyer who will work to build a case and protect your legal rights.

Willie D. Powells III will fight for maximum compensation which may include lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and other rights under maritime law. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation if your loved one has been hurt or wrongfully died as a result of an accident at sea.

Risks and Hazards of Maritime Work

Risks and Hazards of Maritime Work

Ship crew members are often overworked and spend long hours at sea. This increases the risk of mental health issues, and physical exhaustion, and reduces decision-making capabilities. These factors put maritime workers at an increased risk of suffering from an on-the-job injury, illness, and/or fatal accident.

Maritime Worker Risks and Hazards

There are numerous risks and hazards that maritime workers face on a daily basis. There are several environmental, job-related, and circumstantial factors that increase these risks.
Risks May Include:

  • Chemical Exposure
  • Fires and Explosions
  • Falls from Heights
  • Inclement Weather
  • Increased Risk of Illness
  • Slips and Falls
  • Machinery/Equipment Malfunctions
  • Water Vessel Accidents

Maritime workers also face numerous hazards based on the subindustry of their employment, including the type of water vessel, tasks, and unique responsibilities.

Risks and Hazards of Maritime Work

Working in a confined environment with other crew members significantly increases the likelihood of contracting infectious diseases.

Maritime workers are at risk of suffering from catastrophic injuries and/or death in the event of a marine disaster. These may include explosions, fires, collisions, and numerous other unplanned tragedies.

Offshore workers face an ongoing risk of drowning at sea. These incidents may result from overboard accidents, ship collisions, and/or marine disasters.

Maritime workers are at an increased risk of being a victim of workplace violence. These occurrences are often fueled by the high-stress, fast-paced work environment.

Maritime employers are responsible for making sound decisions regarding navigation and operations during inclement weather. Dangerous weather conditions are a major factor in many injury-causing and fatal maritime accidents.

Common Accidents and Injuries of Maritime Workers

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that maritime workers are six times more likely to suffer from a fatal injury than any other profession. There are several types of serious accidents and injuries that are common occurrences in the maritime industry.

Causes of Maritime Worker Injuries

There are generally multiple factors involved in serious and/or fatal maritime accidents. Employer or fellow crew member negligence is to blame in nearly all of these cases.

Crushing Fatalities

Maritime workers can face serious injury and/or death when loads are not properly secured. Falling objects can result in traumatic brain injuries, blunt force trauma, and/or crushing injuries.

Chemical Exposure

Maritime workers are at risk of injuries due to chemicals chemical exposure. Chemical exposure may result in long-term respiratory conditions, burns, and/or other health hazards.

Heavy Machinery and Equipment

Overhead equipment, cranes, hoists, wrenches, and other heavy machinery put maritime workers at risk of serious and/or fatal injuries. These injuries may result from poor equipment maintenance, inadequate safety procedures, or be caused by another crew member’s negligence.

Personal Injuries

Maritime work is a face-paced environment that requires intensive physical labor. Long hours and short staffing issues put maritime workers at risk of physical injuries. Maritime workers are more likely to experience exhaustion, muscular injuries, and other issues caused by overexertion. A high proportion of maritime workers suffer from long-term disabilities as a result of injuries to the upper body, lower body, and/or back.

Insufficient personal protective equipment, or PPE, is a significant factor in many fatal maritime accidents. Employers are responsible for ensuring that all workers are provided with the appropriate equipment to perform their jobs. Employers are also liable when they do not enforce workplace safety regulations.

What is the Death on the High Seas Act?

What is the Death on the High Seas Act?

The Death on the High Seas Act was developed in 1920 to provide legal protection for surviving family members in the event that a maritime worker died at sea. The act has been amended several times over the years to provide increased and broader protection and further allowances.

The Death on the High Seas Act applies to accidents that occur a minimum of 3 miles away from the shore. Water vessel accidents that occur close to or on the shore are protected under other maritime legal acts.

DOHSA Vs. The Jones Act

The Jones Act is a maritime legal act that protects maritime workers’ legal rights when they are harmed or killed on the job. The Death on the High Seas Act extends these coverages to all water vessel passengers in the event of wrongful death at sea.

Commercial Airline Crashes

The Death on the High Seas Act also protects passengers who suffer a fatality as a result of a commercial airline accident in foreign waters.

Do I Have a DOHSA Case?

Negligence on behalf of your loved one’s employer, ship operator, and/or fellow crew member is grounds for a DOSHA case. Only an experienced maritime lawyer can determine if the DOHSA is applicable. Your rights may be protected under several other maritime acts even if the DOHSA does not apply to your case.

What are My Rights Under the Death on the High Seas Act?

The Death on the High Seas Act allows family members of deceased maritime workers or ship passengers to sue for financial damages. These coverages only apply if a maritime lawyer can prove that negligence was a factor in the fatal accident. Liable parties could include the ship owner, operator, cruise line, employer, or another passenger on the ship.

The Rights under the Death on the High Seas Act only apply to the immediate family members of maritime workers or passengers. This may include an individual’s spouse, children, parents, or another relative. A Death on the High Seas Act lawyer can help you determine if your relationship is protected under maritime law.

The Death on the High Seas Act protects the immediate family of any passenger at sea. This could apply to cruise line passengers, oil rig workers, fishermen, etc. The DOHSA is applicable if the fatal incident occurs at sea and remains in effect even if the actual death occurs at the shore.

Negligence is the root cause of the majority of maritime cases. Employers have a legal responsibility to provide workers with the safest possible work environment. This is critically important in an already high-risk work environment.

Human errors and mechanical issues are the most common direct causes of maritime accidents and fatalities. Employers are responsible for ensuring that all OSHA regulations are enforced, all crew members are trained, and ship mechanical equipment is properly maintained.

Failure to adhere to these expectations places liability on the employer when injuries and wrongful deaths occur at sea.

Ship operators and cruise lines are responsible for ensuring that a water vessel is in proper working order and passengers are safe. These parties may be liable under the DOHSA when a fatality occurs at sea.

Why Should I Hire a Death on the High Seas Act Lawyer?

Maritime employers and ship owners are notorious for utilizing legal loopholes to escape legal liability. You need a lawyer who specializes in maritime law to fight for your loved one and family’s rights under these acts.

Rights under the Death on the High Seas Act are only applicable if a legal professional can prove negligence. A Death on the High Seas lawyer works has the knowledge and experience to handle cases related to maritime law. An experienced maritime lawyer will work to investigate and gather evidence that proves negligence or unlawful acts contributed to your loved one’s death.

Acts the Protect Maritime Workers

Maritime Law includes several acts that were developed to protect maritime workers and their family members in the event of injury or death. A maritime lawyer can review your case and determine which acts are applicable in your unique circumstances.

Reach out to an experienced maritime lawyer to ensure that you receive all of the financial compensation that you are due. Do not handle your case alone. The insurance company, loved one’s employer, and/or the ship operator will do everything in their power to provide as little compensation as possible.

Houston Maritime Law

Maritime workers in Houston and throughout Texas choose Willie D. Powells III to fight for maritime rights. Contact Willie D. Powells III today and allow an experienced maritime personal injury and wrongful death attorney to build a case for your loved one.

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