In this article, you will learn about Maritime wrongful death law, including the causes of action and statutes for wrongful death. In addition, you will learn about wrongful death compensation. Ultimately, you can decide if a lawsuit is worth pursuing.
Maritime Wrongful Death Law
Maritime wrongful death law covers various maritime cases, including maritime accidents that kill people at sea. Maritime law also provides various remedies for victims, including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. These damages can vary depending on the circumstances and are usually determined by a maritime trial lawyer. In some cases, the Jones Act may be applicable, and the designated beneficiaries of the deceased have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You may visit the Law Offices of Charles D. Naylor if you need legal advice.
Under maritime wrongful death law, the employer or vessel operator may be liable for the death or injury of a seafarer who that company employed at the time of the accident. In addition to these claims, the survivors’ families may be entitled to financial compensation if the seaman died due to negligence.
In a recent case, the Supreme Court has addressed the extent to which a maritime wrongful death action may recover damages for a seaman’s untimely death or injury. Maritime Wrongful Death Compensation
A family member may bring a wrongful death lawsuit during a maritime accident. A wrongful death claim can be brought under the Jones Act, General Maritime Law, or the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). Such a lawsuit typically alleges the ship’s crew’s negligence or the vessel’s unseaworthiness.
The maritime industry has improved but still suffers from fatalities due to poor safety. Although the industry has always had inherent risks and challenges, many of these deaths could have been prevented. Maritime wrongful death lawsuits seek compensation for the decedent’s death and the family’s pain and suffering.
Although DOHSA does not apply to maritime deaths that occur in territorial waters, there are many cases where an eligible family member can recover a portion of the deceased’s compensation. This compensation is not financial but is instead awarded as punishment and deterrence.
Maritime Wrongful Death Causes of Action
The surviving family members or heirs of a deceased person frequently file maritime wrongful death lawsuits. Deaths may make these claims on the High Seas Act, the Jones Act, or general maritime law. Usually, the crew or vessel is held liable for carelessness in the claim.
While many maritime wrongful death cases have successfully obtained compensation for victims, the legal system can be difficult to navigate. First, filing a claim cannot be easy because maritime law hasn’t been interpreted similarly in different jurisdictions. As a result, there is a great deal of ambiguity and disagreement about what circumstances are covered under the statute.
In the 1920s, Congress passed the Jones Act, which established a wrongful death remedy for a deceased seaman. The DOHSA also creates a wrongful death remedy against the deceased seaman’s employer. However, claims under the DOHSA must occur more than three nautical miles from shore. Nevertheless, in 1970, the Supreme Court recognized maritime common law death claims in Moragne v. States Marine Lines, Inc., 398 U.S. 376 (1970).
Maritime Wrongful Death Statutes
If you or a loved one has died while working or playing at sea, you may be eligible to file a maritime wrongful death lawsuit. These statutes protect maritime workers and passengers from the negligent acts of employers and vessel owners. Depending on the circumstances, the statute can cover the death of a sea passenger, seaman, or related worker. In addition to maritime wrongful death statutes, you may be able to file a claim for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
Maritime wrongful death statutes allow maritime workers to recover medical expenses for emergency services and hospitalization. They may also recover lost wages and potential earnings. In some cases, funeral and burial expenses may also be covered. Nonmonetary damages, including pain and suffering, may also be compensated. Maritime wrongful death statutes vary by jurisdiction, so it is important to consult with a maritime attorney to determine your eligibility.
While maritime wrongful death statutes are similar to those found on land, they have some unique features. Unlike on-land wrongful death claims, maritime wrongful death lawsuits are typically brought by the family of the deceased seafarer. A wrongful death claim often alleges negligence on the ship crew, as well as the unseaworthiness of the vessel.