What to Do When Your Loved One Gets Fatally Injured Due to a Maritime Accident?

Updated on August 27, 2023

According to the study, the maritime industry is one of the most dangerous working environments for people since it poses high rates of severe or fatal injuries despite the safety guidelines and protocols.

In case a person has suffered the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death that occurred in the maritime industry, that person is entitled to compensation. While it won’t bring back their deceased loved one, the compensation can at least alleviate the grieving process and the financial fear.

Maritime death benefits and how it helps?

When someone loses a loved one who works in the maritime industry means they have also lost a good income. This could potentially cause stress to the whole family, especially if it’s their main and only source. Getting death benefits claims can at least provide financial security for the grieving family members.

It can also be used to finance the funeral expenses as well as for the possible counseling or medical assistance in case one or more of the family members is struggling to deal with the loss. After all, losing a loved one, especially if it’s a parent, is a tragic experience that comes with short- and long-term effects.

How to claim maritime death benefits?

Getting a maritime wrongful death claim is not an easy task. What you need is an experienced maritime personal injury attorney to help you with your maritime wrongful death claims.

Besides, it is the only and best way to ensure that one is justly and appropriately compensated. Below are the things that they will do for you to help you with your maritime wrongful death claim.

  • The maritime lawyer will first need to determine if you are qualified for the wrongful death claim. Technically, only the spouse and/or the children of the decedent only have the right to such a claim. 
  • The lawyer will also need to determine which law and jurisdiction suit your case based on facts presented, evidence, and written statements from witnesses.
  • The lawyer is responsible for determining the cause of death in detail, especially if there’s negligence involved since that can be used to increase the compensation further.
  • The lawyer also determines and fights for the right compensation. They will determine the best calculation and ascertain a value that is relevant to the law.
  • Before they file the case in court, they make sure that all the necessary documents that support your claim are thoroughly investigated.
  • In case of settlement or negotiation with the other party, they make sure that you get the best possible compensation.

While the above actions were just simplified, the real process can become arduous and time-consuming, depending on the nature of your case.

Furthermore, there are times that the employer has prepared a settlement offer. However, it is essential to become vigilant and get in touch with a maritime lawyer immediately. The reason is that some employers take advantage and offer an unjust settlement. Avoid making transactions with such kinds of employers without a lawyer beside you and allow the law to decide what’s best for you.

Sources when it comes to maritime wrongful death claim

The death claim compensation depends on the decedent’s current line of work as well as the place where the fatal accident occurred.

The Jones Act. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 generally covers seaman. If a seaman dies while they are in duty, the Jones act provides compensation to the decedent’s beneficiaries, which include the spouse and their children, or in case the seaman has no spouse and children, their parents will receive the benefits. However, to qualify for this compensation, the one who files the claim must prove that there’s negligence on the part of the employer. 

DOHSA. The “Death on the High Seas Act” was created almost the same time as The Jones Act. The difference between the two Acts is that DOHSA allows a wrongful death claim if the decedent was killed beyond U.S. waters. However, one should take note that DOHSA is only applicable for seamen that were fatally injured on commercial vessels. If the accident occurred on a private vessel, the surviving family members wouldn’t be able to file a wrongful death claim. Also, similar to The Jones Act, the one who files the claim must prove that there’s negligence on the part of the employer. 

General maritime law. The general maritime law, on the other hand, allows wrongful death claims for both maritime and non-maritime workers involved in a fatal injury, which leads to death as long as it occurs within territorial waters.

Conclusion And Credits

Filing a maritime or wrongful death claim is an arduous task. However, with the help of a personal injury law firm, they can make the process a little bit easier. And more importantly, they will help you get the compensation you deserve.

Author Keith Brais
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