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Death on the High Seas Act

Death on the High Seas Act in Weston

Admiralty & Maritime Law Attorney in Weston, Weston

When a wrongful death occurs more than three miles – or the marine league – away from the shore and on the high seas, a claim can be filed using the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). While close family members and financial dependents of the decedent can benefit from such a claim, it cannot be filed by them. Instead, DOHSA claims need to be created by someone who has been named as a personal representative of the decedent, or a professional lawyer hired by the named administrator.

Has your loved one lost their life due to employer negligence or the general unseaworthiness of their vessel? Do you need assistance with a DOHSA claim? You can rely on Rash Mueller and our admiralty and maritime disasters attorney for all the legal guidance and advocacy you need.

Our Weston injury law firm stands out due to our accolades and accomplishments, including:

  • 40+ years of collective legal and trial experience
  • Hundreds of Millions won for past clients
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Start your case with confidence. Call (954) 914-7116 today.

Damages in a DOHSA Claim

Due to the ambiguity of maritime law, it can be difficult to determine what damages you can recover after losing a loved one on the high seas. With our assistance, experience, and know-how, we can help you pursue every last cent that you deserve following such a tragedy by successfully interpreting the law and upholding your rights.

Parties that could recover compensation in a DOHSA claim are:

  • Children: Estimated total value of any care and parental guidance they should have received from the decedent throughout their lives.
  • Spouse: The actual, calculated value of the income and contribution the decedent would have given their spouse, with a subtraction for the amount of that income that would have gone solely to the decedent’s own benefit.
  • Dependents: Any other legal dependent, whether they are a child or an adult, may be able to recover the estimated cost of the care and service the decedent would have given them.

Spouses in wrongful death claims can usually collect compensation for loss of consortium or companionship. A DOHSA claim does not grant this option but it can reward an amount of compensation equal to the cost of household services or help the decedent could have offered during the marriage. A rough estimate of how many hours a month the decedent put into household chores is multiplied with what someone would have to pay to receive those same services in the state. The end result is the compensatory amount, extrapolated for many years.

DOHSA Aviation Rules

The Death on the High Seas Act also considers aviation disasters and accidents as potential grounds for a lawsuit under the act. An aviation crash that occurs more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest shore is considered to have occurred on the high seas, and fits the requirements of the DOHSA. Private aircraft and helicopter flights booked without any promise of compensation do not qualify; in general, DOHSA applies only to airline disasters.

Call our firm at (954) 914-7116 to discuss your legal options today.

Hundreds of Millions Won on Behalf of Our Clients

  • Class Action Case $4,000,000,000

    Helped in litigating landmark tobacco class action case in Miami.

  • Trucking Crash Case $14,000,000
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    Medical malpractice case brought by a 53-year-old man against a surgery center and doctor for improper discharge after cervical fusion resulting in catastrophic injury.

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    Recovered for businesses and individuals who were damaged by the BP Oil Spill.

  • Maritime Claim $9,000,000

    Cruise line crew member injury case.

  • Railroad Injury Case $3,500,000

    Railroad locomotive engineer injury case.

  • Maritime Claim $3,475,000

    Confidential settlement for a 38-year-old Chief Stewardess on a 112’ superyacht that injured her back lifting a jet ski necessitating two back surgeries, the first one botched by a doctor selected by the vessel owners.

  • Medical Malpractice $2,500,000

    Recovered settlement for mother who died from cervical cancer due to negligence of laboratory and doctor, both of whom misinterpreted and misreported biopsy specimen as benign when it was actually cancerous. The settlement is significantly more than arbitration damage caps for medical malpractice cases in the state.

  • Maritime Claims $2,200,000

    Settlement in a cruise line crew member wrongful death case.

  • Medical Malpractice $2,000,000

    Medical malpractice case brought on behalf of a 73-year-old woman against the hospital and intensive care doctors who misdiagnosed and failed to timely diagnose her encephalitis resulting in brain damage.


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