Over 80 Combined Years Of Maritime Law Experience

What laws allow for recovery of damages after death at sea?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2022 | Maritime Law

There are many job opportunities for people to work on ships and in the shipping industry in Alaska. These jobs require hard work and are labor-intensive. They also usually involve the use of heavy machinery to perform various job tasks. Due to these facts, it is very important that the people working on ships and the owners and operators of the ships provide the proper safety equipment and follow the proper safety procedures.

When these are not followed, serious injuries can occur. Unfortunately, sometimes,  people will lose their lives while working on ships. This can be particularly difficult for the family and friends of the victim who may rely on them for support. If the death was caused by the negligence of other people who own or operate the ship, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for their loss.

Three laws that apply to deaths at sea

There are three different laws under which people could seek compensation. One is the Jones Act, which allows for recovery of damages if the owner’s negligence is responsible for the accident causing the death. Under the Jones Act, there could be compensation for pain and suffering as well.

Another law that governs wrongful death at sea is the Death on the High Seas Act. This only applies in situations where the ship was at least three nautical miles from the shores of the United States. This law applies in any situation when another person caused the accident, resulting in death. It does not need to be the fault of the owner like with the Jones Act.

The third law under which people may be able to receive compensation for a death at sea is general maritime law. This applies in situations where the other two laws may not apply. It allows for recovery for damages in most situations when another caused the death at sea.

No one should lose their life at sea, but accidents do occur to seamen from Alaska. It is unfortunate and it is important that their families are compensated for their loss. Experienced attorneys understand the importance of this compensation and may be able to guide families through the process.