Maritime workers in Alaska know that they face a higher risk of an accident, injury or death due to the inherent danger involved in working on the seas.
Families and loved ones of maritime workers are aware of these dangers. They know that the chance of an accident or death is a daily reality for all types of maritime workers, including commercial fishermen, harbor workers or seaman.
If your loved one dies while on the job, compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit may be available.
You may not realize that there are various types of wrongful death claims that can be filed after the death of a maritime worker. The kind of claim you should file depends on your specific circumstances.
The Jones Act
A wrongful death claim can be filed under the Jones Act if your loved one was a seaman. There are various requirements that must be met to be classified as a seaman, so it is best to determine if they meet these requirements before you file.
You must prove negligence contributed to the accident that caused the death receive compensation under the Jones Act. This can be challenging, so learning how to prove negligence is important.
Death on the High Seas Act
You can also file a wrongful death claim if your loved one was a seaman through the Death on the High Seas Act (“DOHSA”). This law applies when the seaman’s death occurred 3 or ore nautical miles from the cost of the United States.
A claim under the DOHSA is filed when the cause of death was due to the unseaworthiness of the vessel. You should understand what makes a vessel unseaworthy before filing a claim under DOHSA.
Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (“LHWCA”) is designed for maritime workers who are not seamen. The LHWCA applies to workers who perform jobs in the maritime industry but do not go out onto the sea.
Unlike a Jones Act claim, you do not need to prove negligence in a LHWCA claim. You just need to show that your loved one died while performing their job duties.
Before you file a wrongful death claim, analyze your situation and determine which type of claims are available to you.