Death on the High Seas Act
The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) is a Federal law that may apply when an individual dies while on the ‘high seas’. Generally the high seas are defined as at least 3 miles off the coastline, but in some cases it can be extended further based on the original wording of the statute. If the death occurs inside of 3 miles (or perhaps further if the dividing line can be extended) then DOHSA does not apply to the death. Unfortunately when DOHSA does apply a surviving spouse or child’s recovery for their deceased loved one can be greatly limited. DOHSA is typically used by the defendant company to limit recovery of damages. It is very important to speak to an experienced maritime lawyer to determine if DOHSA must apply, and even if so, what amounts are still recoverable. We can assist you in answering these questions.
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