Wrongful Death and Maritime Law

While we all understand that working at sea is an inherently risky proposition, it’s never any less shocking or tragic when a loved one perishes on the job.

Though money could never truly make up for the tragic loss of a loved one, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation depending on the circumstances of the death and which maritime laws apply.

If your loved one or family member has died in a maritime accident, the skilled Houston maritime accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. will investigate every detail of the accident to determine what damages you and your family may be able to recover.

When Maritime Laws Are Applied to Fatal Offshore Accidents

Several laws offer recourse and resources for families seeking compensation.

  • Death on the High Seas Act — The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) is a federal law that allows surviving family members to seek compensation for a variety of damages when the death takes place more than 3 nautical miles from shore. Those damages include any wages due at the time of the person’s death, the value of their future earnings, and the value of any household services once provided by the decedent.
  • Jones Act — Federal law allows beneficiaries to file wrongful death lawsuits against the deceased’s employer when that employer’s negligence played a role in causing an employee’s death.
  • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act — This law may entitle surviving family members to compensation on behalf of employees who are killed in oil spills or other accidents on the outer continental shelf, so long as certain location-based conditions are met.
  • Unseaworthiness Doctrine — When a crew member is injured or killed because the vessel was unseaworthy, a loved one may be able to sue the vessel owner for damages under the Unseaworthiness Doctrine.
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act — The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) allows for benefits to be paid to the surviving family of a maritime worker, longshoreman, or harbor worker who died while working on land (whether in shipyards, piers, or shipping terminals) in vessel-related activities. Families may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills and disability payments. In addition, the LHWCA allows surviving family members to sue a third party for negligence in causing the wrongful death.

Wrongful Death Cases Involving Offshore Injuries

At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our Houston maritime accident lawyers understand the tragedy associated with losing a loved one at sea and how to receive fair compensation after a fatal accident — especially when trying to navigate the myriad of wrongful death laws that may apply to your situation and what to expect from the legal process.

This in-depth knowledge gives us the skill and resources to win maritime accident cases. When you are dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic loss, you will want a maritime injury attorney who can offer a compassionate hand during these difficult times and help you obtain the financial recovery you deserve.

How Our Houston Maritime Accident Lawyers Can Help

Our Texas personal injury lawyers are known across the state for our work on offshore injury cases and our track record of representing people injured in maritime accidents.

If you are seeking compensation for wrongful death at sea, it is important to work with lawyers who have a significant track record of success. Contact us at to receive a free initial consultation and learn how we can help today.