If you recently lost a spouse or other close family member in an offshore accident, as you try to cope with your loss, it is important not to overlook the importance of asserting your legal rights. We understand the last thing you want is to get caught up in a legal battle, and we know the maritime laws that apply to offshore accidents are complicated, but we also know how critically important it is that you receive just compensation for your financial and emotional losses.
We also know that the reality of pursuing an offshore wrongful death claim is far different from most people’s perceptions. With the right legal representation, understanding your rights does not have to be complicated, and you should not have to prepare yourself to face constant stress while your case is pending. An experienced offshore injury lawyer should be able to keep you feeling confident and informed every step of the way, and you should be able to trust that he or she is doing everything necessary to maximize your financial recovery.
Why File a Claim for Wrongful Death?
With all of that said, you may still be wondering: Is it worth it to file a claim for wrongful death? We can tell you from experience that the answer is a resounding yes. As much pain as you are feeling now, your family member’s loss will touch your life in ways you could not have previously imagined. To make sure you have the financial resources you will need in the future, you need to take action now to stand up for your legal rights.
Death Benefits Under the Jones Act and Other Maritime Laws
The laws that entitle offshore workers to compensation for non-fatal injuries also provide rights to surviving family members when offshore accidents result in untimely deaths. Depending upon the cause of the accident and the party (or parties) responsible, spouses, parents, children and other eligible family members will often have multiple sources of financial compensation available.
For example, the Jones Act – the law that protects “seamen” and their families – allows eligible family members to recover death benefits including reimbursement of pre-death medical expenses, compensation for pre-death pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and loss of financial support from the seaman’s employer. If another company (such as the owner of the vessel on which the fatal accident occurred) was at fault in the accident, the victim’s spouse and other eligible family members may have a secondary source of compensation as well. The same goes for families who have lost loved ones who do not qualify as seamen under the Jones Act, and the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) is specifically designed to ensure that family members who lose loved ones offshore have the opportunity to receive just compensation.
Learn More about Your Rights from the Attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP
To learn more about your rights, we encourage you to speak with an offshore injury lawyer at Morrow & Sheppard LLP. You can reach our Houston, TX law offices 24/7 at (800) 489-2216, or get in touch with us online and we will respond as soon as possible. Your initial consultation is free, and we do not charge any legal fees unless we secure a financial recovery.