Maritime Drownings

Talk to a Maritime Drowning Attorney Experienced in Jones Act and DOHSA Claims

Maritime drowning accidents should not happen. There is no excuse for vessel owners and other businesses to put their workers’ lives at risk. However, these accidents are not uncommon, and many grieving family members find themselves in need of an experienced maritime drowning attorney.

If you have lost a loved one, you may be entitled to financial compensation under federal law. In most cases, families can pursue claims under the Jones Act or the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). But, there are other options as well, and an experienced maritime drowning attorney will be able to thoroughly examine your family’s legal rights and pursue maximum compensation on your family’s behalf.

When Can a Family Member File a Claim for a Compensation? 

Maritime drownings can result from several different causes. While companies will often try to blame workers for putting themselves in dangerous situations, the reality is that workers are rarely to blame when these accidents happen. Instead, in the vast majority of cases, vessel owners, oil companies, and other businesses will be liable due to factors such as:

  • Inadequate training
  • Inadequate access to safety equipment
  • Faulty safety equipment
  • Inadequate monitoring of workers at risk for drowning
  • Inadequate vessel, rig, platform or dock maintenance
  • Equipment malfunctions
  • Fires and explosions
  • Vessel collisions
  • Co-worker negligence
  • Forcing employees to work under hazardous conditions

Importantly, even if it isn’t possible to prove that a company is to blame for your loved one’s drowning, your family may still be entitled to financial compensation. In many cases, families can collect “no-fault” benefits following fatal accidents at sea. While these benefits won’t cover all of the financial and non-financial costs of your loved one’s death, they can still help with your family’s situation, and filing a claim can be an important part of the recovery process.  

What Laws Apply to Maritime Drowning Accidents?

Several laws can potentially apply in the case of a fatal drowning accident. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, a lawyer may be able to help your family file a claim under:

  • The Jones Act – The Jones Act applies in cases involving the fatal drownings of “seamen.” If your loved one qualifies as a seaman under the Jones Act, your family may have claims for both “no-fault” benefits and fault-based compensation.
  • The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) – The DOHSA applies to cases involving drownings that happen more than three miles offshore. If your loved one does not qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act, then your family may have a claim under the DOHSA.
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) – The LHWCA applies in cases involving the drowning deaths of land-based maritime workers. Under the LHWCA, families can seek death benefits similar to those available through workers’ compensation.
  • The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) – The OCSLA extends the protections of the LHWCA to individuals who work on rigs and fixed platforms offshore. The OCSLA is frequently used to pursue claims against oil companies, but it can apply in cases involving many other types of companies as well.  

How Can My Family Pursue a Claim?

To pursue a maritime drowning accident claim, you will need to speak with a lawyer about your family’s legal rights. At The Willis Law Firm, we represent families in maritime accident cases nationwide. We have handled numerous cases in the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and the United States’ inland waters, and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients’ losses.

When you contact us, we will arrange for you to speak with a lawyer in confidence as soon as possible. Your law firm will provide a thorough assessment of your family’s legal rights and discuss your family’s next steps. If you decide to move forward, we will start working on your family’s claim immediately, and we will keep you updated and informed as we fight to secure just compensation on your family’s behalf.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation 24/7 with a Top Maritime Drowning Lawyer 

If you would like to know more about pursuing a claim for a drowning accident, please contact us to arrange a free consultation. You can reach us 24/7. To speak with an experienced maritime drowning attorney about your family’s legal rights as soon as possible, call 800-468-4878 or tell us how we can reach you online now. 


Willis Law Firm, Offshore & Maritime Lawyer
Nationwide Help - Licensed in Texas and New York
Principal Office
5005 Riverway Drive
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Houston, Texas 77056

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Suite #232

Houston, Texas 77029

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