Offshore Wrongful Death Lawyers

Wrongful Death Claims for Maritime Accidents

Work-related deaths are more common in maritime work than in almost any other industry. Workers put their lives on the line on a daily basis to do their jobs. Deaths on the job are always preventable; it’s the employer’s responsibility to take care of their workers by properly training them, providing them with protective equipment, and hiring enough staff to run a safe site. When employers cut corners, fatal accidents are inevitable.

Bereaved families call Arnold & Itkin when an offshore accident claims the life of a loved one. We've filed numerous wrongful death suits after offshore employers, contracting companies, or operators robbed families of spouses, parents, or providers. Call (888) 346-5024 to see how we can help you.

Have You Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Maritime Accident?

When a maritime worker is killed while performing their job duties and the employer is believed to be at fault for either causing or failing to prevent the accident, then they can file a wrongful death suit. If the deceased was working as a seaman, their surviving family members may be entitled to compensation under the Death on the High Seas Act.

Damages that can be recovered under the DOHSA:

  • Loss of support
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of services of the deceased
  • Loss of nurture, guidance, and instruction
  • Funeral expenses

The death of a family member has devastating consequences. No amount of compensation will ever be able to make up for the loss. However, it is still important to hold the responsible individual or company accountable for what they have done. It can bring a sense of closure and justice to families, and it can prevent the same tragedy from happening again.

Benefits Owed Under Maritime Wrongful Death Claims

A seaman encompasses a broad range of positions in the maritime industry. In short, they are any individual who contributes significantly to the operation and work of the vessel. If your family member or loved one was killed while working, you can pursue a claim to compensate for the pain and loss this has caused your family.

These are some of the financial matters that a claim can cover:

  • Medical and disability payments
  • Occupational disease compensation from workplace hazards in maritime
  • Travel to and from medical treatment
  • Wrongful death benefits to compensate for the death of a mariner due to workplace injuries

Federal Protections for Families of Seamen & Longshoremen

In maritime law, there are several different avenues available to those who want to file a lawsuit pertaining to a wrongful death. The Death on the High Seas Act was created with the sole purpose of providing for families who lost a loved one to an offshore accident. It makes it easier to make a claim as well as recover damages, even if they were killed in foreign waters. However, this act only covers monetary losses. It does not cover pain and suffering or loss of companionship.

Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Comp Act, a surviving spouse can claim 50% of their average weekly wages. If there were dependent children left behind, a further 16.66% would be added to that amount.

Wrongful Death Claims from Oil Rig Accidents 

In 2022, the U.S. produced about 11.9 million barrels of crude oil a day, making it the largest crude oil producer in the world. As of October 2023, the EIA reported 623 active crude oil and natural gas rigs in the United States.

The way our industry operates comes with a hidden but steep cost. Shocking figures came out of a Wall Street Journal investigation of the Minerals Management Service:

  • Between 2004 and 2008, there was an average of 34 deaths per year in the offshore drilling industry.
  • Since 2005, U.S. oil platform workers have been 4 times more likely to be killed than European workers.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor in 2008, fires and explosions caused 18 deaths in the oil and gas industry. While being an offshore worker comes with some acceptance of risk, it’s an employer’s job to control those risks. Oil and gas companies have a duty to protect their workers. It is not enough to have safety policies in place—these policies must be consistently followed and updated. When they aren't, negligent companies must be held accountable.

In the words of Attorney Kurt Arnold:

”Oil rig workers face some of the most dangerous working conditions in the world. That’s why companies like Transocean and BP have rules they must follow to protect every worker. When companies break the rules…families suffer the consequences.”

Our Maritime Attorneys Help Families Through Tough Times

In the wake of a tragedy that claimed your loved one’s life, you deserve an aggressive advocate on your side who can help you receive the financial compensation you deserve as well as hold the guilty party responsible. That is why Arnold & Itkin has secured more than $20 billion in verdicts and settlements. With our considerable experience advocating for injured clients, we understand what it takes to get an outcome that favors the plaintiff.

If your loved one was killed in an offshore accident, then you should seek legal help from an experienced offshore injury attorney immediately. At Arnold & Itkin, our maritime wrongful death attorneys have handled hundreds of cases and have the experience and proven results to beat big oil and gas companies in court. You deserve compensation not only for your loss but funeral costs and the lost care and income your loved one provided as well.

Every single day, someone sacrifices a part of themselves to do their job. It’s only right that companies repay the employees who get hurt or killed at work; in legal terms, we call that “making them whole.”

Contact Arnold & Itkin today to discuss your legal options in a free consultation.

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