On Jan. 30, Middleborough, Mass. resident Barbara Wood, 47, fell down a staircase on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, hit her head and died aboard the ship. Reportedly, Wood was leaving the onboard Catacombs nightclub when the accident occurred. She received treatment in the ship’s infirmary but was pronounced dead at 2:50 a.m. Although authorities do not suspect foul play, an autopsy will be performed to identify the exact cause and manner of Wood’s death.
Wood died on the final night of a five-day cruise. According to Royal Caribbean, the incident occurred while the ship was in international waters off the coast of Florida. When cruise ship accidents like this leave a family reeling from the unexpected loss of a loved one, a maritime attorney can help the family understand their legal rights.
In some cases, if the incident occurred beyond three nautical miles of a U.S. shoreline, the Death on the High Seas Act (DOSHA) applies. DOSHA allows family members of deceased passengers or crewmembers to seek damages from the operator or corporation responsible for their loved one’s wrongful death. However, the damages are very limiting. In cases where DOSHA is not applicable, other maritime laws and/or state laws may apply depending on whether your loved one died as a passenger and the location of the vessel at the time of the injury death, or whether your loved one was a crewmember.
Also, there are many limitations as to where and when a lawsuit must be brought as a result of a claim, so it is important that you contact a maritime attorney to help you understand the law so you can preserve your rights.
The laws surrounding wrongful death at sea are complex and not all attorneys understand them. An attorney who specializes in maritime law has the knowledge and experience to help you receive fair and just compensation for your unfortunate loss. Contact a Boston maritime attorney at Latti & Anderson LLP today, before it’s too late to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers