If you qualify as a seaman, you have a number of rights that other workers do not have.
For example, you may be able to sue your employer for negligence under the Jones Act. You may also be able to bring a claim for unseaworthiness against the vessel owner or operator. To do this, you’ll need an experienced New Orleans maritime lawyer.
In addition to these claims, if you’ve been injured while working offshore, you may also have a claim for maintenance and cure. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about claims for maintenance and cure to help you better understand your rights.
Answers to Common Questions about Maintenance and Cure Claims:
1. What is a Claim for Maintenance and Cure?
Injured seamen are entitled to maintenance (essentially expenses for room and board, which are different depending on where you live) and cure (medical expenses) if they are injured while in the service of a vessel. You don’t have to actually be on the vessel at the time of the injury or be injured because of your job. In fact, you could even be on shore leave or at home, just so long as you would have to go back to the ship if you were called for service.
2. Can I Get Maintenance and Cure if I Get Sick?
Yes. A claim for maintenance and cure is not limited to physical injuries but also covers sickness and occupational disease contracted while in the service of a vessel. Importantly, it doesn’t matter if it was actually caused by your work on the vessel.
3. What if My Employer Doesn’t Pay My Maintenance and Cure Claim?
An employer must investigate a claim for maintenance and cure benefits, resolve doubts about paying it in favor of the seaman, and promptly pay the claim. An employer who fails to pay maintenance and cure may be forced to pay punitive damages and attorney fees. This provides a powerful incentive for employers to pay maintenance and cure claims.
4. How Long Can I Receive Maintenance and Cure?
You can only receive maintenance and cure until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). In other words, these benefits last until your condition becomes permanent or will not improve further with additional medical treatment.
Need Help? Contact a New Orleans Maritime Lawyer.
If you’ve been injured working offshore, you should be compensated for your losses. The Mahone Firm is here to help. Call a New Orleans offshore injury lawyer at (504) 564-7342 to start your claim today and make sure that your claim for maintenance and cure is protected.