Every injured Jones Act seaman has the guaranteed right to maintenance and cure. Maintenance and cure provide for reasonable living wages and medical expenses until recovery. The benefits aid an injured seaman keep afloat while they recover from their illness or injury.
Employers must provide maintenance and cure once the seaman establishes that their injury or illness occurred on the job. The Jones Act burden for claims is easier to prove than other worker’s compensation claims but the amount of benefits can be smaller than typical worker’s compensation benefits. A knowledgeable maritime attorney may be necessary to determine the proper amount of benefits owed.
Vessel captains, divers, fishermen, deckhands, dredge workers, riggers, drillers and roughnecks are skilled jobs with relatively high pay. As such, the damage caused by a work injury may leave a significant financial impact. Maintenance payments aim to replace wages by covering reasonable and necessary living expenses for you and your family while recovering from a work-related injury. The covered expenses generally include rent, food, transportation, utilities and other daily expenses. Maintenance is generally lower than regular wages as it is meant to provide the daily living expenses you would have incurred if still working. Some employers like to lowball benefits to minimize your cost to them. Making sure that you have an experienced attorney will help you get the benefits owed to you.
Workers in the oil-and-gas industry and other offshore occupations accept daily hazards and risks considered extreme by the bulk of our population. These hazards and risks can lead to the need of extensive offshore injury medical treatment. Medical expenses can quickly pile up after injuries and cause great financial stress. As such the Jones Act allows for the right to cure. This right requires employers to pay for reasonable medical costs incurred by an injured seaman as they are seeking treatment and recovering from injuries. Cure applies to every illness or injury arising from work on a vessel. Costs covered usually include medical appointments, tests, procedures, medicine, transportation and other possible medical related expenses. Assistance must be provided until the seaman has recovered completely or until maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is a term which refers to a person recovering to a point that no further improvement is possible. To ensure honest and skillful treatment an injured seaman has the right to select their own certified medical provider. The company cannot disallow you from seeking medical treatment from an impartial and reasonable source. Companies are also not allowed to deny necessary medical care which could lead to further complications down the road.
The lawyers at Doyle LLP have vast experience in offshore claims and understand numerous federal maritime laws, such as the Jones Act law, that apply to offshore claims. Our Texas firm works every day to help clients across state lines and international borders in their maritime accident claims