The general maritime law affords maintenance and cure benefits seamen who fall sick or are injured while in the service of the vessel. For seamen injured or who become ill aboard seagoing vessels, coverage is almost absolute. Maintenance and cure benefits are similar to worker’s compensation. Maintenance refers to a ship owner’s obligation to provide a mariner with money to compensate him for the value of lodging and food provided on the ship. Cure refers to payment of reasonable medical expenses. Unlike most worker’s compensation schemes, benefits are limited to the seaman’s medical expenses (cure) until he reaches maximum medical improvement. In many cases, an action for maintenance and cure is brought in combination with a Jones Act negligence and unseaworthiness claims. In certain situations, the employer that failed or refused to properly pay maintenance and cure benefits to an injured or ill employee must not only pay all past benefits, but also must pay the injured employee’s attorney’s fees.
If you or a loved one has been injured or became ill while working in the service of a vessel, you are most likely entitled to maintenance and cure benefits. Many times, payment of maintenance and cure benefits is a very serious matter of survival for an individual that can no longer work. We understand that fact. We will fight to ensure that injured Jones Act workers receive all maintenance and cure benefits owed as quickly as possible. If you have questions regarding a maintenance and cure issue, call an experienced Jones Act law attorney today toll free at 877-551-3212.