Every Jones Act seaman is eligible for maintenance and cure payments after an injury. These payments do not depend on whether the employer or the worker was responsible for the injury.
Maintenance payments are meant to cover the seaman’s living expenses during the injury. These payments should cover rent, groceries, utility expenses, travel costs and other expenses involved in the worker’s day-to-day life. Cure payments, on the other hand, are meant to cover the worker’s medical expenses. These should cover doctor’s fees, medication fees, and even the travel costs associated with doctor appointments.
Maintenance and cure payments must begin as soon as a worker is injured. These rights are some of the most basic rights of a seaman. A worker may be eligible for maintenance and cure payments at least until he reaches a state of maximum medical improvement. A worker may be said to have reached maximum medical improvement, when his condition can no longer be expected to improve further.
A worker does not have to prove that his employer was negligent in order to be eligible for maintenance and cure payments. However, if he wishes to file a claim of negligence against his employer, then he must have a basis for that claim. Maintenance and cure payments, on the other hand, must begin regardless of responsibility or accountability for the injury.
The maritime lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers help maritime workers injured in accidents recover compensation for their injuries. If you are a maritime worker whose employer is delaying or denying maintenance and cure payments, speak with a skilled maritime attorney at our firm.