With more than 50 years of maritime law experience, our attorneys have gone up against a wide range of companies in the fishing industry and have represented nearly every type of worker out on the sea. This includes the many significant injury recoveries we gained for employees hurt while working on private yachts. Everyone at the firm is dedicated to helping maritime employees understand the rights and remedies that are available after an on-the-job injury at sea.
Can I Get Maintenance and Cure as a Private Vessel Employee? Maritime Injury Attorney Answers
When injured as a private vessel employee, the first step to take is determining whether you are considered a seaman under the Jones Act. A seaman is entitled to maintenance and cure benefits from their employers when injured. A seaman includes all individuals (except scientific personnel, sailing school instructors or sailing school students) engaged or employed in any capacity aboard a vessel, which includes yacht crew members, cruise ship crew members and employees working on private vessels.
Maintenance and cure covers the following for a seaman:
- Maintenance – Day-to-day living expenses
- Cure – Medical costs
Employers are obligated to pay maintenance and cure until a seaman is fit for duty, or until they have reached a point where additional medical treatment will not help them, also known as MMI or Maximum Medical Improvement. While many employers will follow the law and pay these benefits, some injured employees may not receive the proper amount of pay or any payment at all following workplace injuries. When this happens, workers have the right to talk with a maritime attorney to learn if their employer or insurer is trying to avoid paying what they should be paying.
Does the Jones Act Apply to Crew Member Injury?
Under the Jones Act, your employer is responsible for providing a safe working environment, proper training and equipment free of defects. When employers or private vessel owners fail to do this, injured employees may be able to pursue Jones Act claims.
You may have a claim under the Jones Act if any of the following caused your injury:
- Inadequate training and instruction regarding your duties
- Lack of procedure and guidelines from how to operate equipment to performing one’s duties
- Failure to provide safety equipment and/or protection
- Inadequate number of crew to perform a task
- Failure to be warned of dangerous and unsafe conditions
The Jones Act statute of limitations generally gives three years from the date of the injury to bring a claim. Since there are exceptions to the rule, it is important to meet with a maritime injury attorney at an experienced law firm about how to file a claim as soon as possible. This protects your right to receive the most compensation available under the law. By seeking legal help quickly, evidence can be gathered and preserved, accident witnesses have what happened fresh in their mind and nothing that benefits your claim will be lost to time.
Free Maritime Injury Attorney Advice for Crew Members Injured at Sea
Our attorneys understand that injuries aboard private vessels can create complex cases, from not wanting to file a claim against your employer to figuring out which laws apply to your specific case. What is not difficult is speaking with an experienced Jones Act attorney at our firm. In fact, scheduling a no-charge attorney consultation is simple and free.
Know that meeting with us does not mean you have to move forward with filing anything right now. We can just discuss the facts of your case, gather essential information and talk about what remedies may be available to you and your family. This ensures that when you decide you are ready, we can immediately get started taking the steps to make sure that you are properly compensated for what you are going through. Gaining compensation can also make sure that you and your family have the financial security you may have lost because of the maritime accident. Call us today. We serve clients from coast to coast.