When a seaman becomes sick or injured on the job, his or her employer is required to provide maintenance and cure compensation. The responsibility for ship owners to provide care to sick and injured seamen dates back to the early 1800s. Although maintenance and cure compensation is not a new development in maritime law, maritime workers continue to battle employers who try to avoid paying maintenance and cure or attempt to pay less than what they should. Maritime attorneys protect the rights of injured and ill seamen, fighting for the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled.
Maritime law entitles seamen to receive compensation for the cost of food and lodging while they recover from their work-related injury or illness. This compensation is known as maintenance and covers daily living costs such as rent or mortgage, heat, gas, electricity, water, sewer, and groceries. Some employers try to get away with paying only $15 to $20 per day. An experienced maritime attorney helps seamen fight for a fair maintenance rate that reflects the actual cost of living.
In addition to maintenance, seamen who sustain an injury or fall ill while in the services of the ship are also entitled to compensation for necessary medical expenses. Even though workers have the right to choose their own doctor, maritime employers and their insurance companies sometimes pressure seamen to receive treatment from a certain provider. Injured and sick seamen should consult a qualified maritime attorney to ensure they understand and are able to protect their legal rights.
Unlike certain other maritime workers, seamen are not entitled to state workers’ comp — they must seek compensation under maintenance and cure and other maritime laws, such as the Jones Act. Is an on-the-job injury keeping you off the high seas? Contact a Boston maritime attorney today.
Latti & Anderson LLP –Boston maritime trial lawyers