Understanding Your Rights Under Maritime Maintenance and Cure Laws

Since the early 1800s, ship owners have been responsible for providing care to seamen who sustain an injury or fall ill while working. Today, this care is known as maintenance and cure, which is available to any seaman injured on the job, regardless of who caused the injury. Unfortunately, not all employers follow the letter of the law. Some employers refuse to pay required maintenance and cure at all, while others offer less than they are supposed to pay. In those situations, a maritime attorney steps in to protect the employee’s rights and resolve the matter in court.

Under maritime law, seamen who fall ill or become injured while in the services of a ship are entitled to food and lodging while they recover, which is known as maintenance. Maintenance covers daily living costs, including rent or mortgage, heat, gas, electricity, water, sewer, and groceries. A maritime attorney works to ensure you receive the full amount of maintenance to which you are entitled under the law.

Cure, on the other hand, is compensation for necessary medical expenses. Seamen have the right to choose their own doctor when seeking treatment for a job-related injury or illness. Sometimes, however, an employer or insurance company pressures a seaman to receive care from a particular provider. A maritime attorney protects your right to choose your own physician and helps ensure your medical expenses are paid in accordance with the law.

Non-maritime attorneys may not fully understand maintenance and cure laws or the Jones Act, which also protects injured seamen, making it important to work with an attorney who specializes in maritime litigation. Do not risk the success of your case — contact an experienced maritime attorney today.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers