What is “Maintenance and Cure”?

Georgia B. Day

Working aboard a ship—any type of ship— is a dangerous and demanding job. Injuries are not uncommon. However, because seamen are not land-based workers, when it comes to being compensated for a work-related injury or an illness (whether work-related or not), their legal rights are far different from those enjoyed by non-seamen.

Injured Seamen and Compensation

Unlike the majority of land-based employees, seamen are not entitled to file a worker’s compensation claim against their employer if they get injured while at sea. Instead, the rights of injured maritime workers are governed by federal law and general maritime law. The type of claim an injured maritime worker can file against his employer depends on his job and where the injury occurred.

For many maritime workers, this means the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly referred to as the “Jones Act.”

The Jones Act is a federal statute that applies to seamen injured on ships, offshore oil rigs, barges, tug boats, tankers, riverboats, shrimp boats, trawlers, fishing boats, ferries, water taxis, and all other vessels on the ocean or intra-coastal rivers and canals. It also applies to commercial divers and other underwater personnel.

Maintenance and Cure

A seaman’s right to medical treatment and living allowance after an on-board accident is referred to as “maintenance.”

The concept comes from the employer’s duty to provide room and board while the seaman is serving on a ship. Maintenance includes a recovering seamen’s normal household living expenses like rent or mortgage, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and food. It does not include things that are not considered “households” expenses such as car payments or the internet. It is essentially a daily living allowance that is paid to the seaman while he is recovering.

Cure refers to the medical expenses resulting from the injury (or illness). In most cases, a seaman’s employer is obligated to pay all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with a seaman’s injury (or illness).

A seaman’s right to cure continues until he has reached “maximum medical improvement.” Whether a seaman has reached “maximum medical improvement” and is no longer entitled to “cure” payments or not, is an issue that is frequently hotly debated in maritime cases.

Recovering under the Jones Act is complicated. This is why, if you believe you have a claim, you should consult with experienced maritime counsel.

Maritime Attorneys In Louisiana

If you are a maritime employee who has been injured, contact us. We are experienced, maritime injury attorneys. We service many of the parishes in and around Baton Rouge, and we offer free consultations. Contact us ToDay or call 225-200-0000.

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Justin A. Day

A proud graduate of Southern University Law Center and former president of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Justin is best known for providing his clients with the personal attention they need while fighting hard to get them the compensation they deserve. Justin and his team are not afraid to take on the tough cases or fight the good fight. Dedicated and tenacious, for over 18 years, Justin has consistently achieved superior results for the clients he serves.

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Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day is an experienced personal injury and worker’s compensation attorney. A former Administrative Law Judge for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Georgia is driven by a desire to obtain justice for individuals injured in the workplace and those who have been injured due to the carelessness of others. Georgia takes pride in providing her clients with the best possible representation. Polished and professional, Georgia is best known for her excellent work ethic, obtaining superior results, and her responsiveness to clients.

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