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What if Maintenance and Cure Isn’t Enough to Cover My Expenses?

Articles May 19, 2017

When you are unable to work as a result of an injury, if you are like most people, you need to find some other way to pay your bills. Your savings will only go but so far, and you’d really rather not spend it on your everyday expenses. So, you start looking for answers, and you find out that you are eligible under the Jones Act to claim “maintenance and cure.” At first, you are relieved. But, then your employer tells you that it won’t cover all of your medical expenses, and you are told that your “maintenance” benefits will only be around $15 to $40 per day. That isn’t even enough to cover the cost of food for your family, let alone your utilities, rent or mortgage, and the costs of your prescriptions and medical care. What can you do? Understanding Your Right to Maintenance and Cure Most maritime employers want to pay as little for their employees’ on-the-job injuries as possible. As a result, some of them will withhold or misrepresent information about employees’ right to medical coverage, and they pay the absolute minimum maintenance daily wage rate that they can get away with under the law. While employees are entitled to full medical coverage for their job-related injuries (for treatment provided by their own doctors), unfortunately, daily maintenance benefits typically are quite low – in the $15 to $40 per day range mentioned above. If your employer is refusing to cover your medical expenses, you may need […]

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Maintenance and Cure – Jones Act Lawyer Answers Your FAQs

Articles May 17, 2017

Were you or your spouse injured while working on a boat, barge or offshore rig? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation in the form of “maintenance and cure.” Maintenance and cure are benefits under the Jones Act, a federal law that provides special protections to injured maritime and offshore workers. Q: What is “maintenance and cure”? “Maintenance and cure” refers to financial compensation made available to maritime and offshore workers who get injured on the job. “Maintenance” covers a portion of injured workers’ cost of living, while “cure” covers medical expenses incurred as a result of job-related injuries. Q: When is an offshore worker eligible for maintenance and cure? In order to be eligible for maintenance and cure, an injured maritime worker must qualify as a “seaman” under the Jones Act. Individuals who work onboard floating rigs, jack-up rigs, non-fixed platforms, ships, barges, and other vessels will usually qualify. Q: How much do most offshore workers receive in daily maintenance benefits? While employers are required to cover all of the costs necessary to provide medical care and services for their employees’ injuries, maintenance benefits are much more limited. Offshore employers are only required to pay what it would cost for their employees to live on land in the same manner that they lived offshore, and most only pay around $15 to $40 per day. Q: Does it matter how I got injured? Generally, no. Maintenance and cure are “no-fault” remedies, meaning that you do not need to […]

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Am I Eligible to File for Maintenance and Cure?

Articles May 15, 2017

Maintenance and cure benefits are available to injured maritime and offshore workers who qualify as “seamen” under the Jones Act. Are you eligible to file for maintenance and cure? Here is what you need to know: Who Qualifies as a Jones Act “Seaman”? While the Jones Act establishes a number of specific requirements for establishing “seaman” status, generally speaking, a seaman is anyone who works onboard a vessel in navigation on open water. Eligible vessels include: Barges and lay barges Crew boats Cruise ships Fishing vessels Freighters Jack-up rigs Movable rigs Semi-submersibles Supply boats Tankers Towboats and tugs Other river and offshore vessels In order to be eligible for maintenance and cure, you must be able to prove that you were injured onboard your vessel. If you slipped and fell or were hit by a piece of material handling equipment (MHE) at port, for example, other laws may apply. Workers who will typically qualify as seamen under the Jones Act include crew members and others who are assigned to fleets of vessels. Longshoremen, harbor workers, pilots, and administrative personnel who work on land do not qualify as seamen, but they can seek compensation for job-related injuries under other laws. Offshore Injuries that are Eligible for Maintenance and Cure Since maintenance and cure are “no-fault” benefits, virtually all offshore injuries are eligible for compensation. As a result, the key in most cases is establishing when and where the injury occurred. You do need to prove the cause of your injury to […]

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Pre-Existing Injuries Under the Jones Act

Articles Dec 4, 2015

While most workers in the maritime industry have probably heard of the Jones Act they may not know what types of injuries and conditions are covered under this federal statute. The Jones Act covers both new injuries and the aggravation of pre-existing injuries and conditions, meaning that even if you had an old injury, if you are involved in a workplace incident on a ship or a vessel that worsens or aggravates your previous injury, you may still be entitled to recover damages under the Jones Act.

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