What if My Employer Refuses to Pay Me Maintenance and Cure?

Articles May 22, 2017

Under the Jones Act, maintenance and cure are “no-fault” benefits that your employer must pay regardless of whether it was at fault in the accident that caused your injuries. Collecting maintenance and cure benefits is supposed to be easy, but many maritime and offshore employers go to great lengths to try to avoid paying the benefits their employees are rightfully owed.

If your employer is refusing to pay maintenance and cure, what should you do?

Denied Maintenance and Cure? It’s Time to Speak with a Maritime Attorney

Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. In many cases, employers simply bank on the fact that injured employees will not go through the effort to enforce their legal rights. So, they deny payment, and then they wait. If they don’t hear from an attorney, they don’t pay the benefits required by law.

If you have been denied maintenance and cure, you need a lawyer on your side. Hiring a lawyer is the only way to get your employer to take your injury seriously, and if you don’t seek legal representation you can expect not to receive the benefits you deserve.

What Can a Lawyer Do for You?

1. Force Your Employer to Start Paying Maintenance and Cure

When you hire a lawyer, he or she will act as your representative in dealing with your employer and the maritime insurance company Your lawyer will contact your employer, and demand that it begin making maintenance and cure payments immediately. When they know they owe, most maritime employers will begin paying promptly once they receive a demand from an experienced attorney. Your attorney can also assess the amount of your employer’s benefits to determine if you may be entitled to more and what other legal rights to money damages you deserve under the law.

2. Force Your Employer to Make Up Your Past Benefits

In addition to forcing your employer to pay maintenance and cure going forward, your attorney will be able to seek payment – possibly in a lump sum – for your past-due benefits. Your employer is not entitled to avoid payment simply because it chose not to treat you in good faith. An experienced maritime lawyer will know how to calculate past-due maintenance and cure benefits and ensure you receive your full entitlement under the Jones Act.

3. Fight for Additional Financial Compensation

Finally, in addition to securing maintenance and cure payments, your lawyer will also be able to assess whether you are entitled to additional compensation for Jones Act negligence or dangerous conditions on an unseaworthy vessel. Since maintenance and cure benefits are limited, it is critical that all injured seamen seek advice about pursuing these additional claims. If your employer’s negligence or an unseaworthy condition or another company caused or contributed to your injuries, your lawyer may be able to secure full compensation for all of your injury-related losses.

Speak with a Maintenance and Cure Lawyer Today

Don’t let your employer take advantage of you. If you were injured on a ship, vessel or offshore and you are not receiving maintenance and cure benefits, contact the Willis Law Firm to get the help you need today. For a free and confidential consultation about your rights, call 1-800-GOT-HURT or submit or online case review form now.

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