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 to take action to enforce your legal rights. In any event, you will also want to make sure that you explore your options for seeking additional compensation beyond maintenance and cure.

Understanding Your Right to Additional Compensation

In addition to maintenance and cure, the Jones Act allows injured offshore workers to seek full compensation from their employers when their employers are at fault for their injuries. The Jones Act uses a standard known as “slight negligence,” which means that all you need to be able to prove is that your employer was negligent in any way and it that played a role (even a very small role) in causing your injuries.

If there is evidence to prove that your employer failed to follow appropriate safety standards, hired inexperienced crewmembers, or made any other act that ultimately led to your injuries, then the Jones Act entitles you to seek compensation for your lost wages, pain and suffering, and other injury-related losses. You are entitled to the same compensation if an unseaworthy condition on your vessel caused your injuries as well.

Learn More about Your Jones Act Rights – Schedule a Free Consultation

Were you or a loved one injured working offshore? If so, Willis Law Firm can fight to win the compensation you deserve. We offer free initial consultations, and we do not charge any legal fees unless we win your case. To discuss your Jones Act rights with an experienced attorney, call us at 1-800-GOT-HURT or tell us about the accident online today.

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