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 prove that your employer was to blame in order to secure compensation. If you qualify as a seaman and you got injured on the job, you most likely have a claim for maintenance and cure.

Q: How long do I have to file for maintenance and cure?

Technically, in most cases you have three years from the date of your injury to file for maintenance and cure. However, you do not want to wait this long to file your claim—in fact, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Not only will filing sooner make it easier to secure payment, but you may be entitled to other forms of compensation as well, and you may need to take action promptly in order to preserve your legal rights.

Q: Is filing for maintenance and cure my only option?

No. Since maintenance and cure benefits are limited, it is important for anyone who gets injured offshore to discuss his or her rights with an experienced attorney. In many cases, injured workers will have claims for Jones Act negligence and unseaworthiness as well.

Q: What if I don’t qualify for maintenance and cure?

If you don’t qualify for maintenance and cure, you have other options available. In most cases, if the Jones Act doesn’t protect you, another maritime law (or state worker’s compensation law) will. Like the Jones Act, many of these laws provide for “no-fault” benefits, and in many cases these benefits are more than you would receive for maintenance and cure.

Call 1-800-GOT HURT for a Free Consultation

To find out more about your rights under the Jones Act and the other laws that may protect you and your family, contact Willis Law Firm for a free consultation. To discuss your offshore injury claim in confidence, call 1-800-GOT-HURT or request an appointment online today.

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