Injuries are bound to happen at sea, due to the dangerous working conditions that many seamen face day in and day out. Because of the inherent dangers involved with the industry, general maritime law provides for workers in the industry to receive the care that they need when they suffer injury in their line of work. A term that you might hear with respect to this compensation but might not understand is “maintenance and cure”.
Generally speaking, these terms refer to the kinds of compensation that maritime workers are able to receive in order to properly treat and recover from injuries that they might suffer. Also, these benefits apply not only to injuries that may be suffered as the result of an accident, they also apply to occupational diseases that a maritime worker might contract while engaged in the normal course of their duties.
Cure benefits are those that you are probably most familiar with. These exist to assist injured maritime workers with their medical bills and other expenses that are associated with recovering from their injuries. In addition to injuries, though, these cure benefits can be paid to treat and recover from occupational diseases that might be contracted in the course of work.
While recovering from injuries, maritime workers need support in order to maintain their lives. When an injury may prevents a maritime worker from returning to his or her duties, her or she will still need money in order to pay for things like rent and mortgage payments, in addition to other expenses like groceries and utility payments. Maintenance benefits are those that are designed to cover these and similar expenses.
Then you need to get in touch with a qualified maritime attorney as soon as possible. The law is very clear that maritime workers are supposed to be provided with maintenance and cure when they suffer injury in the line of work. Sadly, many employers attempt to skirt around this burden that has been placed at their feet. When this happens, a maritime lawyer will be able to properly pursue your case and force your employer to meet the demands that have been set forth for them by the law.
Also, it’s important to note that while you may be receiving these benefits from your employer, they may not be paying the full amount that’s due to you. In determining maintenance benefits, employers will frequently make use of outdated standards for deciding what they will pay. Often, the maintenance benefits paid are entirely insufficient for a maritime worker’s purposes. If you find yourself in this position, then getting in touch with a maritime attorney is the best course of action that you can take.
Additionally, sometimes employers feel that they can direct the medical treatment that their employees receive. This is not the case. When a maritime worker is injured, that worker is entitled to seek and receive any medical treatments and tests that are necessary for recovering from his or her injuries. Additionally, there may be rehabilitation care required that should be covered by cure benefits.
Maritime injury cases can often be quite complex, and not just because of the complications associated with employers. For this reason, it’s always advisable that you get in touch with a maritime lawyer if you’ve been injured on the job. This lawyer can help to ensure that your employer is meeting their obligation to you, and they can help you to seek compensation for your injuries through other avenues that might be open.