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Maintenance and Cure vs. Injured Workers’ Compensation

guy in wheelchairFor injured maritime workers, maintenance and cure benefits essentially replace workers’ compensation benefits.

Maintenance and cure benefits help pay for:

  • food;
  • shelter; and
  • medical care while the worker is injured.

Maintenance and cure and workers’ comp vary greatly in what they cover, how much they will pay and how long they last. Injured maritime workers may contact a Louisiana Jones Act lawyer if they struggle to recover benefits or to file further action if an employer was negligent.

Maintenance and Cure

Maintenance and cure benefits function quite differently than injured workers’ compensation. First, regardless of whether the worker was at fault or another party caused the accident, a maritime employee will always have the right to these benefits.

The “maintenance” part of these benefits goes toward a worker’s daily costs – food and shelter – while injured. Typically, these payments amount to anywhere from $15 to $40 a day. The “cure” portion helps pay for medical care, including hospital bills, rehabilitation services and more.

Unfortunately, these benefits generally do not provide coverage in the long-term. They last only until the worker has reached what’s called “maximum medical improvement,” which is when the doctor deems the patient’s condition can no longer improve.

This often means that, even though the worker may never recover or return to their maritime job, he or she can no longer receive these benefits.

It is possible, though, if a maritime worker is injured because of the negligence of an employer or ship owner, to seek additional damages through a Jones Act claim with a Louisiana Jones Act lawyer, including:

  • pain;
  • suffering;
  • lost income; and
  • lost earning capacity.

Injured Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a required insurance coverage for all employers in the state of Louisiana. Typically, after an employee has been injured on the job, it will compensate that worker around two-thirds of his or her normal salary while unable to work. This is usually paid either weekly or bi-weekly. Workers’ comp also provides medical benefits to the injured person, covering hospital bills and other treatment costs.

Unlike with maintenance and cure, injured workers’ compensation can last as long as the disability or injury: for months, years or even a lifetime. Additionally, worker’s comp may compensate the victim for permanent disfigurement and provide death benefits if the victim passes because of the injury.

Employees who have reaped the benefits of injured workers’ compensation are unable to seek any additional damages, including those for pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation grants employers immunity from a lawsuit or other legal action stemming from the injury.

Getting Legal Help with a Louisiana Jones Act Lawyer

Injured maritime workers may consider filing a claim under Jones Act law with help from a Louisiana Jones Act lawyer if their accident was the result of their employer’s negligence or error. These claims could compensate victims beyond what is provided under maintenance and cure benefits and may address future care and costs.

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