Maintenance and cure are two important benefits that are available to seamen under general maritime law. Maintenance and cure are monetary compensation that is owed to any seaman who becomes injured or sick while working on a vessel and is not able to work for a period of time. A maritime employer must provide maintenance and cure benefits to injured seamen regardless of who is at fault for the illness or injury.
Maintenance is a term for monetary payments that are intended to provide for a seaman’s room and board while recovering. The maintenance rate should cover basic living expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, food and transportation.
Cure includes compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment. The injured seaman may seek treatment from the doctor of his choosing and is not limited to the company physician. Reasonable and necessary medical expenses are determined based on the treatment plan and recommendations of the treating physician. Maintenance and cure benefits are paid until the seaman reached maximum medical improvement.
Maximum medical cure or improvement is the point in recovery from an illness or injury where a seaman’s condition will no longer improve with medical treatment. He may not be completely well and he may be permanently disabled, but at this point, further treatment will not change or improve the seaman’s condition.
When a seaman reached maximum medical improvement, the employer’s obligation to provide maintenance and cure ends regardless of whether the seaman can return to work.
If your injury was caused by negligence or is otherwise the fault of your employer, you may be eligible for additional compensation under maritime law, including loss of future wages. The maritime injury lawyers at The Young Firm can help you determine if you have a maritime injury case.
If you are having difficulty getting maintenance and cure payments from your employer, maritime law is on your side. Contact the New Orleans office of The Young Firm. We can help.
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