Maritime work is a prominent industry in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. These workers are accustomed to working in difficult conditions, expending significant physical energy and facing possible injury. The Jones Act is in place to regulate the shipping industry and part of that involves protecting workers if they are injured. Terms that workers should be aware of are “maintenance and cure.” After being injured, it is vital to know what benefits are available and what workers are entitled to.
Maintenance and cure: what must be proven and benefits workers should get
It is first imperative to establish the basics when making a claim to receive maintenance and cure. The person who was injured and is seeking these benefits must show that they were working as a seaman at the time of the incident. They are required to show that the injury or illness came about while they were working in some capacity of servicing the vessel. They must prove the validity of the amount of maintenance and cure they are requesting.
Workers will have costs that must be paid, including being transported to a medical facility for treatment, a place to stay and sustenance. This is maintenance. If the worker was hospitalized, they cannot be maintenance during that time because lodging and food is provided while in the hospital. The costs the injured worker has paid out of pocket will be covered by the maintenance award as well as rates that are paid while they need room and board when they are on land.
Cure, as the word implies, is medical care. This includes all aspects of the treatment the worker needs, such as being cared for by doctors and other medical professionals, medications and items that will help their recovery. It is important to remember that the worker will be covered if they were performing some form of service for the vessel.
Experienced help that understands the Jones Act can help with a claim
Medical care and lost time on the job can be costly in myriad ways to a maritime worker. In some cases, they might have a dispute with the employer as to what they are supposed to receive in terms of maintenance and cure. To make sure they receive all they are entitled to, it is wise to have assistance from professionals who specialize in maritime cases and have extensive experience. It is essential to act quickly to make certain the worker is covered for their injuries, care, lost wages and living expenses.