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The Young Firm
400 Poydras Street, Suite 2090
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Toll Free: (504) 680-4100
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Read About Personal Injury Law in our Legal Blog

Maintenance and Cure: Are You Getting All You Deserve?

By Timothy Young on July 22, 2013

General maritime law places an obligation on the employer to provide any injured employee with “maintenance and cure”.  The law is very much on the side of the injured worker when it comes to maintenance and cure, so it is important that you are aware of your rights should the time come when you need to invoke them.

Definition of Maintenance

Maintenance is defined as the amount of money it costs to maintain yourself on land as your company does at sea. Generally speaking, this includes food, housing, and any other monthly bills you might have.  Most maritime companies will pay you a flat rate of $15 to $30 per day as your maintenance, even though there is no legal basis for this amount.  According to maritime law, all questions or ambiguities with regard to maintenance and cure must be settled in favor of the injured seaman.  It is imperative that you receive the maintenance rate appropriate for your specific case, so that you are able to pay your expenses while you are unable to work.  Don’t settle for what the company thinks they can get away with paying you; insist on what you actually need.

Definition of Cure

Cure in maritime law is defined as reasonable medical expenses that are related to the seaman’s injury. The injured worker has the right to choose his or her own physician, and the company is obligated to pay for all medical expenses that result from the injury you incurred while working.

If your company does not pay maintenance and cure, you as an injured offshore worker have the right to take your claim to court. You have the right to argue that your company was both unreasonable and arbitrary in their refusal to pay your maintenance and cure.  If the court rules that your company has been unreasonable, it is possible you will be awarded attorney fees you incurred while filing the suit to receive proper maintenance and cure.  If your company is also found to be arbitrary in their refusal to pay, you may collect additional damages for the worsening of your condition due to your company’s refusal to provide you with the maintenance and cure to which you are entitled.

If you have been injured on the job and you are not receiving fair maintenance and cure from your employer, contact our office today for a free consultation.  The Young Firm fights exclusively for maritime workers, and we are a 100% maritime law firm.  You are in good hands with us.