Maintenance and Cure
Louisiana Maintenance and Cure Attorney
Founding Attorney Walter Gabriel has a breadth of experience in the courtroom, having served as a prosecutor and now as a Louisiana maintenance and cure attorney representing those who have suffered serious injuries. This background affords us insight into how to navigate disputes to help our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.
In Louisiana and elsewhere in the United States, commercial seamen injured while on-the-job may receive maintenance and cure benefits. These benefits function similar to workers’ compensation benefits provided to shoreside workers. They are available under a similar “no fault” scheme. This means that the law does not require the plaintiff to prove their employer caused them harm due to negligence. Instead, the law only requires the injured party to prove that he did actually suffer an injury within the course and scope of their employment.
Seaman’s Right to Maintenance
Maintenance benefits are calculated as a daily allowance that is meant to cover the living expenses of the injured seamen during their period of recovery. In the past, many commercial maritime employers would include provisions in the employment contract that allowed them to pay subpar maintenance benefits. But following a series of federal court decisions, employers can no longer rely on contract-based maintenance benefits. Instead, they must pay you an amount that reasonably approximates your daily living expenses.
If your employer pays out maintenance benefits that are substantially below the amount actually necessary to cover your daily living expenses, then you may be able to sue and recover damages for the difference. Depending upon how egregious the conduct of the employer, the court may award punitive damages. Punitive damages multiply the compensatory damages amount and are intended to punish the defendant.
Seaman’s Right to Cure
Cure benefits cover reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Seamen have a right to compensation to cover medical expenses when injured within the course and scope of their employment. It’s worth noting that seamen may not have their cure benefits terminated prematurely. The injured seaman must reach their “maximum medical improvement” before such benefits end.
Timely Treatment Aboard Vessel
The right to cure also extends to the need for timely and adequate treatment while aboard the vessel itself. If, for example, a seaman’s injury occurs while working aboard a ship, and their employer fails to secure timely and adequate medical treatment, this may give rise to an actionable claim for negligence.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Louisiana Maintenance and Cure Attorney
At the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC, we have substantial experience representing seamen in maritime injury disputes against their employers. Seamen may receive a range of benefits that include maintenance and cure. In some cases, however, the employer may be hostile and unwilling to pay out adequate benefits. We can help.
We invest a great deal of time and effort into each of our clients. Highly-customized, comprehensive representation is the key to success in maritime injury litigation. Throughout the litigation process, we communicate with the plaintiff to ensure that we secure a favorable result on their behalf.