Maintenance and Cure
Alexandria Maritime Injury Attorney
In Louisiana and elsewhere in the United States, commercial seamen who are injured while on-the-job are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits. These benefits are akin to workers’ compensation benefits provided to shoreside workers, and they are available under a similar “no fault” scheme, which means that the injured plaintiff need not prove that their employer caused them harm due to negligence. Instead, all that is necessary to be proven for recovery is that the injured plaintiff did actually suffer an injury within the course and scope of their employment.
Founding Attorney Walter Gabriel has a breadth of experience in the courtroom, having served as a prosecutor and now as a plaintiff’s attorney representing those who have suffered serious injuries. This unique background has afforded us deep insight into the litigation process and how to navigate disputes in a manner that helps our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.
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 (i.e., necessary household and other expenses, such as rent, utilities, etc.).
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 how egregious the conduct of the employer is, the court may award punitive damages, which 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 their medical expenses in the event of an injury sustained 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 can be properly terminated.
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 is injured 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 Alexandria Maritime Injury Attorney
At the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC, we have substantial experience representing seamen in maritime injury disputes against their employers. Seamen are entitled to 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. We believe that 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 are on the same page and can act decisively to secure a favorable result on their behalf.