Under the Jones Act, injured seamen are entitled to certain benefits, regardless of whether the ship's owner or operator was at fault. The injury could occur at sea or while the seaman is performing work-related duties on land.
In addition to dealing with the injury itself, it is not uncommon for injured maritime workers to receive misinformation from ship owners and operators after an accident. Following are some things every Florida maritime worker should be aware of.
An injured seaman is entitled to benefits beyond compensation for the injury itself.
If you suffer an injury while in service to a ship in navigable waters, you are entitled to transportation, maintenance and cure.
- Transportation: This benefit can cover a variety of costs, including transport to a medical facility by ambulance, helicopter or another form of transportation. Additionally, this benefit may also cover repatriation expenses if an injured seaman needs to return to his home in another country.
- Maintenance: This benefit refers to the value of what an injured seaman's daily food and shelter costs would have been if the injury had not occurred. An injured seaman is entitled to compensation equal to the value of those costs.
- Cure: This benefit means that the owner or operator of a ship is required to cover an injured seaman's medical expenses until the seaman is returned to a maximum level of health. Depending on the circumstances, the cost of cure could involve a wide variety of expenses, including surgery, prescription drugs, medical equipment, physical therapy and in-home nursing care.
Know your rights as a Florida maritime worker.
Shipping companies are in business to make money, and it is not unheard of for ship owners and operators to misinform seamen with regard to their rights to transportation, maintenance and cure.
For more on these matters -- and to learn more about the rights of seamen -- please see our admiralty and maritime law overview. At the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A., we help injured maritime workers and their families obtain the compensation they need and deserve.