Maritime workers are treated differently when it comes to workplace injuries. They are entitled to maintenance, cure and unearned wages when they’re hurt on the job. These are rights that exceed traditional workers’ compensation benefits, which makes them attractive to those who work at sea.

On the whole, workers who are hurt are usually entitled to payments that cover their medical care, lost wages and potentially partial disability payments. Maritime law is different.

Maritime law provides more protection to seamen!

Maritime law provides better coverage for seamen. Injured seamen may have the ability to claim unseaworthiness or negligence under the Federal Jones Act, and they also have a right to receive maintenance, cure and unearned wages as a result of an injury, even if they fall ill while in the service of the vessel.

Who has to pay maintenance, cure and unearned wages?

Generally speaking, it is the seaman’s employer’s responsibility to pay for maintenance, cure and unearned wages relative to the illness or injury that occurred while the seaman was employed. The seaman is entitled to receive unearned wages from the employer until he’s able to return to duty or until the voyage that he was on comes to an end.

Maintenance and cure are both entitlements. Local maintenance usually runs between $20 and $30 for each day that the seaman remains unable to work. Cure covers medical expenses, including medical transportation costs, until the seaman is able to reach maximum medical stability or is fit for duty.

You may be entitled to coverage to support you as you recover.  You may be able to also collect damages for past and future pain and suffering, future medical expenses, future loss of earnings, and perhaps even more, if the seaman’s actual living expenses are greater, depending upon the facts surrounding your accident.  If you are hurt while working at sea, learn more at the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A., by visiting our website.