Employers Must Pay Maintenance & Cure to Injured Seamen

Maritime Injury Lawyers Based in Providence & Middletown

Injured seamen are entitled to maintenance and cure as part of their compensation for their injuries.

Maintenance means the room and board of the injured seamen while he or she is recovering from the injury. Maintenance includes such expenses as the seamen's rent or mortgage, utilities, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and food. Maintenance does not include telephone, cable, internet, car payments, or similar items. To be covered under maintenance compensation, the expense must be household expenses.

In the past, maintenance paid to the injured seamen for his or her daily living allowance has been at a low rate in most maritime injury cases. Following recent Supreme Court cases, maintenance rates can now be paid in a much higher amount if the injured seaman substantiates the need for the amount because of increased living expenses and bills. The courts have held that paying too low a rate for maintenance can expose the employer and/or vessel owner to claims for punitive damages (damages for not paying enough maintenance).

The cure is payment of the injured seaman's medical cost. A seaman's employer must pay all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with the seaman's injury or illness.

These expenses include:

  • Doctor and hospital bills
  • Therapy expenses
  • Nursing bills
  • MRI and CT scans
  • Wheelchairs
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Pain clinics
  • Transportation costs to and from the doctor
  • Other reasonable medical expenses

An injured seaman has the right to choose his own doctor.

How Long Are Maintenance and Cure Benefits Paid?

Maintenance and cure benefits are paid to the injured seaman until the injured seaman has reached a point of maximum medical improvement. This is when the treating physician states that the injured seaman has recovered as much as can be expected. This does not mean the injured seaman has totally recovered; it simply means that there is no further treatment necessary. This is when maintenance and cure benefits cease.

Maintenance is generally paid to the injured seaman biweekly. Cure is paid to the medical providers.

Contact Our Maritime Injury Lawyers in Providence

If you have been seriously injured while on the job as a seaman, seek the maintenance and cure you are entitled to and that you need to recover. Our Providence maritime injury attorneys will stand up for your rights and fight for your recovery.

Contact our offices in Providence and Middletown by calling Karns & Kerrison at 401-841-5300.

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