Whether you’re a dock worker, a longshoreman or hold another maritime position, you have to be pretty physically fit for your job – so almost any significant injury is going to put you out of work.
When that happens, you have a right to expect something called “maintenance and cure.” This is true whether you contributed to your accident and injuries or not. Knowing as much as you can about your rights can help you protect them. Here’s what you need to know:
What is maintenance?
This is a rather old-fashioned term for your daily living expenses, or per diem. If you would normally receive room and board as part of your job, like a seaman on a vessel, you would be due maintenance to help offset your living expenses while you’re not on the ship.
What is cure?
This is another fancy term that just refers to any reasonable medical expenses you may have that are related to your workplace injury – up to the point where you reach maximum medical cure. That’s the point where you have either fully recovered or have recovered as much as can be expected and your condition won’t improve even with further treatment.
Is that all you can get?
Maintenance and cure aren’t the only benefits that you may qualify for after a maritime injury, but they are important – especially when you’re trying to recover. Generally, you’re guaranteed maintenance and cure either through the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
In addition, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act also guarantees the harbor workers, dockworkers and longshoremen the right to cash benefits due to a temporary disability equal to 66 ⅔ % of their average wages.
Trying to navigate the damages that you deserve after a workplace accident can be difficult under any circumstances, but it can be especially complicated when you’re trying to grasp the intricacies of admiralty law. If your claim isn’t being properly handled, it may be time to learn more about your legal options.