Injured maritime employees are entitled to a variety of benefits under the Jones Act and the General Maritime Law. First, they are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, both those already paid, and any future Recovery costs. Medical expenses may include costs for future surgery, ongoing rehabilitation, and transportation costs.
Those who cannot return to work are entitled to past and future lost wages and the costs of professional training. Serious injuries critically limit the types of jobs the victim can perform, the Jones Act also allows damages for loss of earning capacity.
Also, injured workers are entitled to payments when they are temporarily or permanently disabled. When the injury is caused by negligence, the victim is entitled to damages for pain and suffering. Because Recovery under the Jones Act is complicated, it is essential to seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. An offshore injury attorney can help.
Maintenance and Recovery
Maintenance and Recovery is the right of sailors to receive medical treatment and subsistence allowance after an accident aboard a ship or other vessel on the high seas.
Maintenance is a daily living allowance paid to a sailor while recovering from his injury or illness. Maintenance payments continue until a seaman has reached maximum medical improvement or is positioned to return to service at his previous level. There is no set daily maintenance fee, and the maintenance fee may vary from case to case. Very low employers generally set maintenance fees in the $ 30 to $ 35 per day range. A maintenance fee on a seafarer’s employment contract is not binding, except for some collective bargaining agreements.
Recovery is an abbreviated term used for medical expenses associated with an injury or illness of the seafarer. Usually, a seaman’s employer pays all necessary and reasonable medical expenses associated with a sailor’s injury or illness. These expenses may include medical and hospital bills, therapy costs, nursing bills, MRI and CT scans, wheelchairs, diagnostic tests, pain clinics, transportation costs to and from the doctor, and other reasonable medical care expenses. An injured sailor has the right to choose his doctor. The right of Recovery continues until the sailor has reached maximum medical improvement. Many employers and maritime insurance adjusters improperly attempt to terminate a sailor’s benefits before they have reached maximum medical improvement. When there are conflicting medical opinions about whether or not additional medical treatment may improve a seafarer’s medical condition, maritime law requires that such questions be resolved in favor of further treatment.
If you believe you have a right to maintenance and Recovery, and your employer denies your claim, the first thing to do is speak to an experienced offshore injury attorney about your situation. An offshore injury attorney from our team can help.