If you experience an injury at sea and your employer refuses to pay your benefits, you could quickly become frustrated. Your seamen benefits should begin immediately after your injury on the job. However, employers do not always adhere to these lawful rights. Instead, some can try to deny or short you your money.
You have the right to certain payments to cover your living and medical expenses while you recover. However, knowing which law applies to your situation is also essential.
What payments are you eligible for?
Maintenance and cure are the payments you can collect when you experience an injury at sea. These can go to a ship’s crew, dock workers, stevedores and others who work near water. Maintenance and cure are similar to workers’ compensation.
What laws allow you to collect maintenance and cure?
If you work on or near the water, you will likely qualify for maintenance and cure benefits due to one of the following:
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
- The Jones Act
- General maritime law
These laws provide benefits to seamen injured in work incidents, like boat crashes, similar to state workers’ compensation. The big difference is that workers’ compensation does not allow injured workers to sue for negligence, although maritime laws do. Most of the time, you only need to prove that the shipowner or your employer was only slightly at fault to sue for negligence.
Maritime laws allow you to get what is legally yours. Suing for negligence can be a great way to get payments that your employer has denied, and you may even get punitive damages. This money is critical to ensuring you get the medical treatment you need. That can help you get back to work quickly.