As a St. Mary Parish Maritime Attorney, we understand the complexities of maritime law and the rights of injured seamen. Maintenance and Cure Laws in Louisiana play a significant role in ensuring that injured workers receive the necessary care and support while recovering from their injuries. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of Maintenance and Cure Laws, focusing on the key concepts of maintenance, cure, and the limitations of these benefits. Cueria Law Firm LLC is here to help seamen understand their rights and navigate the legal process to obtain the compensation they deserve.
What are Maintenance and Cure Laws?
Maintenance and Cure Laws are specific legal provisions designed to protect the rights of injured seamen. These laws offer financial assistance to seamen who have suffered injuries while working on maritime vessels, ensuring they receive proper medical care and financial support during their recovery. Maintenance and Cure Laws are part of the broader framework of maritime law, which is governed by the Jones Act and General Maritime Law in the United States.
Maintenance: Financial Support for Injured Seamen
Maintenance refers to the daily living expenses that an injured seaman’s employer is required to cover while the seaman is recovering from their injuries. This financial support is intended to compensate the worker for their daily costs of living on land, similar to how they lived while working offshore. As a St. Mary Parish Jones Act Attorney, we often see employers try to minimize these payments, usually ranging from $15 to $40 per day. It’s crucial to work with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure you receive the appropriate maintenance payments according to your specific circumstances.
Cure: Medical Care for Injured Seamen
Cure, on the other hand, refers to the medical care and services that an injured seaman’s employer must provide to treat their injury or illness. Importantly, seamen have the legal right to choose their own doctor for their medical treatment. Although employers may attempt to persuade workers to see a company-approved doctor, it’s essential to remember that you have the right to seek medical care from a healthcare provider of your choice.
What Maintenance and Cure Laws Don’t Cover
While Maintenance and Cure Laws provide essential support for injured seamen, it’s essential to recognize their limitations. These benefits address medical needs and living expenses, but don’t cover other costs associated with job-related injuries. For instance, maintenance and cure benefits don’t compensate for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or post-traumatic stress. To obtain compensation for these additional losses, injured seamen may need to pursue other legal claims, such as Jones Act negligence or unseaworthiness claims 1.
Understanding the Limitations of Maintenance and Cure Benefits
A critical aspect of Maintenance and Cure Laws is the concept of “maximum medical cure” or “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). This term refers to the point at which a seaman’s injury or illness has reached its fullest possible recovery, even if further medical treatment is still required. Once a seaman reaches MMI, their eligibility for maintenance and cure benefits ends. If a seaman is unable to return to work after reaching MMI, they should consult with an experienced St. Mary Parish Maritime Attorney to explore other options for compensation.
Union Members and Maintenance and Cure Benefits
Union membership doesn’t affect a seaman’s eligibility for maintenance and cure benefits. However, some union contracts specify the maintenance amount that members are entitled to receive under the Jones Act. It’s essential to discuss your union membership with your attorney to ensure you receive the appropriate maintenance benefits according to your specific contract.
Filing for Maintenance and Cure Benefits: Do You Need a Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer is highly recommended when filing for maintenance and cure benefits. There are two main reasons for this. First, the process of filing for maintenance and cure can be challenging and having an experienced St. Mary Parish Maritime Attorney on your side can help ensure you receive the support you’re entitled to. Secondly, you may have additional legal claims beyond maintenance and cure, and a knowledgeable lawyer can help you assess your rights and pursue any additional compensation you deserve.
Contact Cueria Law Firm, LLC for Assistance with Maintenance and Cure Laws in Louisiana
If you have been injured while working on a maritime vessel and need assistance with Maintenance and Cure Laws in Louisiana, Cueria Law Firm, LLC is here to help. Our experienced St. Mary Parish Maritime Attorneys will guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. We have a deep understanding of maritime law and are committed to helping seamen recover from their injuries 2. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation at 504-525-5211 or visit our website at https://cuerialawfirm.com/ for more information 3.