A maritime employee who is injured at sea is entitled to maintenance and cure. Maintenance refers to a maritime worker’s day-to-day living expenses, and cure refers to his or her medical costs. An employer must pay maintenance and cure until an injured maritime employee is able to return to work or until the employee has reached a point where additional medical treatment is no longer useful. But what happens when a ship owner refuses to pay maintenance and cure?
Take Legal Action for Maintenance and Cure Refusal
When an employer refuses to pay maintenance and cure to an injured maritime employee, the employee can—and should—pursue legal action. Maritime workers have difficult jobs. They often work long hours and perform hard, physical labor. In addition, they often spend weeks apart from their friends and family. In exchange for their labor, maritime workers depend on ship owners and employers to ensure that their needs are met when they are out at sea. Therefore, when ship owners and employers fail to live up to their end of the bargain, they should be held accountable for their actions. Luckily, there are safeguards in the law to ensure that maritime employees are protected. In fact, federal courts have maintained that a maritime employee’s right to maintenance and cure is virtually automatic.
Fight Back Against Unfair Denials v
Employers and ship owners sometimes attempt to avoid providing maintenance and cure by claiming that an injured maritime employee was at fault for his or her accident. They do this because admiralty law introduces matters of fault that don’t exist in normal workers’ compensation cases. Therefore, ship owners and employers are often confident that they’ll be able to legally avoid paying for an employee’s injuries. However, even if a maritime employee is partially to blame for an accident that results in injury, he or she may still have a claim. There are several ways available in admiralty law to divide fault. In fact, some of the fault in a maintenance and cure case may even lie with the ship. This is why it is so important for injured maritime employees to fight back against unfair maintenance and cure denials by contacting an experienced maritime attorney.
Contact a Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana Maritime Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, you need an experienced team of Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico admiralty and maritime lawyers in your corner. At Koch & Schmidt, our experienced maritime attorneys serve clients in Southern Louisiana and the Texas Gulf Coast region. If you’ve suffered injuries and your employer or ship owner has refused to pay you maintenance and cure, our talented legal team will do everything we can to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today for a free evaluation of your Louisiana maritime law case.