The life of a commercial fisherman or merchant seaman is filled with danger and stress. While working on the sea can be an enjoyable experience, there are also a lot of accidents that can occur on a ship. Most seaman and fisherman have heard the term “maintenance and cure” but don’t really know what it means. Simply put, maintenance and cure are health benefits allotted to a seaman by their employer. Under maritime law, a sea worker who is injured has to receive ongoing care until they are well again. Below are some details about the maintenance and cure policies.

Details about What Maintenance Is

When a seaman is injured, they will need room and board at the hospital until they are well. In Jones Act maritime law, this room and board is referred to as maintenance. This term is also used to describe expenses like a seaman’s rent or mortgage payments, utilities and any property taxes that arise when they are injured due to an accident at sea. Things deemed necessary expenses are also covered under this provision. Expenses such as cell phone bills and car payments are not covered under the maintenance provision.

Information About Cure

By law, an injured seaman is able to receive compensation for their medical expenses and transportation costs under the cure provision. The cure provision is very similar to what workers’ compensation plans offer land employees. Seaman are able to receive these benefits until they reach maximum medical improvement. A doctor will have to sign off on a patient’s health in order for it to be valid.

The injuries sustained aboard a ship can be extensive. If you are a seaman suffering from an injury, contact a Jones Act attorney from our office today. Once we hear the details of your case, we will be able to offer you legal guidance.