What is Included with Maintenance and Cure After a Maritime Accident?
There are some terms associated with workplace accidents that you may recognize, such as lost wages, total and partial disability, and death benefits. However, if you work in the maritime industry and suffered injuries in an accident, there is one that may not be so familiar. Maintenance and cure. The concept comes from common law, which means it was developed over decades of decisions made by courts. Plus, the Jones Act includes certain provisions on maintenance and cure, as well as many other legal protections.
Maintenance and cure will be an important part of your physical recovery and financial support after a maritime accident, so it is important to become familiar with the basic concepts. Still, a general understanding may not be enough when it comes to the complicated laws and details. You will need guidance from an Oakland maritime accident attorney for your claim, but a summary is useful.
Cure is Medical Costs: In maritime law, cure is any cost related to your reasonable, necessary medical care. It is not intended to last forever, so payments in this category will only continue until the victim achieves Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) – the best level of recovery to be expected considering your injuries. Items included in cure are:
- Bills for emergency transport and treatment;
- Hospitalization and rehabilitative care;
- Expenses for pain medications;
- Costs related to imaging, lab screenings, and other testing; and,
- Wheelchairs, hospital beds, crutches, and other assistive devices.
Maintenance is Living Expenses: The concept of maintenance in maritime law is less definite than cure, which can be measured by medical records, invoices, and related documentation. Maintenance includes your costs of living, because you incur these expenses even though you are out of work after a maritime accident. Examples include:
- Rent or mortgage;
- Water, electricity, and basic utilities;
- Transportation other than to and from doctor’s appointments, which would be included in cure; and,
Note that you will not be able to claim items such as cell phone service, cable, internet, and related costs as part of maintenance.
Challenges with Maintenance and Cure: When filing an insurance claim after a maritime accident, common disputes about cure are whether the treatment was necessary. Another disagreement centers on whether a maritime worker reached MMI and payments should stop.
There can also be difficulties ensuring you receive the full amount of maintenance when your employer or insurer wants to lowball you. You should receive a daily rate that covers your living expenses without having to struggle, and so the amount will depend on where you live.
Set Up a Consultation with an Oakland Maritime Accident Lawyer Today
This overview about maintenance and cure is helpful for the basics, and you can trust our team at Venardi Zurada, LLP to handle the details. We are experienced in maritime accidents, so we strive to ensure you get the top benefits you deserve by law. Please contact our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA to schedule a complimentary case review. A maritime accidents attorney will advise you on what to expect.