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Get an attorney's help to obtain maritime benefits

Despite all of the advances made over the centuries, a seaman's job is still incredibly dangerous.

Because of that, seamen are entitled to benefits through several different means. One of those is the right to both maintenance and cure.

Maintenance and cure protects you in the event of either an illness or an injury, no matter how that illness came about or the injury happened. Fault and negligence are not an issue when it comes to your right to compensation through maintenance and cure.

Maintenance is the term used for a daily allowance that's designed to cover your basic living expenses -- which are generally defined as food, shelter, clothing and transportation. It continues only until you reach the maximum medical improvement for your condition -- even if you still aren't able to return to work as a seaman or are permanently disabled from any occupation.

Cure is your right to medical care for your condition. You do not have to pay for the medical care for a condition that occurred during your service for a vessel. You are, however, expected to do whatever is necessary to mitigate those costs to your employer.

For example, if you are prescribed physical therapy because it will reduce your healing time and get you back to work faster, you're expected to comply with the doctor's orders. If you choose to ignore them, you could endanger your right to cure altogether.

Your right to cure also ends when you either can return to duty or have reached a point where no further improvement is expected.

It's important to understand that your right to maintenance and cure exists in addition to any claim that you might file through the Jones Act, which gives seaman additional avenues for compensation if they are injured due to an employer's negligence. A Jones Act claim can entitle you to additional medical expenses, lost wages and compensation for your pain and suffering -- which is not compensated under maintenance and cure.

For more information on how our firm can help you if you've been injured in an offshore accident, please visit our page. An attorney can help you sort out the various entitlements you may have under maritime laws and advocate for you at each turn.

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