Q: If I am injured at sea, what type of medical benefits am I entitled to?
If you are a seaman and you are injured or become ill “while in the service of the vessel,” you are entitled to receive paid medical care, maintenance (a daily rate which is supposed to cover room and board), unearned wages (wages through your contract period of employment), and repatriation costs to the point of hire. There are only a few exceptions to payment of these entitlements. Also, a union contract can dictate a maintenance rate. Maintenance and medical expenses must be paid until the point that a seaman reaches “maximum medical improvement,” basically when a seaman no longer is under medical care.
Medical care should include all the “traditional” medical care that is reasonably needed. A seaman is entitled to choose his/her own doctors. Medical care includes physical therapy, diagnostic studies, medication.
This is a general answer to your question.
A: If you were working aboard the vessel, you are entitled to cure, which means that your employer must pay your medical bills. Also you are entitled to maintenance, which is your basic living expenses while you are recuperating. You may also be able to sue your employer under the Jones Act or the General Maritime law, if you were injured because of a dangerous condition aboard the ship or negligence of the crew or captain.
A: Any medical treatment related to injuries that manifested while in the service of the vessel is covered under the maritime doctrine of cure until you reach maximum medical cure.
A: Since you were injured at work you are entitled to Worker’s Compensation as well depending on where the vessel is registered, but in all likelihood you would be entitled to it. This is fact specific to if you would like to talk it over I offer a free phone consultation at 914-912-1555. Best. Aubrey
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