Maintenance and Cure for Injuries at Sea


Working on a vessel that operates on the open water is an innately dangerous job. Maritime workers who suffer from an injury at sea are entitled to certain remedies under the law. It is essential for anyone who has been injured at sea to contact a maritime attorney for help. These legal professionals focus their energy on Jones Act maritime cases and are knowledgeable about filing a claim.

What Does Maintenance and Cure Mean?

One legal option that a person has after being injured while working in a maritime job is maintenance and cure. This remedy under the law allows seamen and other maritime workers to collect compensation for daily living expenses when they are unable to work due to an injury or severe illness-related to work. Maritime workers are also allowed to choose their own medical professional for treatment options following a work-related injury or illness, and any medical expenses that are incurred during the treatment process must be reimbursed.

Maintenance refers to the basic expenses that a seaman incurs. For example, food, rent and utilities would all fall under the category of maintenance. There are no legal guidelines that determine a set amount that must be paid to seamen in order to cover necessities. The rates for maintenance tend to be very low, and most people only receive about $15 to $30 a day. Expenses incurred by family members are not taken into consideration.

Cure refers to all expenses related to the medical treatment of the injury or illness. This compensation must cover initial and ongoing expenses that are related to the injury or illness that occurred at sea. Cure coverage pays for emergency medical treatment, surgeries, rehabilitation, physical therapy and hospital stays. Some seamen are even eligible to recover incidental costs such as transportation costs incurred to get to and from a hospital.

The benefit of filing for maintenance and cure is that this compensation is not tied to negligence claims. Injuries that are not related to the negligence of another party are still covered by maintenance and cure, and seamen are even allowed to collect under this legal remedy if they are responsible for their own injuries.

You Need Legal Help

Suffering from an injury while working at sea is often the start of an uphill battle for injured maritime workers. Employers or owners of vessels may attempt to avoid financial liability — therefore, it is important for injured maritime workers to consult a law firm that specializes in maritime law. Professionals with experience in maritime law understand the remedies afforded to workers that are related to the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

We’re on your side. Contact us at (281) 645-5000 or email our team to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

More Jones Act & Maritime Law Information

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Featured Case

FELA/Worker Injury

A 15-year machinist for Union Pacific Railroad was injured when a locomotive coupled into his blue flagged locomotive in the diesel shop at Union Pacific’s Houston facility. Although the machinist failed to engage the shop derails and acknowledge the track alarm, the contention was that Union Pacific employee took one minute and forty-four second water break during a walk around prior to the coupling.

During this water break, the machinist blue flagged his locomotive and began working. Burwell Nebout filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad in Harris County. After a two-week trial in the 157th District Court in Harris County, the jury awarded the machinist $566,105. The jury determined that Union Pacific Railroad violated the federal regulation that absolutely prohibits coupling into a blue flagged locomotive.