Just like workers on land, workers whose jobs take them out on the water are afforded protections under the law that provide compensation to workers who are injured on the job or accidentally die during the course of duty. Whether the individual was working as a fisherman on the treacherous high seas or as an engineer on a cruise ship sailing across the ocean, their employer is required to pay benefits that are not unlike a land worker's workers' compensation benefits.
Called maintenance and cure, these benefits are afforded to seafaring workers thanks to the Jones Act. They should cover lost wages as well as medical expenses. Paying out benefits can be expensive on occasion, which is why in some situations, deckhands and seamen have encountered pushback from their employers.
If an employer is responsible for paying out benefits but refuses to do so, then an injured deckhand or sea faring worker may need to take legal action against their employer. Despite liability under the law, some employers have been known to avoid covering maintenance and cure by saying the seamen didn't suffer their injury while on the job or worse, that the crewman was negligent and at fault for their own injuries.
Such arguments can put an injured worker in a very difficult position – one that requires legal representation from a law firm who understands the rights of sea faring workers. At Tabak, Mellusi & Shisha LLP, we understand these rights and fight to protect them.
If your job requires you to traverse our nation's waterways and beyond, you deserve protection under the law. And if you are injured while on the job, you deserve compensation that will cover your financial needs. At Tabak, Mellusi & Shisha LLP, we can help you get the compensation you need to get you back on your feet and back to work.