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The maritime equivalent of workers’ compensation

For most workers in New York, workers’ compensation pays claims when injured or if they experience a work-related illness on the job. However, if you are a seaman working aboard a vessel, the remedies for injuries or illness may not be as well known. At Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP, we often help clients pursue and obtain the maintenance and cure benefits they need.

Seamen have rights that go beyond a traditional workers’ comp benefits, negligence and unseaworthiness claim. According to FindLaw, injured seamen may receive payment for maintenance, cure and unearned wages that he or she would typically collect on a voyage.

  • Maintenance compensates a crew member for room and board, generally provided on the vessel. Payments begin when you leave the ship and continue until reaching maximum medical stability.
  • Cure refers to your right to medical treatment. It also continues until reaching a maximum medical cure.
  • Unearned wages are those you would have earned on the voyage if the injury did not occur. These wages can include bonuses, overtime and other benefits.
  • Vessel owners are responsible for paying maintenance, cure and unearned wages. Payments cease when you reach maximum medical stability, regardless of whether you return to work. Maximum medical cure refers to the point at which your condition will not improve, despite additional treatments or palliative care.

Maritime law is complex. In addition to evaluating the term “voyage,” maritime treatises can dictate what action you may take against your employer. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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