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When does maintenance and cure include punitive damages?

When your employer refuses to pay for the medical costs associated with your accident on the job as a seaman, it may seem as if the company is adding insult to injury. However, you may find that during your recovery in New York, the delays and difficulty you experience as a result of the hardship from the injury add further harm, as well. If you are able to prove that you qualify for compensation based on maintenance and cure, you may also be able to hold your employer responsible for those secondary damages.

The U.S. Courts have strict guidelines for you to meet before you may receive maintenance and cure. You must be able to provide evidence of the following:

  •          You were a seaman when you were injured.
  •          Your damages include specific health care and living expenses that should be covered by maintenance and cure.
  •          You were working in service of the vessel when the harm occurred.

If you have proof of these, and your employer still refuses to pay, the court may determine that the company should be punished for its unwillingness to cooperate with the law. In this case, you may be awarded punitive damages, as well as the other compensation to which you are entitled. These may include pain and suffering, along with the extra medical costs that are the result of the delay.

This information about your rights to compensation after a maritime accident is provided for educational purposes only. Because it is general in nature, it should not be considered legal advice.

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