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PTSD and maintenance and cure

If you have experience a traumatic event that left you injured during the course of your employment as a seaman, you may seek maintenance and cure in New York under the Jones Act so that your employer will cover the costs of your medical care and certain expenses while you are undergoing treatment. However, even though you may make a complete physical recovery, if the incident left you with post-traumatic stress disorder, it may be difficult or impossible for you to function normally. We at Tabak, Mellusi & Shisha understand the importance of ensuring that maintenance and cure benefits cover all damages.

If you have been diagnosed with PTSD and are denied maintenance and cure, you may be able to take your employer to court and receive the benefits to which you are entitled. According to a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, even if you had pre-existing PTSD, you may still be entitled to benefits for PTSD from the new trauma. You may not win your court case if your employer can show, though, that all of the following three things are true:

  •          You knew of the issue before you were hired and did not reveal it.
  •          Revealing it would have prevented you from being hired.
  •          It is directly related to the development of your current PTSD.

This may not be difficult to prove if you had to take a medical examination as part of the hiring process, or if you intentionally denied having any such issues in the interview. More information about the coverage you may receive after a work-related accident is available on our web page.

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