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When can injured seaman receive relief under the Jones Act?

Jones Act protections are one of the most significant types of protection for injured seaman who qualify for its protections. It is important for those who fall under the umbrella of the Jones Act protections to understand what relief they may be able to receive and in what circumstances they may be able to receive it.

What is maintenance and cure?

Injured seaman who qualify under the Jones Act can receive maintenance and cure when they have been injured. Their employer is required to pay maintenance and cure until the seaman can return to duty or until the injured seaman reaches the point when additional medical treatment will not be helpful. Cure refers to the injured seaman’s medical costs. Maintenance refers to the injured seaman’s day-to-day living expenses that they will be out.

Examples of when an employer may be liable

Examples of when an injured seam’s employer may be liable for maintenance and cure can include:

  • Insufficient training of the captain or crew;
  • Poorly maintained equipment;
  • Oil or other slippery substances on the ship’s deck;
  • Assault by a fellow crew member; or
  • Failure to provide the crew with the proper equipment

Injured seaman may be unable to work while medical expenses for the medical treatment and care they need stack up. They may worry about how they will pay for them in addition to their daily expenses. For that reason, injured seaman should be familiar with the types of help they can receive under the Jones Act and when they may be able to receive the help they need.