Workers in New York can typically receive compensation for on-the-job injuries through workers’ compensation. As a seaman, this coverage is not available for you. However, according to the U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit, federal law does require your employer to provide financial assistance when you have medical needs because of a physical condition that arose while you were in service on the vessel.
Health conditions that occur while a New Yorker is working on a vessel at sea may lead to hefty medical bills and the inability to return to work for some time. These financial challenges may not be so devastating, though, because of maintenance and cure. According to KDLG.org, this financial benefit covers almost any injury or illness if it happened while the seaman is in service on a boat.
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.
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.
If you work at sea then you might already know that your job is dangerous. Between slippery decks, long exhausting hours and tumultuous weather it is easy to get injured at sea. That is why seamen, deckhands, engineers and other maritime workers are covered under the Jones Act. Anyone working at sea is at a higher risk of injury than those working on land. The Jones Act gives extra protections to maritime workers because of the dangerous nature of the job.
As a seaman or dock worker in New York, you probably already have some form of private insurance in place. If you are injured at work, you may be told by your employer to just use that insurance to receive medical treatment. At Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP, we see these types of situations all the time and often explain to our clients why this is not a good idea.
Marine structures are highly susceptible to rust partly because of the higher concentration of salt in the environment. As such, underwater welders are in high demand and this profession can provide New Yorkers with a lucrative income. Along with the good pay however, also comes some risk.
One of the injuries that someone in New York can suffer while working on a dock or on a ship is a head injury. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, there are several types of brain injuries that people can suffer from. The most commonly known type is the concussion, but there are others and these include the following:
If you are working on any type of private or commercial vessel, and you are injured, you have the right to file for maintenance and cure in New York. This type of compensation is different from the compensation from other injury accidents, and one of the questions our team at Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP is asked, is what falls under maintenance coverage.
Working on a ship can be exciting and provide you with a good living to support your family in New York, but these vessels can also present several injury risks. The good news is that you can take steps to protect yourself.