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Serving Injured Workers Across The Gulf Coast

If you’re hurt at sea, know your rights

When you’re hurt while working at sea, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. Maritime laws protect your rights as a seaman. You actually have rights that extend beyond the average worker.

In general, seamen have access to payments for medical treatment, for lost wages during a disability, permanent partial disability, negligence and unseaworthiness claims and payment for cure, unearned wages and maintenance.

Maintenance, cure and unearned wages are the key difference between a traditional worker’s rights and a seaman’s rights. Vessel owners are responsible for paying both cure and maintenance when a seaman falls ill or is hurt during service. Additionally, the seaman can seek unearned wages until he is able to be fit for duty again or until the voyage that he or she was working on ends.

If this is your first time working at sea, you may not be sure what all these benefits are. Cure is your right to medical treatment until you reach maximum medical stability or are fit for duty. Maintenance is a daily payment that would compensate you for room and board. Maintenance begins on the date you leave the vessel, so if you leave three days after an illness, it will begin at that point.

On top of this, you can seek unearned wages. For example, if you are contracted for six months and are hurt in the second month, you must be paid the remainder of your share of wages, even if you cannot return to work. This should include overtime, benefits and bonuses that anyone else on the voyage receives, too.

If you’re not sure if you’re entitled to these benefits, you may want to look into more about maritime laws. Our website has more information for you to browse.