You work on a vessel that often goes between international and domestic ports. You’ve been doing this job for several years, and you love it. Unfortunately, on your last voyage, you ended up slipping and falling. You have a head injury, and you cannot continue.
The doctrine of maintenance and cure is one doctrine that will help you now in this time of need. This legal concept allows you the right to free medical care from the shipowner until maximum medical cure. It also provides compensation for room and board that would have been provided on the vessel.
Maintenance begins the moment that you leave the vessel, not the date of injury. Cure begins at the moment of injury and continues until the seaman is at maximum medical security.
On top of both maintenance and cure, any seamen who are injured or become ill may be able to obtain their wages as if they did work through and complete the contract as intended. This includes any bonuses, overtime or employment benefits that would have been provided to the seaman if he’d been able to complete the voyage.
As you can see from this information, maintenance and cure are extremely valuable to seamen, and the doctrine does protect your right to it. If you are injured aboard a vessel, you may want to speak with your employer and attorney about obtaining the compensation that you deserve and are potentially entitled to thanks to this doctrine. Our website has more on the benefits you may be entitled to as a seaman who was injured aboard a vessel.