WHAT IS UNSEAWORTHINESS, MAINTENANCE AND CURE?
Regardless of your occupation on the sea, your maritime work entitles you protections and benefits under maritime law. There are several concepts of which you need to be aware if you are working in and around the sea. Two of those concepts are “Unseaworthiness” and “Maintenance and Cure.”
The concept of “strict liability” applies to vessel owners. This dictates, by law, that the owners must be certain that their ship or boat are seaworthy. There are many factors that determine the seaworthiness of a vessel. Therefore; it is imperative that the injured party contact a maritime lawyer immediately to explain the nature of and facts regarding their injury to determine the steps needed.
WHAT IS AN UNSEAWORTHY VESSEL?
When sea vessels contain the correct safety gear and their crew members are trained and competent they may be considered “seaworthy.” When situations arise that cause persons to become injured, this may change their “seaworthy” classifications. Several things that can have an impact on the seaworthiness of the vessel include improper gear maintenance, absence of safety equipment, and unfit cargo; just to name a few. A seafarer may be able to seek compensation for injuries if they are able to show that it was a direct result of a condition on the vessel that rendered it “unseaworthy.”
If the injured party feels that a condition existed, at the time of their injury that rendered the vessel unseaworthy is important that they consult a a maritime lawyer to discuss the nature of their case. Our attorneys at Madalon Law will be able to help determine if the injuries are direct result of the condition of the vessel.
MAINTENANCE AND CURE CLAIMS
When a seafaring employee is injured, they will want to inquire about Maintenance and Cure. This may be claimed in addition to unseaworthiness claims. These claims are often filed with the Jones Act, which is a U.S. federal law that gives seafarers that right to seek damages from their employers when negligence is involved. Maintenance and Cure entitles the injured party to a daily living wage and all medical expenses to be paid for the duration of their injury. Under the maintenance portion, the injured maritime worker may receive room and board and some of their utility expenses paid for the duration of their injury. The cure portion designates that his/her medical costs should be paid for the duration of their injury. The injured employee is covered under Maintenance and Cure until they are declared at Maximum Medical Improvement. Under Maintenance and Cure applies regardless of who is at fault for the injury.
If you or someone you know has sustained an injury while working on board a sea vessel, and they are unsure if it was a result of unseaworthiness or if they might qualify for Maintenance and Cure, be sure to contact one of our admiralty lawyers at Madalon Law to determine to what they may be entitled.
The Admiralty attorneys of Madalon Law handles cases for the Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi. Contact us for more information.