Seamen and Crewmember Maintenance and Cure
Any time a crew member or seaman becomes injured or ill while subject to the service of the vessel, he or she is entitled by law to a per diem living allowance (maintenance) and payment for medical care and the costs associated therewith (cure). As a United States Coast Guard licensed third mate and third engineer who worked as a seaman prior to attending law school, our lead attorney, Jacob Munch at the law firm of Munch and Munch, P.A., is uniquely qualified and experienced in protecting the rights and claims of seamen and crew members who are not being paid the maintenance and cure benefits that they are entitled to by law. This duty to pay maintenance and cure is dependent upon whether or not the injured crew member qualifies for Jones Act Seaman status. The injury or illness need not arise out of the seaman's work. Therefore, an illness eligible for maintenance and cure may even arise out of a prior illness or injury. A ship owner's duty to pay these benefits following an employee's shipboard injury, illness, or accident is required regardless of fault. Additionally, an employer's willful failure to pay a seaman his or her maintenance and cure may result in an award of punitive (punishment) damages against the employer. At Munch and Munch, P.A., our Florida maritime lawyers are licensed to practice throughout the state, and frequently bring suits in the federal district courts. If you are a crew member who has been injured or become ill while working, and have not been paid maintenance and cure by your employer, call us at 813-254-1557 or email us so we can help protect your rights and assess your potential claim.