JULY 25, 2011 by Ogletree Abbott
Jones Act accidents can lead to life-threatening injuries or just a few days off work. In many cases, your employer will willingly pay maintenance and cure for you while you are unable to work. Maintenance and cure will help pay your bills and keep you afloat until you can work again. In other cases, employers will refuse to pay maintenance and cure, leaving you with no choice but to seek legal help. The Jones Act gives you the right to hire your own attorney and file a claim against your employer. The Jones Act also makes it illegal for your employer to retaliate by firing you for the filed claim.
One seaman experienced this exact situation. The seaman was working aboard a vessel in Alaska. He was trying to lift a large and heavy piece of sheet metal. He was offered no assistance in this task. As he was lifting the sheet metal, he injured his back. He followed the standard procedure for Jones Act accidents and sought medical treatment for his injury. His physician recommended further treatment. Even though the seaman’s employer was made aware of the injury and the doctor’s recommendation, the employer refused to pay maintenance and cure to the injured worker.
The seaman had no choice but to seek the help of an experienced Jones Act attorney. His attorney evaluated the case and filed a Jones Act claim. The attorney was able to prove that the injury could have been avoided, had the employer provided the seaman with assistance during the heavy lifting. The employer was negligent and had a responsibility to provide maintenance and cure – a responsibility that was ignored. The employer settled with the injured seaman for $1.6 million.
When you are hurt in a Jones Act accident, you are entitled to maintenance and cure. If your employer denies you this basic right, an attorney can help you. If you ever find yourself on the losing end of an employer/employee battle over maintenance and cure, find a Jones Act attorney. Your attorney will help you seek financial justice for your injuries and the maintenance and cure that was denied to you.