Maintenance and Job Worries

 

Can’t Make Ends Meet? Concerned About
Losing Your Job?

The two biggest problems for most injured Jones Act seaman are financial problems and concerns about wrongful termination. The Ogletree Abbott Law Firm understands how both of these issues can mean the difference between paying your bills and providing for your family or devastating financial ruin. Attorney loans to clients are available at the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm. We never charge interest and the loans are simply repaid from your part of your settlement. If we never obtain a settlement or if there is no recovery, you will not be required to pay back the loan.

These client loans are to help Jones Act clients make ends meet during the time we are working on your case. We only lend money to help make ends meet along the way. We don’t lend money to improve your lifestyle or financial situation above what it was before you were injured. We don’t loan money for personal investments, entertainment, or to help your relatives or other such matters. Client Loans are simply to help you with food, shelter, clothing and other necessities of life. We have many clients who need our help and have to limit the total amount of loans we have out at any particular time. You can read more about our attorney loans to clients here.

Some employers will actually pay full wages or almost full wages if the employee does not hire an attorney in a Jones Act claim. Employers are smart to do this because they know that full wages instead of maintenance is a small price to pay to persuade workers not to hire a Jones Act attorney. We have seen too many offshore workers and seamen settle Jones Act cases for pennies on the dollar just because they wanted full pay instead of hiring a Jones Act lawyer. There is no reason to forego hiring a Jones Act lawyer when firms like ours advance funds to clients at no interest. You can have your cake and eat it too if you hire the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm to help you with your Jones Act claim. Get top dollar for your claim and the financial help you need while your claim is pending settlement.

Jones Act Maintenance – A Financial Nightmare

The law requires Jones Act employers to provide a daily “subsistence” rate to injured workers to cover reasonable expenses of room and board until they are once again fit for duty or reach maximum medical improvement. However, the amount that an injured seaman can expect to receive for these maintenance benefits is far lower than you would think.

Unfortunately, maintenance benefits have been stuck for many years at the low rate of between $15 to $30 per day. Surprisingly, many companies still insist on continuing to pay this amount even today. The courts have ruled that maintenance benefits must be at least enough to cover the basic cost of survival. This can include rent, utilities, transportation cost, and food. Yet in many cases, the employer is only ordered to pay the seaman’s portion of these expenses regardless of whether or not other family members earn income at all. This can be financially devastating to a family.

The question then is “How can you survive on the small maintenance checks while awaiting a potential large settlement?” At the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm, we understand that injured seamen may need additional financial assistance until their case settles. Most states allow lawyers to assist their clients in this manner. You can read more about our attorney loans to clients here.

Wrongful Termination

Often, reliable, hardworking employees are terminated wrongfully after an on-the-job injury. Many times, an employer will automatically believe that the injured worker was really hurt at home, or is just faking or exaggerating the injuries. Every day, employers wrongfully terminate employees who have been injured at work, even if it was not the employee’s fault. This type of employer conduct is outrageous and unlawful. It is unlawful to discriminate or wrongfully discharge an employee who is covered by State and Federal law. If you’ve been wrongfully terminated, you may be entitled to reinstatement, money damages and an injunction against the employer.

Injured workers have a right to file claims under state workers’ compensation programs, the Longshore Harborworkers’ Compensation Act, or the Jones Act. Most states have strict laws to stop employers from retaliation or their employees after a job related injury or workers’ compensation claim. General maritime law also makes it illegal for employers to terminate injured workers after filing a personal injury claim. Additionally, an injured worker may file a wrongful termination claim if their employer has refused to rehire them for future voyages, if the worker has filed a claim for personal injuries after the injured employee is able to return to duty.

Statistics show that after an employee has suffered any injury, the worker has a higher chance of being terminated without cause. The statistics are even higher for employees that are injured on the job. reinstatement of employment and monetary compensation for lost wages, value of lost benefits and, in certain circumstances, punitive damages and damages for emotional distress caused by the employer’s acts.

Let Us Help You

We fully understand the law regarding wrongful termination, and we will put our knowledge to work for you. If you’re suffering from severe financial problems because of your Jones Act or Maritime clame, the attorneys at the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm can help you get the financial help you need. If you would like, a lawyer or an attorney can contact you to answer your questions. There is no obligation and the initial phone call is always free of charge. Call toll free 1-800-JonesAct (1-800-566-3722), or send us an email. Call today and let us help you obtain your maintenance and cure benefits.