It’s no secret that 2020 has been a challenging year for the hospitality industry, but there seem to be brighter times ahead. Case in point: The forging ahead of expansion projects in PortMiami for major cruise lines.
Even though the cruise line industry has hit the pause button, it’s clear that the groundwork is being laid for future endeavors. Major cruise lines such as Norwegian and Carnival have made deals to build new terminals and make gate modifications to Terminal Link Miami.
It’s exciting for many cruise line employees to see work going ahead because it indicates they’ll have jobs to go back to once the cruise industry rebounds from COVID.
Just because they’ll be excited to go back to work doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be protected on the job, though. When cruising first starts back up, COVID will still be a concern.
This makes maritime maintenance and cure for cruise line employees as important as ever. Here’s a little refresher on and why these protections are so vital.
Maritime Maintenance and Cure
For those who work in the maritime industry, maintenance and cure is an important law that can offer protection if you’re injured or fall ill while on the job. It will help you no matter who is at fault or how an accident that led to the injury occurred.
If you are injured at sea while working, maritime law mandates that you have the right to maintenance and cure.
What is maintenance in maritime law? It is classified as a daily living allowance that is provided to a worker injured while at sea. All maritime workers that are injured are allotted an amount of compensation until they completely recover. It is provided no matter who is at fault for the accident, whether it was the employer or not.
The compensation you receive depends on your employer, but at the very least it should be enough money to cover the basics such as transportation, shelter, clothing, utilities, and food. Though it should be understood that maintenance is only meant to cover the necessities, not extras such as entertainment and cable.
Maintenance is the financial compensation for daily expenses while ‘cure’ is the portion that will help to take care of medical expenses you incur when injured on the job. Maritime employers are expected to pay all medical expenses related to the injury. Often this can include things such as:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- CT scans or MRIs
- Expenses related to surgery
- Expenses related to medications
- Expenses for transportation to and from doctor appointments
- Costs related to medical equipment such as crutches or wheelchairs
Cure coverage should go on until you have recovered fully and are able to work again. Often, doctors will be required to release you back to work. In some cases, your employer may want you to undergo an Independent Medical Exam to see if you’re able to physically return to work.
It’s important that you know you have the right to request a second opinion if that exam certifies you can return to work but you disagree with the findings.
What If An Employer Refuses?
It sometimes happens that an employer will refuse to pay maintenance and cure. In that case, you should understand that you have the right to seek legal representation on your behalf.
An attorney may be able to settle with your employer for an amount that can help with living expenses and medical costs until you recover.
Even though under maritime law employers have to pay maintenance and cure, some may try to get out of it. That’s why understanding your rights is key to getting what you’re entitled to.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.