Maritime workers face unique hazards associated with their jobs, and as a result, qualify for special benefits. While the availability of these benefits affords you some peace of mind, trying to figure out how to get your benefits can be overwhelming while you are injured and unable to work. The bills are piling up and you need treatment – what do you do?
The Houston maritime injury lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. know how to get the compensation you need to get back on your feet. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help – call us at (281) 283-8500 to schedule your free consultation today.
Injured in the Maritime Industry?
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Delaying treatment can cause various problems. First, your injury could get worse and result in a permanent disability. What may have been a treatable, minor injury, may later require extensive surgery, prolonged treatment, and a much longer recovery.
Second, some maritime injuries may not manifest themselves right away. By seeking immediate medical treatment, your doctor can diagnose your injuries right away. This will allow you to start treatment quickly and minimize the amount of time that you are unable to work.
Lastly, delaying treatment can cause potential issues if you need to make a claim. Your employer may use the delay in treatment to argue that you weren’t actually injured. They may also try to argue that you are trying to seek compensation for a pre-existing injury or that your injury occurred while you were off the job. The longer you wait to make your claim, the more difficult it can be to prove.
Understand Your Legal Options
While there are a variety of legal protections designed to protect injured maritime and port workers, it can be confusing to figure out which benefits apply to your case. These benefits can compensate you for your current and future medical expenses, your living expenses if you are unable to work, permanent or temporary disability, and pain and suffering.
Maintenance and Cure & the Jones Act
- Maintenance: these are your day-to-day living expenses such as food and housing while you are unable to work.
- Cure: these are your medical expenses including hospital stays, emergency room visits, physical therapy, doctor visits, and other treatment expenses.
To qualify for maintenance and cure compensation, you must have been employed on a vessel that operates on navigable waters and injured while on the job. If you qualify, your employer is obligated to pay you until you have recovered as fully as possible, referred to as “maximum medical improvement.”
Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act is another potential source of compensation that will cover your medical costs. It covers maritime workers who are injured while working on the Outer Continental Shelf such as offshore drilling workers.
You Are Entitled to Immediate Care
Your employer is required to provide immediate medical treatment in the event that you are injured while on the job. If they prevent you from receiving the medical care that you need, they may be held liable for any additional harm caused by the delay.
You are also entitled to choose your own doctor, but we realize that many employers may choose a medical provider for their employees. If they choose the provider and they provide improper or inadequate medical treatment, your employer may be held liable for any additional harm.
Contact a Houston Maritime Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a Houston maritime accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, the law is complex and the claim process can be difficult to navigate. The Houston maritime injury lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can help.
Call us at (281) 283-8500 or visit us online to discuss your case and how we can help.