Maintenance and Cure is a right based in General Maritime Law. Any seaman who is injured or becomes ill while in service to a vessel has the right to receive maintenance and cure until reaching maximum medical improvement “MMI” or returns to work.
What Does All That Mean In English?
Maintenance is just term of art for a per diem or stipend, which is paid to an injured or ill seaman to help him obtain minimal food and shelter of the same like and kind that he would have been receiving aboard the vessel to which he is assigned. Although courts have steadily increased the amount that is deemed “reasonable”, it is still usually only amounts to $35 to $45 per day. The experienced maritime lawyers at Lambert Zainey knows how to maximize this amount to make sure you have as much financial support as possible while recovering from your illness or injury.
Cure is a fancy word for medical treatment. As a seaman, you are entitled to medical treatment of your choosing when you become ill or get injured while in service to a vessel, regardless of whose fault it is. Often, your company may send you to the “company doctor” when you get back onshore, but don’t forget that you have the right to see a doctor of YOUR choosing.
Maximum Medical Improvement or “MMI” is the point in your medical treatment where your doctor says you won’t get any better than you are medically. It does not require that you be back to 100% and company doctors will often deem you to have reached MMI when there may be some improvement still available to your condition. An experienced maritime lawyer can help protect you from being bullied by your company into returning to work when you aren’t ready or being deemed MMI when there is still medical treatment available that may help you.