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Overview of the Doctrine of Maintenance and Cure

Being right on the Mississippi River, Granite City, Illinois, is the home to a lot of people who work in the maritime shipping injury. Working on river barges and other boats can be quite dangerous, so these workers can easily get hurt or sick while on the job. As our blog has discussed before, federal admiralty and maritime laws are slightly different than state laws; however, they often serve the same purpose.

With respect to injured or ill maritime workers, for instance, the Doctrine of Maintenance and Cure serves a purpose similar to that of the state's workers' compensation program.

Basically, the Doctrine requires that a ship's owner provide certain benefits to an injured crew member. These benefits include full medical care for the crew member until he or she either gets better and is able to return to work or until he or she has reached what the law calls maximum medical stability. Maximum medical stability is a legal way of saying that doctors have done what they can for the injured crew member.

Additionally, the owner may have to pay maintenance, or, a living allowance, to the injured worker.

Related to the Doctrine, injured crew members are entitled to all wages they would have otherwise received but for the fact they got hurt or sick. In other words, they are entitled to everything they would have been paid had they completed the voyage or served out their contract.

These benefits are awarded without regard to fault, so many injured employees who work on the water may be entitled to them. However, the process for recovering them can be a long road for someone to navigate alone. Having an attorney with experience representing those who suffered maritime and railroad injuries can be helpful.

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