It is well known that maritime workers face a variety of hazards when it comes to their working conditions. Because of this, they qualify for a variety of special benefits under maritime law. While these benefits offer some peace of mind, knowing how to use those benefits once you need to use them due to injury can be extremely overwhelming. So, what are you supposed to do if you need medical treatment due to a maritime work injury?
An experienced attorney can help you get back up on your feet and understand your options for getting medical care. The sooner you contact the attorneys at Kolodny Law Firm, the better.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Delaying medical treatment can result in a variety of issues. First of all, your injuries could get worse and may even result in permanent disabilities. What could have been a minor injury could instead need extensive surgery and therapy and result in a much longer recovery period.
Second, just like other types of injuries, maritime injuries do not always appear immediately after an accident. By seeking medical treatment as quickly as possible, your doctor can check you for injuries that may not be obvious and start treatment immediately.
Lastly, putting off treatment could make it difficult to file a claim later if you need to. Your employer may argue that you were not really injured or that your injuries occurred while you were not at work and that is why you delayed treatment. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the harder your claim may be to prove.
Understanding Your Legal Options
While there are a variety of protections available for injured port and maritime workers, it can be difficult to determine which benefits apply to your situation. These benefits, if paid, can compensate you for medical costs, living expenses, lost wages, temporary or personal disability, and more.
The Jones Act and Maintenance and Cure
The Jones Act provides what is called maintenance and cure for maritime workers that are injured. Its benefits can be broken into two categories:
- Maintenance: These expenses are your day to day costs including housing and food while you are off work.
- Cure: This includes medical expenses such as emergency room costs, surgery, hospital stays, doctor visits, therapy, and more.
To qualify for this type of compensation you must have been an employee of a vessel that is operating on navigable waters and suffered your injury at work.
You Qualify for Immediate Care
Based on maritime law, your employer is required to provide you with immediate medical care if you are injured while at work. If they keep you from receiving this care, they could be held responsible for any harm you suffer due to the delay in treatment.
You are also entitled to choose your own doctor; however, many employers will try to choose your provider for you. If the care provided by this doctor is inadequate, you may be entitled to additional compensation for any harm you suffer at the hands of this care provider.
Contact an Experienced Maritime Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a maritime accident, contact the attorneys Kolodny Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.