The duty to provide crew members with maintenance and cure means your maritime employer is responsible to provide you medical care up until you are at maximum medical cure.
The Jones Act provides a cause of action for breach of the duty to provide maintenance and cure. Your employer must provide you with “prompt,” “proper,” and “adequate” medical care. If it does not, you may have a claim for “failure to provide prompt, proper, and adequate care.” Shipowners may try to cut costs by delaying or denying necessary treatment, or providing you with minimal medical care. The fact is that many people heal without medical care. When they do not, however, the consequences can be disastrous. You could have a claim against your maritime employer if that happens.
If you were injured or became ill while working as a crew member, you likely received medical attention from the ship’s doctor or a doctor once the ship returned to port.
If you were not provided proper medical care, your treatment was delayed, or a doctor provided by your employer gave you the wrong care, you may have a claim against your employer. Our maritime trial attorneys have years of experience handling these claims and can get you compensation for the negligence of employer selected/provided medical providers.
Simply put, shipowners are generally responsible for negligent medical care committed by healthcare providers under their maintenance and cure duty. This is what is called “vicarious liability.” Vicarious liability is a type of liability where a superior is liable for the act of a subordinate. This means your maritime employer is typically responsible if a shipboard provider or land-based provider commits malpractice in your treatment. The maritime trial lawyers at Mase Seitz Briggs in Miami, Florida, have decades of experience handling crew member malpractice (failure to provide prompt, proper, and adequate care) claims and know how to hold shipowners accountable.