All Jones Act seamen are entitled to maintenance and cure payments while injured. Maintenance helps pay for your living expenses while you are recovering from your injury. Cure pays for your medical expenses. Your employer is required to pay your medical bills, but the company cannot require you to see a certain doctor.
There are many reasons why employers suggest that injured seamen use a company doctor. Most of these reasons benefit the employer, not the injured employee.
- Company doctors are often hired to minimize medical bills, so the employer doesn’t have to pay as much in cure benefits. This means you may not get all the care you need.
- Company doctors are pressured to return employees to work as soon as possible. You may be released to work before your injury has fully healed. This excuses your employer from paying any future medical costs related to the injury and increases your chances of reinjury.
- The doctor may provide information to your employer about your condition and your treatment.
Maritime law allows an injured seaman to seek medical treatment from the physician of his choice. It is best that you see your own doctor from the very beginning. If you are on board ship and can’t see your own doctor, visit your doctor as soon as you get back onshore. You deserve to be treated by a physician who is looking out for your best interests.
The company cannot refuse to provide maintenance and cure, even if you choose an outside physician. Contact a California Jones Act attorney if you have difficulty getting reimbursed for your medical costs or if your employer insists on treatment from the company physician. You may have grounds for a claim under the Jones Act. Call The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC at (619) 234-2833 to learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a San Diego maritime lawyer.
My Best Advice
The one thing I advise anyone handling their Jones Act Case, is to always tell the truth. Always. No matter what. Do not beat around the bush or sugarcoat anything. You have to be truthful about everything dealing with your case.
If you are not honest, The judge will dismiss your case. Trust me on it. I have seen it many times.
This is the best free advice out there on handling the Jones Act. Trust me. This book is full of helpful information to help you and your family win your Jones Act Case.