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Phone: 619-234-2833
The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC

What is a Maintenance Allowance? How do I get more Maintenance? What Can I do about it?

"We give you an insiders view of Jones Act Seaman Law.  We don’t sugar coat it for you.No lawyer talk, no double talk. Just  unsweetened truth.”  Jones Act Lawyer Bill Turley
Injured Seaman Attorney Jones Act Lawyer

My Best Advice

If you are an injured seaman, you have rights to be protected under the Longshore Jones Act. The first thing after you are injured is that you should always tell the truth. Nothing is more important than your credibility with the judge and your lawyer. No matter what type of injury or how you were injured, you should never sugarcoat or exaggerate anything.

My Second Best Advice

The next best thing you can do before you go to court is research as much information as you can about your Jones Act Case. I have handled these types of cases since the 1980's. I have gained valuable and helpful knowledge these cases. Order my Free book, Win Your Injury Case: The Ultimate No B.S. Guide To Avoiding Insurance Company Tricks That Ruin Your Case [ Even before you hire a lawyer]. It is full of useful and helpful information on how to handle your Jones Act Case from beginning to end.

Need Help Right Now?

Call us today at (619) 234-2833. We are here to help. We are here to listen.

What is Maintenance?

"Maintenance rate" refers to the daily allowance Seaman receive after you are injured or become ill and while you are not fit for duty and you are receiving medical treatment for your injuries. When you finish your treatment it is usually called reaching "maximum medical improvement."

"But we only pay $20 A Day For Maintenance Around Here."

We hear stuff like this all the time. The insurance adjuster will come up with some arbitrary maintenance rate. You will hear, "We always pay this amount or that amount." And then they will basically give you a tough luck attitude. Frankly, we don't buy it and neither should you. Whenever this happens - - we immediately start documenting your actual expenses. Then we submit the documentation to the vessel and request that they raise the maintenance rate. The devil is in the details, so to speak.

You need to have receipts for all of your monthly expenses. Down to the last nickle. Seriously. We put together a monthly chart of your expenses.

It's All About Being Reasonable

If you live with your family and have a multiple bedroom house - you may not get all of your mortgage/ rent. You need to be reasonable here. It depends.

You also need to consider what is reasonable for your area. What is reasonable in a large city - might not be as reasonable in a rural community.

What we are suggesting is that you need to be reasonable. You don't want to overreach here. Only request a maintenance rate that is reasonable. Only request a maintenance rate that is fully documented by your monthly expenses.

What Is Coming Next - - Your Remedy

So, once you have made a reasonable request to the vessel to pay maintenance at a reasonable rate - what happens if your employer (read: the insurance company) ignores your request for a reasonable maintenance rate?

Under general maritime law, you can recover what is called punitive damages in relation to the failure to pay maintenance and cure. This article only discusses the failure to pay maintenance. Under maritime law you can recover punitive damages for the willful and callous failure to pay maintenance and cure. Other courts have stated it a tad differently. That is, these courts state you have the general maritime remedy of punitive damages for the willful or wanton failure to comply with the duty to pay maintenance and cure.

Under some circumstances, your punitive damages award can be significant. The key here is to be able to prove that your employer was acting willfully and was callous. In these instances, you have been reasonable and your employer has acted in a callous manner.


America’s Leading Jones Act Lawyers

San Diego Office

625 Broadway, Suite 635
San Diego, California 92101

Oakland Office

1300 Clay Street, Suite 600
Oakland, CA 94612

San Francisco Office

275 Battery St. Suite 1300
San Francisco,  California, 94111

Los Angeles Office

3255 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1801
Los Angeles, California  90010


We help you with the insurance company.

We help get you maintenance and cure/ medical treatment. We can help today. 

Call 619-234-2833 or 866-705-4617


We Help Put Your Life Back Together

We have helped many Seaman put their life back together.  We will help you rebuild your life and get back to being who you used to be.


Depend On It

The Jones Act  insurance company sure knows the rules.  They hire adjusters and attorneys that know the rules forwards and backwards.  They hire sharks. Literally.   These sharks will eat up your case in a New York second. Depend on it. We sure do. So should you.


Invited Speaker 2011 Maritime Personal Injury Seminar – Jones Act
Awarded 2011-2017 Super Lawyer 
Highest Rated Jones Act Lawyer by Avvo.com
Elected President of Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
New York Times Top Attorney
Awarded Best Lawyer San Diego
Chosen Trial Master

Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley

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