Injured at sea? Protect your rights.
1 (800) 262-8529 - Free Initial Consultation

Contact Form

* Completing the contact form does not create an attorney-client relationship with Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski

Meet the Attorneys

David B. Anderson
David B. Anderson
Gordon T. Carey, Jr.
Gordon T. Carey, Jr.
Douglas R. Williams
Douglas R. Williams
Nicholas J. Neidzwski
Nicholas J. Neidzwski
The Maritime Law Association of the United States Logo

David B. Anderson, Gordon T. Carey, Douglas R. Williams, and Nicholas J. Neidzwski are proud members of the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

View Our Blog

Maintenance and Cure

Being injured is expensive. Fortunately, seamen have a right to maintenance and cure. Maintenance is payments seamen receive to cover their living expenses after an injury or illness. Cure is, like it sounds, the expenses it takes for you to recover from your illness or injuries. Unfortunately, many maritime employers in Portland, Seattle, and other ports in Washington and Oregon seek to deny their employees this payment, along with funds they owe their employees after the employee has been injured on the job.

Maintenance and Cure Claims in Washington and Oregon

If you've been injured and denied maintenance and cure, or your payments do not meet your needs, the Seattle maintenance and cure lawyers at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski can help you recover what is owed to you, along with any other compensation you are due. Our lawyers will carefully review your case and seek every cent your employer should be paying to you. Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 or send an online message to set up a free consultation to discuss your claim.

Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 or send an online message to set up a free consultation to discuss your claim.

Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski represents clients with maintenance and cure claims coast-to-coast in courts in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Northern California, including in Seattle, Portland and Tacoma. Our offices are located in Bellingham and Seattle, Washington, as well as Portland, Oregon.

Maintenance and Cure Information Center

Back to top

Washington Seamen's Right to Maintenance

"Maintenance" refers to the daily expenses that anyone might incur living life. It covers basics like food and shelter. These might seem simple, but it can be very difficult to get by if you're injured and cannot work.  Your right to maintenance continues until you have reached maximum cure, or until you are deemed fit to return to work.

Maintenance is similar to workers' compensation, often called "L & I" in Washington. Seamen are usually ineligible for workers' comp claims, but have a right to maintenance.

Maintenance payments depend on the particular circumstances of the sailor, and can depend on where you live. Typically, maintenance payments come to about $35 to $55 per day in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California — even in areas with high cost of living. Clearly, this is a low amount.

It might be a stretch for this amount to even cover your living expenses, much less your medical bills. An experienced maintenance and cure attorney in Portland or Seattle can address the problem of this low amount either directly with your employer or through the civil recovery process.

Back to top

Oregon Sailors' Right to Cure

Medical bills are to be covered by your right to cure. If you are injured, there might be extensive medical bills. There can be hospital bills, doctor's bills, surgery, medication, physical therapy, massage, work hardening, diagnostic testing, ambulance bills and more. If your Washington or Oregon employer fails to provide appropriate maintenance and cure, problems could worsen, leading to greater medical problems, as well as pain and suffering.

Under your right to cure, your employer is supposed to pay for all your reasonable and necessary medical bills if you are a seamen who becomes injured or ill while working in the service of a vessel.  You also have a right to select your own doctor, so you can seek someone you know will be looking out for your best interests, medically. Beware if your employer seeks to refer you to someone — that person might be looking out for the company's bottom line.

Back to top

Maintenance and Cure Claims in Maritime Courts

All seamen have the right to maintenance and cure if they become ill or injured while working in the service of a vessel, even if the injury occurs shoreside. This right not only includes instances of when you were injured because of someone else's negligence or the vessel's unseaworthiness, but also if no one was at fault, or even if you were at fault.

With such a broad right, you would think that employers would make these payments. However, many employers either seek to avoid paying by delaying or denying the payments, or they pay a lower amount than they should.  They may seek to claim your injury or illness was due to an undisclosed pre-existing condition.  They may say you need to seek a second opinion from a company doctor, and that doctor may say your medical care isn't warranted. They may try to pay a lower daily maintenance rate.

A Seattle maritime personal injury lawyer can help you recover the amount you are owed. Usually, your maintenance and cure claim will be filed along with a Jones Act claim for negligence and unseaworthiness, so that you may be compensated for everything you are due. In some cases when the employer is wantonly and willfully withholding  maintenance and cure, punitive damages may even be available. When it is shown that the employer unreasonably denied your maintenance and cure, compensation for attorney's fees is also available.

Back to top

Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski | Portland Right to Cure Attorney

If you're a seaman who has been injured on the job, you are owed a right to maintenance and cure regardless of who is at fault for the injury. The Seattle maintenance and cure lawyers at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski can help you win the full amount you are owed, for maintenance and cure and any other claim. Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 for a free consultation.

This website was designed for martime lawyers and was created solely for general information purposes. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal or medical advice. Only a maritime attorney or physician licensed to practice in your state can provide you with official guidance based on the specific details surrounding your situation.

Additionally, contacting Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski via e-mail or phone does not create an attorney / client relationship. This relationship is only formed after a formal agreement has been made by both parties.