The maritime industry can be as dangerous as it is rewarding, but employers don’t always have their employees’ best interests at heart.
If you’ve been injured in a tow boat accident on the mighty Mississippi River, you can rely on the skilled team at Maritime Injury Law Firm to fight for your rights if your employer tries to take advantage of you. Our New Orleans team has the backs of maritime workers injured in offshore accidents throughout Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
1. See an independent doctor of your choosing
The first thing to do after a tow boat accident is to see a medical professional of your own choosing.
Once you report your injury, your employer may try to push one of their hand-picked doctors on you. However, dangerous businesses are known to choose doctors who focus on quick recovery and return to work – not full health and recovery.
What’s more, maintenance and cure benefits only last until you reach the Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) level, as indicated by your medical professional. If your employer-selected doctor prematurely states you are at MMI, then you will also prematurely lose your maintenance and cure benefits.
You’ll also lose your access to this employer-selected doctor.
It’s important to note that time is of the essence when you’re injured in a tow boat accident on the Mississippi River. Whether you’re in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, or further north, seek medical attention promptly, so the injuries and fallout of the accident will be properly attributed to your accident. Waiting too long to visit a doctor may lead to ambiguity about the cause of your injuries.
2. Learn about maintenance and cure benefits
Once your physical and emotional well-being are taken care of, or on the track to recovery, it’s time to address maintenance and cure.
- Maintenance: Compensation for an injured maritime employee’s cost of living during recovery time. Maintenance includes mortgage, rent, utilities, food, property taxes, insurance, and other basic living expenses. However, maintenance does not include cell phone bills, cable bills, or other similar services.
- Cure: Compensation for the cost of medical care and treatment following a work-related injury. Bills are typically paid directly to doctors and medical professionals.
Per the Jones Act, maintenance and cure benefits are payable to those who are employed on a vessel that operates on navigable waters.
It’s important to note that maintenance and cure benefits are not fault-based benefits. This means an injured seaman does not have to prove they were injured due to employer negligence.
As you can see, if you were injured in a Mississippi River tow boat accident, maintenance and cure benefits will be your lifeline.
Unfortunately, many employers are known to fight against paying injured seamen their deserved maintenance and cure benefits, which brings us to the third step after being injured in a tow boat accident.
3. Contact a trusted maritime injury attorney
It’s unfortunate that employers don’t always prioritize their employees’ health and wellness.
However, with a skilled maritime lawyer like George Vourvoulias at the Maritime Injury Law Firm in New Orleans, LA, you’re sure to receive the benefits you deserve.
Not only can a Jones Act attorney fight for you, but they are also a resource to learn more about your Jones Act and maintenance and cure rights. A maritime injury attorney’s job is to put your rights over your employers’ avoidance tactics.
The Maritime Injury Law Firm: Fighting on behalf of Gulf Coast offshore workers
You may feel like there is nowhere to turn after you’re injured in a tow boat injury. Don’t let your employer take advantage of you or withhold your maintenance and cure benefits. Contact The Maritime Injury Law Firm in New Orleans as soon as possible for a free, private consultation about your rights.