When maritime workers come to us after offshore injuries in Rhode Island, they often have many questions:

  • Am I entitled to financial compensation?
  • What type of claim should I file?
  • Are my medical expenses covered?
  • Will I still get paychecks while out of work?
  • Can I sue my employer if the injury was their fault?
  • How can a lawyer help me?

We can help you learn more about your rights after a Rhode Island offshore injury. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Our experienced maritime injury lawyers have helped all types of Rhode Island maritime workers recover the compensation they deserve after an injury.

Laurence Banville
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rhode island lighthouse on shore

While the maritime industry in Rhode Island may be dwarfed by larger states, the location on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean means that various maritime trades play a big role in the state’s economy. Commercial fishers, cargo ship crew members, longshoremen, dock, and harbor workers, among others all make a living off of these trades. And countless local businesses rely on these ports and harbors to provide their goods, supplies, and products.

When maritime or offshore injuries occur, it’s important that these workers receive the financial compensation they need while recovering from their injuries. These workers are covered by different maritime laws, which vary depending on job duties. Crew members, seamen, and other vessel workers are generally covered under the Jones Act. Longshore, dock, and harbor workers are not covered under this Act, but may seek financial compensation through other maritime laws.

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Employer Liability For Offshore & Maritime Injuries

Under the Jones Act, eligible offshore workers can sue their employers if they were injured due to some form of negligence. These employers have a duty to keep their work environments safe and free of hazards which could lead to a serious injury. A failure to meet this duty legally constitutes negligence. This doesn’t only include specific hazards – if a co-worker makes a mistake and you’re injured as a result, you can still hold your employer liable for negligence. It’s your employer’s responsibility to make sure all employees are properly trained.

You also may have the option to hold the vessel owner liable if your work vessel has been deemed unseaworthy. Vessel owners also have a duty to make sure their ships are in proper working order and in compliance with safety standards. If any unsafe condition existed on the ship at the time of your injury, you could have grounds for an unseaworthiness claim against the owner of the ship.

Maritime Commerce In The Port of Providenceboat bottom being cleaned

Rhode Island only has a total of six ports and harbors. Most of these are small harbors which primarily cater to recreational boating. The majority of maritime commerce in Rhode Island occurs at the Port of Providence.

The Port of Providence processes about 2,000 ships per year, which move over 9 million tons of cargo through the port. Popular cargoes include salt, cement, asphalt, and petroleum products. Some of these ships export recycled metal to international markets.

The port is responsible for hundreds of direct employer jobs, in addition to thousands of other multiplier jobs that rely on the port (such as truck drivers, service technicians, etc.).

Taking Legal Action After An Injury

If you’ve recently been injured in a Rhode Island offshore or maritime work accident, it’s important to seek legal guidance from an experienced maritime lawyer. Seeking financial compensation for a maritime injury differs from a land-based workers’ compensation claim. Maritime injury claims are made at the federal level and involve the highly specialized field of maritime law.

If you’re covered under the Jones Act, it’s crucial to have a lawyer who can help you establish negligence and prove how that negligence caused your injury. Additionally, legal guidance is usually necessary for court appearances and negotiations with insurance companies.

Maritime workers who are not covered under the Jones Act also may require assistance when filing a Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation claim.

You can find out more about your options with no obligation in a free legal consultation. One of our experienced maritime lawyers can help you better understand your rights and begin planning for your recovery. Contact us today to find out more.

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