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Awards & Affiliations

  • American Association for Justice
    As members of the AAJ, we are committed to promoting a fair, effective justice system that allows for victims of misconduct or negligence to obtain the justice they deserve.
  • Rhode Island Association for Justice
    Members of the Rhode Island Association for Justice follow the organization’s mission: Working together to ensure equality.
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
    The Rhode Island Bar Association has been working to uphold and protect federal and state laws since 1898, with an emphasis on maintaining a democratic government and honoring the justice system.
  • DC Bar
    Membership with the DC Bar provides us with access to legal research materials, professional service providers, and more that can be used for the benefit of our clients.
  • Super Lawyers
    Only 2.5% of attorneys in a given state are selected for inclusion on the Rising Stars® list. Members must be aged 40 or younger, or be in practice for 10 years or less.
  • Distinguished Martindale Hubbell
    Distinguished® attorneys are peer-review rated and selected based on their honorable professional achievements.
  • Brain Injury Association
    Our work with the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island is designed to provide information and services to survivors.
  • Brain Association of America
    As members of the Brain Injury Association of America, we are the voice of awareness, and we are here to help survivors.
  • Expertise Best Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Southern New England Brain Injury Law Center
    Southern New England Brain Injury Law Center
    This is a society of multidisciplinary brain injury professionals who come together to discuss issues concerning brain injury and bring the science behind brain injuries into practice.
  • Melvin M Belli
    Lawyers are initiated into the Melvin M. Belli society by invitation-only and are considered to be distinguished trial lawyers.

Rhode Island Maritime Injury Lawyers

Representing Injured Seamen, Crew & Passengers

If you are the victim of an offshore accident, it is crucial to hire an experienced maritime attorney who fully understands the Jones Act and other unique aspects of maritime law. With more than 85 years of experience, our lawyers at Karns & Kerrison take a special interest in maritime injuries throughout Rhode Island from our offices in Providence and Middletown. We have considerable knowledge in this area of the law.

Many of our clients were hurt in:

  • Commercial fishing vessel accidents
  • Merchant marine vessel accidents
  • Cargo ship accidents
  • Marine collisions
  • Cruise ship accidents
  • Boating and fishing accidents
  • Personal watercraft accidents
  • Recreational accidents

We also represent longshoremen and harbor workers, though the process for seeking compensation differs. We pride ourselves on our client advocacy, providing the information injured clients and their loved ones need to make the right decisions for their futures and families. We will take the time to learn about your situation and provide results-oriented counsel that will help you seek the full and fair compensation you need.

For answers to your questions about maritime law, call (888) 281-3100.

Compensation for Injured Seamen & Maritime Workers

Maritime workers who qualify as "seamen" and are injured on a vessel in navigation can recover compensation from their employer under the Jones Act for negligence or under maritime/admiralty law for unseaworthiness. The requirements for seamen status include performing duties that contribute to the function of a vessel.

Examples of "seamen" can include those who work on:

  • Fishing vessels
  • Cargo ships
  • Freighters
  • Towboats/tugs
  • Supply boats
  • Barges
  • Semi-submersibles
  • Movable drilling rigs
  • Cruise ships

If they are injured while carrying out their job, seamen are entitled to full and fair compensation under the Jones Act or maritime law. Injured seamen can sue for future losses that include an inability to return to the job they held on the vessel before they were injured, causing them to suffer a permanent loss of income.

Injured seamen may also be entitled to compensation for:

These damages can be paid by way of a settlement or court verdict. Recovering the full amount you are entitled to, however, will often require the assistance of a lawyer skilled in maritime law.

What Qualifies as a "Vessel?"

In order to recover compensation under the Jones Act or maritime law, an injured seaman must be working on a vessel in navigation. A "vessel" is considered to be any floating structure that is used as an instrument of commerce and/or one that is intended for transportation on navigable waters. The floating structure, however, need not be engaged in transportation at the time of the incident, nor must it have its own power.

Navigable structures that are moored, anchored, or jacked up can still qualify as vessels.

Whether a structure is floating or engaged in transportation can be a question of the owner's intent. For example, a drilling platform permanently affixed to the seafloor is not considered a vessel; however, if the drilling platform can be jacked up and moved, and has been moved, it can be considered a vessel. In addition, a riverboat casino that is moored for a number of months can still be considered a vessel under the law.

What Qualifies as "In Navigation?"

In maritime law, a vessel is considered in navigation when it is engaged as an instrument of commerce and transportation on navigable waters. Once a vessel's construction has been completed and it is placed in service or commissioned, it is deemed to be in navigation until it is specifically taken out of navigation.

A vessel that is moored undergoing repairs, even in dry dock, retains its status as being in navigation. When work is being done and a voyage is planned in the foreseeable future, the vessel is in navigation. Floating workstations that have no transportation or commercial function are not normally considered vessels.

Contact Our Maritime Injury Attorneys in Rhode Island

If you or someone you love has sustained a serious injury in a maritime accident, we invite you to call our office at (888) 281-3100 to schedule a free consultation with our maritime injury lawyers in Rhode Island. Karns & Kerrison can give you the information you need to make the right decisions for your future.

Call us at (888) 281-3100 to arrange your FREE consultation. We serve clients throughout Rhode Island from our offices in Providence and Middletown.

  • Car Accident Traumatic Brain Injury
    I would definitely recommend Karns & Kerrison to anyone who asked - they come through for you.

    - Patricia Feeley

  • Slipped on Greasy Floor
    I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending Karns & Kerrison.

    - Mike Carey

  • Rear End Collision
    Nothing but positive results from consultation, to filing the legal suit, handling of a major operation, to recovery and finalizing a generous settlement.

    - Larry Goldfarb

  • Horrible Car Accident
    They not only got me a fair settlement, they helped to get me well.

    - Nancy

  • Motor Vehicle Accident - Braga Bridge
    It was comforting to know I had someone watching out for me.

    - Jeanie Small

  • Pedestrian hit by Car
    I did not know where to turn when I realized I needed legal help but I am very happy that I found Karns & Kerrison.

    - Martin

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Schedule A Free Consultation

If you or your loved one suffered severe, life-altering injuries due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help you fight for justice. For answers to your questions or to schedule a free consultation, contact our personal injury team at (888) 281-3100. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorneys’ fees after we have recovered compensation on your behalf.

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