Maritime work in Maryland and the Port of Baltimore is dangerous. Workers face daily risks and the possibility of accidents that can lead to injuries or even fatalities. If this happens to you, rely on a Baltimore maritime lawyer to help you get the money you are owed according to the law.
Baltimore’s Maritime Industry
The maritime history in Maryland, one of the original colonies and home of some of the earliest European settlements, is long and rich. With a lengthy and rugged coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and inland along the Chesapeake Bay, sailing, trading, fishing, and recreational boating have long been important here.
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While the Port of Baltimore is the largest and busiest port in the state, it is far from the only one. All along the coast are smaller ports. However, Baltimore is the state’s only port for cargo and container shipping and is the second-largest port on the east coast.
The Port of Baltimore
This large and sprawling port is on the Patapsco River in Baltimore. It is home to five public terminals handling all kinds of cargo and containers and 12 private terminals.
There are also cruise lines with one terminal dedicated to transporting passengers to Caribbean cruises. The harbor area is also a busy tourist destination. The area nearby includes plenty of shops, restaurants, and the National Aquarium.
As busy as the port is, the primary industry here is the import and export of cargo. Essential exports include:
- Light trucks
- Paper waste
The imported cargo includes:
- Automobiles (nearly all Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the U.S. come through Baltimore)
- Petroleum products
- Fertilizer products
- Farm and construction machinery
The port also includes major roll-on, roll-off facilities, and intermodal container facilities.
The Port of Baltimore is responsible for more than $100,000 jobs and three billion dollars in annual salaries and wages.
Baltimore is the eleventh largest port in the country in terms of the tonnage of cargo that comes in and out and the ninth biggest in terms of the monetary value of cargo.
Maritime Accidents in Baltimore
The Port of Baltimore is the second largest and busiest port on the east coast. It comes in second only to the Port of New York and New Jersey. Working in such a busy and crowded environment is hazardous. Many accidents occur both in the port and on the ships coming in and out of the harbor.
Too many of these lead to injured workers and even fatalities; sadly, most could have been prevented. Even when the accidents don’t hurt anyone, they cause damage and sometimes environmental disasters.
In one incident where a worker was injured, a tanker collided with a dock in the Port of Baltimore. The tanker was a bit one at 477 feet in length and had 24 people on board when it struck the CSC pier coming into its berth in the harbor.
One worker was injured in the incident, and it was lucky that more people were not hurt. The worker was on the dock at the time the tanker hit.
Gault was found in the pilot bringing the tanker in for trying to turn into a berth at a too-fast speed. This accident, which led to one injury and millions of dollars in damages, could have been prevented with better judgment.
In a similar incident, a collision occurred that fortunately didn’t hurt anyone but did cause an environmental accident. A tugboat leaving the port in 2013 to help bring a ship in ran into a submerged and collapsed pier.
The collision caused enough damage to sink the tugboat, although it was able to make it back to the dock where the crew could evacuate. The accident caused fuel to spill into the water from the tugboat.
For a worker in the port, a scary incident occurred in which he was sitting in a truck dragged into the water by a ship.
The ship was attached to the vehicle at the time and, through a miscommunication, began to reel the connecting line back into the ship. The truck was pulled into the water, but the worker in the cab was able to jump out in time. He escaped the incident with a minor injury.
Resources for Maritime Workers in Baltimore
If you work in the maritime industry in the Port of Baltimore or on a ship, you have the right to seek compensation if you are injured. Your loved ones have rights to that compensation if you are killed on the job.
Accessing that compensation is not always straightforward, especially if your employer denies you payment. Experts in the law, Baltimore maritime lawyers, have the knowledge and expertise to help you fight that battle.
With a Baltimore maritime lawyer, you can be sure you won’t make the common filing errors that could mean losing money.
You also will be given the best chance of successfully battling your employer’s insurance company to get the compensation that will pay for your medical expenses and cover your lost wages until you can get back to work.