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, both on the Atlantic Ocean and inland along the Chesapeake Bay, sailing, trading, fishing, and recreational boating have long been important here. 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. Baltimore, however, is the only port in the state for cargo and container shipping and is the second largest port on the east coast.
If you work in this busy and industrious port you have an exciting job that probably pays well too. If you work aboard the ships, the same could be said. In either type of maritime job the work is hazardous. Every day on the job you face the possibility of being caught in an accident and these accidents can be tragic. Many lead to injuries and even death. If this happens to you, rely on a Baltimore maritime lawyer to help you get the money you are owed according to the law.
The Port of Baltimore
On the shores of the Patapsco River in Baltimore is this large and sprawling port. It is home to five public terminals handling all kinds of cargo and containers, as well as 12 private terminals. There are also cruise lines operating here with one terminal dedicated to getting passengers off to Caribbean cruises. The harbor area is also a busy tourist destination. The area nearby includes plenty of shops, great restaurant and the National Aquarium.
As busy as the port is, the major industry here is the import and export of cargo. Important exports include automobiles and light trucks, coal, and paper waste. Imported cargo includes automobiles (nearly all Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the U.S. come through Baltimore), sugar, petroleum products, minerals, slat, fertilizer products, and farm and construction machinery. The port also includes major roll-on, roll-off facilities, intermodal container facilities.
The Port of Baltimore is a crucial part of the regional and local economy. It is directly and indirectly 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. There are many accidents that 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 to fatalities, and sadly, most could have been prevented. Even when the accidents don’t hurt anyone they cause a lot of damage and sometimes environmental disasters.
In one incident in which 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. Fault was found in the pilot bringing the tanker in for trying to turn into berth at a speed that was too fast. 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 which 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 that was 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, either in the Port of Baltimore or on a ship, you have rights under the law to get 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 a straightforward process, especially if your employer is denying you compensation. 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 that 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 that will cover your lost wages until you can get back to work.