Gulf Oil Spill Claims Lawyers
Breaking News: For information about plaintiff’s settlement with BP announced on March 2, 2012 click here
At the law offices of Goldberg Finnegan, our oil spill lawyers can help you with your claim for damages against BP and the other defendants responsible for the April 20, 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. BP is making payments to those economically affected by the oil spill now so it is important not to wait. We recommend that anyone making a claim against BP should hire an attorney to assist them.
How Our Lawyers Can Help You
Our attorneys will get your claim set up with BP, and help assemble the documentation needed so that you can get the payments you are entitled to. Our lawyers are handling individual claims against BP. We realize that many who have suffered business losses as a result of the spill are concerned that they will get lumped into a class action. We can help you set up an individual claim so that your individual damages are paid by BP and the other responsible defendants.
If you or your business have suffered damages as a result of the BP Oil Spill in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama or anywhere else, then there are certain things that you need to know. You should set up a claim with BP as soon as possible. BP is currently issuing interim payments for certain types of claims, but this could stop at any time.
Should I Rush To File My Claim?
It is important to get your claim set up now for many reasons. First and foremost, BP has indicated that they will make initial payments to individuals they determine have legitimate claims.
Many initial payments have already been made, and BP is supposed to be making the second round of payments in the next week or so. Subsequent payments (including the second round payment) will be made 30 days after the initial payment is made. Therefore, it is important to get your claim set up now so that you get BP’s initial payment and subsequent payments that you may be entitled to as soon as possible.
While we know that many fishermen, oystermen, shrimpers and other small business owners in those communities affected by the Oil Spill are struggling, we are very concerned that not everyone who is entitled to make a claim is making one.
If you choose to set up your claim without the assistance of a lawyer then the number you would need to call is 301-589-2999 or 800-440-0858. We do not know how long BP will be willing to make these payments. Therefore, we encourage anyone eligible to make a claim now before it is too late.
Important Facts About the BP Claims Process:
- BP Claims Generally: BP has been designated the responsible party under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), and they have accepted this designation. This does not mean that anyone should assume that BP should be trusted or that anyone should assume that BP will treat them fairly. BP has indicated that they will pay claims consistent with the law and will be guided by relevant statutes and regulations including the U.S. Coast Guard’s guidelines addressing claims compensability. BP has said that they will pay for damages if the oil spill on April 20, 2010 was the cause of the loss, the loss is not remote or speculative, and the claim is substantiated. But what BP says and what they actually do are two different things. What we have seen is that BP will delay in paying claims by saying that they lack the appropriate documentation and/or that the particular claimant is in line for payment and the delay continues day to day and week to week. A lawyer can help expedite your claim, and make sure that you are paid all of the compensation that you are entitled to. A lawyer can also pursue additional damages for you including emotional distress, non-economic damages and punitive damages. For legal assistance with your claim against BP call us toll free at 301-589-2999 or visit our website at www.goldbergfinnegan.com.
- Physical/Psychological Injury: If you have a physical injury from exposure to the oil or oil fumes (e.g. you feel sick from inhaling the oil fumes, have a rash from the oil, or have any other physical or emotional symptoms) then you should see a medical doctor immediately and be sure to tell the doctor that you believe that you were exposed to oil from the BP Oil Spill. We can help get a BP claim set up for you for your injury claim. We are very concerned that the people who live in the affected communities are being exposed to toxins, dangerous chemicals, and oil that could harm their health. We are concerned at this point, that people’s health are put at risk by exposure to the oil, and to the dispersant used by BP (Corexit). Corexit is just one of at nearly 20 EPA approved dispersants and many of the others are supposed to be more effective on Louisiana oil and in Louisiana waters. As of May 20, 2010 655,000 gallons of Corexit are reported to have been used on the spill. We can help you with your injury claim. Call us at 301-589-2999.
- Large Losses and Commercial Losses. If you have a large loss involving a large amount of money, then your claim should be directed to ESIS Large Loss Team, PO Box 17160, Wilmington, DE 19850 as they have been delegated to handle the larger loss claims. BP has said these claims will be handled by experienced claim adjusters with the assistance of accountants and lawyers. Financial documents supporting the claimed loss and identifying the ultimate beneficiary of the business should be provided with the submission.
- BP Claims Manual: To see the BP Claims Manual that we believe is being used by the BP Claims Adjusters Click Here
- Claim Notice Requirement.The Oil Pollution Act requires that formal notice be given to BP before a lawsuit in court can be filed under the Oil Pollution Act. The Notice must be given 90 days before a lawsuit is filed. A lawyer can help you comply with this requirement. This requirement is codified at 33 USC 2713 (a). The law says all claims for removal costs or damages shall be presented first to the responsible party or guarantor of the source designated under section 2714 (a) of this title. No claim of a person against the Fund may be approved or certified during the pendency of an action by the person in Court to recover costs which are the subject of the claim. Basically, after a claim is presented, if it is not settled within 90 days then the claimant can file suit against the responsible party or guarantor. See 33 USC 2713 Claims Procedure.
Oil Spill’s Impact On Business
The Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010, and unfortunately several people died. Although at first the public was lead to believe that it was tragic deaths and injuries that was of concern. But we now know that this explosion caused a massive oil spill that is leaking 5,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico (about 210,000.00 gallons of oil).
This is most likely the largest environmental disaster of our lifetime, and the damage caused may even exceed the damage done by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster. Our lawyers are already fighting on behalf of victims of this disaster.
On April 30, 2010 we filed a class action lawsuit in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana against those responsible for the spill. Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 individuals and businesses damaged by the spill may be entitled to damages for lost income, lost business, and loss of use of the gulf waterways. The oil spill is having a huge impact on many industries including fishing, tourism, and drilling operations.
If you fear that your business could be affected by the oil spill you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal rights. Our attorneys are available to give you a free evaluation of your claim.
The BP Oil Spill’s Impact On the Fishing, Oyster, and Shrimp Industry
The oil spill’s impact on commercial fishing cannot be disputed. In the Gulf Coast, fishing is a $2.4 billion dollar per year business in Louisiana alone. Shrimp and oysters cannot be harvested in contaminated water. Furthermore, the oil could have an impact on the reproductive ability of fish and other marine life, and could interrupt the food chain and damage the fishing industry for years to come. If you are a fisherman or in the fishing business call us at 301-589-2999 for a free consultation.
The BP Oil Spill’s Impact on Tourism Industry
There are major tourist attractions throughout the Gulf Coast including New Orleans, Biloxi, Destin, and other places. The oil spill is already resulting in serious losses for restaurants, hotels and recreation facilities including sport fishermen. The oil spill could damage the ecosystem including swamps and wetlands which are home to birds and other animals which draw tourists.
The BP Oil Spill’s Impact On Real Estate
Depending on how cleanup efforts go, the oil spill could very well cause a decline in real estate values. It will also hurt beach rental income on the Gulf Coast.
If you believe that your business or income is going to suffer because of the oil spill disaster, call us at 301-589-2999 for a free consultation or fill out our case evaluation sheet. Our attorneys are available to discuss your legal rights as they relate to the oil spill.
Documents Related To the BP Oil spill
- Letter from Senate Democrats to BP
- Washington Business Journal
- BP Claims Process