BP Oil Claims Fund
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
If you are a resident, worker, fisherman, business owner, or property owner in one of the Gulf States, BP is required to pay you for damages that result from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. To ensure that there is sufficient money available for your claims, President Obama convinced BP to set aside $20 billion in escrow for future claims. The fund will be created by BP over the next four years. Claims will be paid from this fund by an independent agency where claims will be evaluated on the basis of their documented merit. This is separate from the current claims method, which is administered by BP. It also does not prevent you from filing a lawsuit for damages if you desire.
If you would like to learn more about this fund, how you can go about filing a claim, and whether it is best to file a claim or a lawsuit, contact Jacoby & Meyers to get in touch with a local lawyer who can help you understand these complex legal issues.
Do You Have a Claim?
If you have suffered an economic loss due to the BP oil spill or BP oil rig explosion, you may be able to receive compensation by filing a claim. Currently, claims are being accepted for damages due to the oil spill and response, including:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Loss of profits
- Loss of earning capacity
- Subsistence loss and damage to natural resources
- Cleanup costs
- Government losses
And the company has been accepting claims from
- Oyster lease owners
- Property owners
- Injured persons
To learn more about the claims process, see our page Should I Get a Lawyer to File an Oil Spill Claim?
To get in touch with a local lawyer who can help you understand the process and file your claim, please contact PersonalInjury.com today.
How Much Damage?
The compensation you are eligible to receive depends on the documentable net loss you suffered as a result of the oil spill.
What many find frightening about the BP Deepwater Horizon spill is that the amount of damage it will eventually cause to the people, economy, and environment of the Gulf States is unknown. For 2010, the damage is likely to be severe, with fishing, crabbing, shrimping, and oyster harvesting all banned indefinitely in affected areas, a moratorium on new deepwater wells, and tourism significantly down. For 2011 and beyond, it is impossible to say how much damage will be done. The economy of the Gulf of Mexico has been valued at over $230 billion a year, with oil, tourism, and fishing as the three biggest industries, and all three of these industries have been impacted.
The oil industry has been significantly impacted by the general moratorium on drilling imposed shortly after the Deepwater Horizon accident, which was changed to a ban on deepwater drilling at the end of May. This still represents a significant impact on the region's economy, and an additional $100 million fund has been established to further compensate those oil workers unable to work during the moratorium. However, some estimate that the lost wages from deepwater drilling rig employees could total as much as $330 million per month.
The tourism industry has already been seriously impacted and for many people the entire season may be a complete loss. With over $100 billion a year in annual tourist dollars, this would be a tremendous loss for the region. The losses will be felt not just by resort owners, but by small hotel and restaurant owners, many of whom have family businesses and operate in the red for most of the year, depending on the few short months of the summer to keep their businesses.
Although a small segment of the gulf economy--accounting for less than 1% of the total revenue--the impact on the fishing industry is significant to the overall impact of the spill. The fishing industry contributes significantly to the tourist economy. Many people are drawn to the region by the prospect of fresh, locally-caught seafood. The impact to the fishing industry also has the prospect of being catastrophic. Many fishers, crabbers, shrimpers, and oyster harvesters run small operations that depend on their harvest to pay boat loans and other expenses, and without a good harvest they face the loss of their livelihood. Currently, fishing is banned in about a third of Federal fishing waters in the Gulf of Mexico, and the ban continues to be expanded. The ban will last as long as oil continues to be found in the water and in the fish.
As a result, estimates vary about how much damage the economy will suffer. Politicians have glibly thrown around figures that range from $3 billion to $100 billion. Even a studied estimate is highly uncertain. A University of Central Florida economist estimated the damage to Florida alone as being somewhere between $2.5 billion and $11 billion, if the oil hit only the Gulf Coast. He said he was afraid to estimate the damage if oil made its way to Florida's Atlantic Coast. In a press release on the fund, the President noted that the $20 billion is not a cap, and made a commitment to ensuring BP will meet all its obligations.
To get help ensuring BP will meet its obligation to you, please contact PersonalInjury.com today to talk to a lawyer in your area.