BP Oil Spill Settlements

Ocala Lawyers Skilled in Asserting the Rights of Consumers

The BP oil spill happened in early 2010, when a Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, injuring 17 workers and killing 11 others. The spill caused tremendous damage to the environment along the Gulf Coast, decimating the tourist and fishing industries and triggering many economic losses. BP admitted its responsibility for the mistakes that caused the damage, acknowledging it used defective construction to save money. The company set aside $20 billion to compensate those injured by the event, and about a million claimants filed claims against this sum. In March 2012, lawyers in the class action suit reached a settlement. There is no cap on what BP must pay to compensate all private claims. If you ran a business in the Ocala area that was harmed by the oil spill, the experienced consumer protection attorneys at the Dean Law Firm can help you pursue the full scope of your damages.

Seeking Damages after the BP Oil Spill

Many individuals and businesses filed a class action lawsuit against BP for their damages arising out of the spill. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 made parties that cause oil spills liable for damages that result. BP is required to compensate all eligible oil spill claims under two settlement agreements, the first for private economic losses, such as lost profits or real property sales losses, and the second for acute or chronic illness medical claims over the next 21 years. Individuals and businesses can join the class action and file a claim against the fund, or they can file a separate lawsuit.

Whether you file a claim or a lawsuit, you will need verifiable evidence that you were adversely affected by the spill. For example, if you are claiming that your commercial fishing operation suffered economic losses, you would need to submit loss of income documentation, such as tax records, copies of your fishing license, and wage loss statements. If you were a cash-only employee for a commercial fishing operation, you would need to provide a phone number so that your employment could be verified. If your claim involves property damage, you would need to present photographs of the damaged property and receipts to show you replaced the property.

Although bodily injury claims are not payable under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, BP agreed to evaluate the claims on a case-by-case basis. Many of those exposed to oil or chemicals from the spill may suffer health problems into the future, including sinus issues, neurological problems, respiratory difficulties, eye problems, stomach complications, skin conditions, and eye problems. For these claims, you would need to submit medical records and bills.

Under the settlement agreement, any medical condition diagnosed after April 16, 2012 is considered a "Later-Manifested Physical Condition." There is a separate Back-End Litigation Option process for those who develop a medical condition later and choose not to pursue workers' compensation benefits. However, you may be able to file a separate lawsuit against BP for damages, rather than filing a claim against the fund. Among the causes of action in such a suit would be Jones Act lawsuits, toxic torts, nuisance, and environmental claims.

Consult Dedicated Injury Attorneys in Ocala

Many property damage, economic loss and personal injury claims can be resolved quickly and in full for those harmed in any county along Florida's west coast. At the Dean Law Firm, our injury lawyers can help Ocala residents and others pursue the compensation to which they may be entitled, whether you have a medical claim or a business loss claim arising from the BP oil spill. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or via our online form to schedule a consultation. We also represent clients in Crystal River and other communities across Marion, Citrus, Levy, Sumter, and Lake Counties.