Oil Spill Claims

Signs of Health Complications from an Oil Spill

Oil collection and storage is an important part of the U.S. economy, and much of this work happens just offshore. This can be an efficient use of space and resources, but when an oil spill happens, the threat can also be imminent for those living on or near the shore. Unfortunately, many people suffer the consequences of oil spills, including severe health consequences, because oil companies do not carefully regulate their operations. When a spill occurs, that oil can invade all surrounding water and land, and even animal life. If your life or livelihood is affected by a dangerous oil spill, the health consequences might be dire.

Symptoms of a Problem

There are many different health consequences that could result from an oil spill, some short-term, some long-term or permanent. These consequences might not immediately be noticeable to your or a loved one, but signs of a problem might arise. Some symptoms of a health problem associated with an oil spill might include:

  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme thirst / dehydration
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Sudden or extreme weight loss

Each of these conditions could be an indicator that you are ill, especially if an oil spill recently happened near where you live. But even people who live far away from oil spills can have their health affected, as the oil spill can leak into surrounding bodies of water and animal life, all of which might impact your home. However, those who suffer from the negligence of oil companies in an oil spill might have legal options for getting compensation.

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Filing a Claim for Income Loss with BP Compensation Fund

Investigations on the impact of the April 20, 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill that affected the lives and livelihood of thousands who lived on the coastlines of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana is far from over. It is estimated that it will take decades before the full extent of the damage will be realized and the costs calculated.

But for some workers and business owners, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

BP, the main defendant in thousands of lawsuits for business economic losses for the accident, has agreed to put up a compensation fund of $20 billion. It is intended for those who suffered income losses when charter boat, hotel, tourist attraction, shrimp, oyster, fishing, restaurants and rental property businesses failed or shut down in the wake of the ecological disaster. Much of the economic activity in the coastline areas of the Gulf of Mexico depend on the tourists who used to flock to these areas in droves. With the coastline ruined and the once-famous Gulf shrimps shunned, a huge chunk of the income disappeared with the pelicans that once roosted on Cat Island by the thousands.

When the claims started pouring in, BP relegated the handling of them to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, a third-party service provider that accepts and processes income loss as well as other claims. The types of damages that can be claimed include:

  • Damage to business or personal property
  • Diminished earnings and business profit losses
  • Wages and salaries of workers and employees of now defunct businesses
  • Personal injury and some health consequences on a case to case basis

If you have suffered income loss either as an employee or business owner, making a claim against this fund may be just what you need. It will be quicker than making a separate claim against BP directly. The wisdom of doing so, however, will depend on how much compensation you are seeking. If you are claiming less than $5,000 and that is the full sum of your income loss, then the compensation fund is the way to go. But if you have yet to determine the extent of the damage to your business or property, then it may not be a good idea. Accepting a lump-sum payment from this fund means you give up the right to sue BP later on for this particular accident, you see.

If you are in doubt if you should file a claim for income loss, consult with an oil spill lawyer in your area and give the facts of your situation. The experience of knowledge of an attorney who has handled and won cases like this before would be the best person to advise you on your best move at this point.

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January 2021
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