In the wake of the BP oil spill that has sent the Gulf Coast into a state of panic, a variety of individuals that derive their livelihood from waterways that may soon be immersed in crude are becoming concerned with how they will continue to stay afloat financially. There is, however, a means in which claims may be made to compensate those who have been affected by the disaster. Oil Spill Losses must be made within three years after the date on which the damage and its connection with the spill was reasonably discoverable with the exercise of due care. This may seem to be an easy process but great care must be taken when submitting the claim in order to prevent a dismissal based solely upon it being improperly filed.
The process for making a claim has a list of requirements that, when completed, will profile the harms faced and damages incurred. Basically, for the owner of Commercial Fishermen operations in Terrebonne, St. Bernard, Jefferson, Lafourche and Plaquemines Parish, once they are aware of their losses they must present their claims to the responsible parties within three years of that time. In this case, fishermen must submit their claim to BP as owners of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
Certain information is required for all claimants with oil spill losses. Such basic requirements for all oil spill claims are
1. Photo Identification
2. Tax Returns from 2007-2009- However claims representatives have indicated they will take fewer years.
3. Any appropriate licenses (captain licenses, etc.) that someone in that line of work would normally have.
Also, all commercial fishermen will be required to furnish the following information to present an oil spill claim:
1. The name of the boat
2. The license number of the boat
3. The state of registration
4. The commercial fishing license
5. the commercial gear number, and
6. The Vendor’s sale receipts.
There is no required format for oil spill claims. The requirements merely stipulate that the claim has to be made in writing. By being as precise and accurate as possible with your claim, the claimant can make the process easier on themselves as well as standing out for the care they took in providing their proof, etc. Utilizing all possible tools to provide claims processors ease in their efforts will provide claimants the best possible opportunity to receive what they are looking for.
The Berniard Law Firm will be providing sample claims for the various effected parties in future blog posts to help all parties effected by this matter. Please stay tuned to this blog to receive further information regarding the OPA claims handling process.