Deckhands are just one of the many affected employment groups that are facing hardship as a result of the BP oil leak. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) (33 U.S.C. 2701 et. seq.) is the law that established the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and covers incidences such as the current Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. Deckhands from Lafourche, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parish and all of the effected areas should take note of the following information which will be required when presented an oil spill claim to the responsible parties.
First, every claimant, no matter their employment category, needs to provide the following to the claims center:
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.
In addition to the above referenced items that are required for all claims a deckhand will also need to have
1. The vessel name on which they were employed.
2. The vessel registration
3. Captain’s name and phone number- to verify they are employed on the vessel.
After an individual has submitted this information, the claims department will process the documentation in the order that it was received. The oil spill loss claim will be reviewed by a claims adjuster to see that all the information is included. If additional information for verification of the oil spill claim loss is required the adjuster will request that such information be forwarded to them. If the adjuster does not receive the requested information 90 days, the adjuster will complete his decision on the claim with the information in hand. It is possible that the adjuster could deny the claim on the basis of lack of information.
By being thorough and providing as much information as possible, claimants may be able to better their chances to receive a solid response. It is important, however, that any possible financial settlement or compensation in response to a claim that a deckhand receives be reviewed by an attorney in order to preserve future rights to damages. It’s quite possible that all settlements offered by BP will come with a requirement that all future claims be limited or prevented outright. As no one knows how long this oil spill will be an issue, to sign away rights to future claims is dangerous and ill advised.
If you need assistance with your oil spill claim the Berniard Law Firm’s attorneys are happy to represent you in these matters. Our firm is actively and aggressively pursuing claims against the responsible parties for deckhands as well as all other claimants who need assistance. Call the Berniard Law Firm today at 1-866-574-8005 to discuss your legal rights in pursuing your oil spill claims against BP or any of the responsible parties.