The deadline for victims of the BP oil spill to file claims with the GCCF is rapidly approaching. The GCCF will close its doors in 2013, so now is the time to file or appeal your BP claim if you are a victim and have not done so already. The GCCF has come under fierce attack over the last year for unethical practices, and biases in determining BP claims decisions.
GCCF Pays Base On Amount
The GCCF has been limiting Gulf Coast claim approvals based on geographic proximity and amount people are asking for. This has been the biggest hot-button issue surrounding the GCCF’s practices. This means that if the BP oil spill negatively affected you – even if you sustained Income loss from the event – and you were not close enough to the spill to meet the GCCF standards, then they will deny your BP claim.
This stipulation has come under fire by many local government agencies, the most prominent of which is the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. The agency cited that the GCCF judged claims were based on “a random distance in relation to the shoreline” and advised that, “all claims incurred as a result of the oil spill should be paid regardless of the claimant’s physical location.”
GCCF Paying Claims Based On Industry Types
The GCCF is approving claims for industries related to seafood and fishing and throwing the other industries on the Gulf Coast affected by the spill under the bus. The organization categorically denied claims for industries they deemed “unrelated” to the spill, whether or not the businesses were impacted by the disaster. These industries should talk to an oil spill attorney and get represented in their claim against BP and the GCCF.
The GCCF has denied thousands of claims filed by businesses such as – but by no means limited to – beauty salons, travel agencies, grocery stores, and auto repair shops. Local business owners have suffered immensely as a result, because their businesses intertwine with tourism and the local vitality of the area before the spill.
The Tunnell Report Used By The GCCF To Pay
The media and local officials are also criticizing the GCCF for using information from a study called “The Tunnell Report” to determine future losses. Dr. Wes Tunnell of Texas A&M University authored the report, and a source notes that he receive $500,000 from the BP Oil Company to do so. The report proclaimed that there was great news on the horizon for the Gulf Coast. It stated that the gulf was in the midst of a strong recovery and that most of the fish population would be back to normal levels sometime in 2012.
Many marine biologists blasted Tunnell for the claims he made in his report. One observed that Tunnell’s report fails to provide enough individualized consideration of the effects of the oil spill on one particular species. In addition, the report was not peer-reviewed, which is a standard practice among academic professionals.
The bias of the GCCF in awarding claims is the main reason that we urge victims of the BP oil spill to appeal denied claims. If you have experienced bias when filing your claim, or you feel you have been unfairly denied, please fill out a free case review and talk to an attorney about getting your claim paid so that you can get on with your life after the spill.
Finally a good story about real people with their BP claims in the GCCF process, from a reader that submitted her small business claim to one of our attorney’s. She was offered a $25,000 Quick Pay by the GCCF in April 2011 like so many other have been.
This small business owner was smarter than so many others. She did not take the GCCF Quick Pay. She submitted her claim with us on April 6 2011 and was put in contact with a great oil spill attorney. He took her case telling her that since she had already received an offer of $25,000 he would only charge his fee on anything above the $25,000.Very nice and fair way of doing business I got to give it up for our attorney friend.
GCCF Claims Done Right
The attorney took 30 days to get all the documentation and supporting documents together, and submitted a new claim for the small business owner. This week he got back an offer for $190,000 for the same claim that GCCF had already said was only worth $25,000 without the help of the attorney. Most people can see from this real life example why staying the course and using an attorney makes a lot of sense in this game the GCCF is playing. If you get an offer from the GCCF and you feel like they are not correct in their numbers contact an attorney and see what he can do for you.
GCCF Denied Claim
The same is really the case if the GCCF denies your claim, or keep asking you for more paperwork. I have talked to people that submitted claims back in January 2011 and GCCF are still asking each 90 days for more paperwork. Its like they will let the 90 days go by before they ask for more paper work. Just stringing you along and letting the time go by. So if you have been denied by the GCCF or are still trying to provided them with more and more paperwork, talk to an attorney. Its a free case revue so you really have nothing to loose. Also if you do hire the attorney to do up you claim for you, the attorney is not paid until you get paid. So when you get you settlement offer from the GCCF and accept is, that is when you have to pay your attorney.
GCCF interim Payment
In the review of the small business person I mention in this post its important to note that she was offered both an GCCF interim payment and a GCCF final review payment as her offers when it came in this week. Very few people are getting offered GCCF interim payments as GCCF want to finalize with victims now so the BP claim does not get higher over time. So when a GCCF claim is done right by an attorney the GCCF in 60 days have made this small business owner a fair offer that she will now accept. Another thing that is good to note is that the business owner had her losses at around 160k when she first talked to the attorney. The attorney found another 30k in losses and by doing so paid his fee out of losses the business owner had not even realized where there. So all in all a great story about how people that know what they are doing can get great results when dealing with the GCCF.