After the accident of Deepwater Horizon the federal government has held BP responsible for the entire episode of explosion and sinking of the underwater drilling unit. The clean up cost and the damages associated with the oil spill episode are the responsibility of BP. Under the OPA pollution act the economic damage limit is set at $75 million dollar if the company has not violated the safety regulations and have not been gross negligent. There are over 300 lawsuits filed against BP, Halliburton, Cameron International and Transocean. The coast line of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida are experiencing endangering threat to their marine life, economies and ecosystem. After the Deepwater Horizon had an explosion and sank, 4.9 million barrels of crude oil gushed out of the sea-floor on to the sea along the Gulf. That means around 205.8 million gallons of crude oil was mixing in the sea endangering the marine life and the deep sea habitat. It has surpassed Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 in U.S controlled waters and Ixtoc I oil spill in 1979 which was the largest in Gulf of Mexico before this spill. The filing of BP oil spill claim can be done either online or over the phone. After that the individuals or the businesses that are filing the claim will be asked to visit the BP claims office to submit the documents and get the claim documented. The online claim forms are available for the petitioners in three different languages, English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
How to file an oil spill claim
As per the BP Claims Processing Guidelines, to verify the identity and collect a detailed description of the oil spill claim or petition, BP contacts all the plaintiffs and asks them to be personally present in one of the BP’s claim offices. In many cases the claims are handled over phone and the claimants can send their documents through e-mail, mail or fax services. To attain additional information and documentation, BP claim representative meets the claimant in person. For the businesses filing oil spill claims against BP for suffering losses, the BP claim representative will confirm the span if time while the business was not operating and the financial records of profit-loss statement and tax return will be needed.
If the claim is denied by BP, it will notify the plaintiff in writing about the reasons for denial of the oil spill claim.
Oil Spill Claim could be in these areas
BP is eligible to pay the valid claims of damages occurring due to the oil spill for the relative category as the following:
- Net loss of government revenue
- Cost of increased public services
- Clean up costs of oil spill
- Oil removal costs
- Net loss in earning capacity and profits
- Damages to natural resources
- Income loss or subsistence loss
- Damage to the property
BP has announced to give interim payments to the plaintiffs who were not getting their regular income or profit when the oil spill cleaning is underway. It will give advance payments to lost incomes and profits equal to one month lost income or profit on the verification of documents submitted in support of the oil spill claim.