As more and more news comes about about the BP settlement its clear to us that people with easy claims that are straight forward loss of wages claims should in most instances opt in for the BP settlement.
When we talk about an easy claim for the settlement is means you only have 1 claim and its for loss of wages. On top of that you are in the seafood or tourist industry.
These types of claims would be easy to work up for the attorneys and they would be easy to calculate a settlement amount for before submitting them into the fund.
Remember once you opt in to the BP settlement there is no opt out again
Another group of claims that should be easy for the settlement would be the VOO captains that should get 26 days extra pay. If you are happy with that, then its an easy opt in, now if you have other claims that have not been paid, be careful and know what you offer is going to be before opt in.
Don’t make a mistake like all the people that took the quick pay did, they are all kicking them self right now and are in a real bind because of it. They obviously did not read my blog and did not hear my warnings about the Quick Pay so they just took the easy money and are now screwed.
I don’t want anybody else to make that same mistake on the BP settlement, so know you offer before opt. in to the settlement.
What Areas Does The Settlement Cover
So for now we know for a fact that the BP settlement covers 4 counties in Texas close to the Sabrina River, the Gulf coast counties in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. That would mean from Pensacola to Key West are covered in the BP Settlement. Lots of claims should be coming out of the South Florida counties that have not file claims yet.
Now remember just because the BP settlement does not cover the county or state you live in, does not mean you cannot get paid by BP. It just means you have to prove that the oil spill caused your losses and that you had losses.
For the Gulf Coast Counties you just have to prove your loss, the cause being the oil spill does not have to be proven anymore in most cases. Specially related to tourism and seafood harvesting, processing and selling.
Loss Of Food From The Ocean Claims
These claims are called Loss of Subsistence Claims, this is where you would use part of your catch as the food you put on the table for your family. This would generally apply to fishermen that used part of their catch as bartering or food for their family. The max amount that can be claimed in the settlement is $10,000 but there might be some people with this claim that can come in. It just want documentation that would be needed to prove this claim that will be the tricky part. Most likely the claim will only be available for commercial fishermen but we will have to see in the final version what people will be able to claim.
Again if you have already taken a final payment there is nothing you can do right now in the BP settlement you are excluded from it at this moment no mater how unfair your quick pay or final payment was. Does not mean this will not change but for right now it is this way.
Seafood Claims Might Get A Much Better Deal
I have been telling people on my website www.bpsettlement.co that people in the seafood and tourist industry would be getting 3.5 times their 2010 losses. Well after thinking more about it and asking more questions there might be some corrections that needs to be made to this statement and here is why.
Shrimpers, crabbers and oystermen where getting 4 times their 2010 losses, should they now only get 3.5 time ? I think the answer to that question is no. I also think the Seafood claims settlement that is capped at 2.3 billion dollars is part of the answer to this question.
In my mind it could go one of two ways.
First the payout for the seafood harvesters and processors could be very high maybe 6-7 times 2010 loss, maybe even higher. Or they could realize the problem they have with the Quick Pays in the seafood industry and say no matter what compensation you have gotten before if you are in the seafood industry we will take a look at your claim again and give you a better deal than what the GCCF gave you.
If they truly want to benefit as many people as possible they go with the second option and take all seafood fishermen, oystermen, crabbers that took little money and give them a fair settlement. Not something they have to do but it would be the right thing to do.
If they did that it would make sense that there is a cap of 2.3 billion dollars on the settlement amount, but it would mean the higher seafood claims would probably not be paid at 3.5 times 2010 losses and they would opt out and take their chances with the courts.
What To Do While Waiting On The Final BP Settlement
So we are all waiting on the Final Settlement paperwork so we can see exactly how a claim is going to be calculated and what kind of documents needs to be filed with the claims fund. Also we are waiting to see who is eligible for the settlement. What we are doing while we are waiting for this is working everybody up so we can see what possible settlement number they are getting when the settlement starts. What you should be doing is make sure that you have an attorney, make sure the attorney or the CPA that works for the attorney has all the documentation they have been asking for. If you don’t have some documentation tell them. But supply what you have to them and talk to them to make sure they have everything.