BP Oil Spill Claims & Class Action Suits
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 is something that nearly everyone on the Gulf Coast is familiar with by now, and those that were harmed by it may be able to become a member of the BP class action lawsuit. For such a wide-reaching event like this, keeping up with all of the specifics is extremely tough for someone who has never participated in something like it before. First, a business or property owner needs to determine if he or she qualifies to become a claimant.
Multiple parties have been held responsible for the disaster that fouled the Gulf Coast, but the claim against BP is the one taking center stage. The company has agreed to take the brunt of the responsibility, including paying out several groups and pleading guilty to criminal charges, among them, manslaughter. In short, this means that the BP class action lawsuit is not about people making a quick buck, but rather it’s about enforcing regulations that are meant to diffuse corporate negligence that puts people and the environment at risk.
Chances are that a business owner who was operating along the Gulf coast between 2010 and early 2012 is eligible to become a member of the mass tort case. There are multiple zones relevant to whether or not someone can sign their name on, and these zones stretch from Texas to south Florida, and everywhere in between. The Texas counties that were affected and may be able to have a BP settlement include Jefferson, Orange, Galveston and Chambers counties. However, not all claims are valid everywhere, so before becoming a member of the BP class action lawsuit, it is best to discuss the matter with an attorney that can address each claim and knows that there is not a stipulation to prove that a business was affected by the oil spill to have a successful outcome.
Some of the reasons that a person can become part of a BP class action lawsuit include damage to a seafood business, whether restaurant or fisher, failed startup business loss, general business loss, coastal property value loss, wetlands value loss and vessel damage. These are just a few of things that a resident or business owner along the coast can take to court, and as anyone can see, they are a bit open-ended. This is why an expert knowledgeable in this area of expertise should be consulted.
Fortunately, a person who has a legitimate claim and wants to be involved in the BP class action lawsuit doesn’t need to do much at all. In this form of legal process, a victim doesn’t have to actively join the process to benefit from it. This may not be the best option for those that have suffered particularly extensive damage though, for a couple of reasons. Though the company will be paying out around $8 billion in damages to victims affected by the disaster, there may not be enough to go around to justify the grievous harm caused to some. In these cases, a claimant may be better off securing their own attorney to represent them individually. Opting out means that the victim chooses to use their own attorney in an attempt to wind a BP settlement, while those that opt to stay in are essentially accepting the legal counsel of those attorneys that are already assigned the mass tort case.
This comes with some risks though, because it can be nearly impossible for someone to afford the court costs associated with taking on a major corporation. This is the reason that the BP class action lawsuit is as possible as it is, because with pooled resources, even a major oil and gas company has to answer to those that it wrongs.