There are still many details to hash out in the BP oil spill settlement agreement, but the company, the states and the courts are getting closer all the time. Texas business owners in Jefferson, Chambers, Orange, and Galveston counties may qualify for compensation under the new BP settlement, and details are finally starting to come out as to who is eligible and who is not. Because of this, it is recommended that anyone who has suffered from the disaster contact an attorney and get the relevant information for their case together as soon as possible.

Like other class action lawsuits, the BP oil spill settlement agreement will pay out funds to people who are affected, but it is imperative to contact a lawyer who will advise them on the proper forms to fill out in this pursuit. While some Texans may be among those expected to receive restitution, the part of the state that falls within the affected economic zone is rather small. Only the extreme eastern edge of the Texas coast is in the zone, though all parts of the Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi coasts are considered damaged, in addition to about half of the coastal areas of Florida. That being said, business owners in the Orange, Chambers, Jefferson and Galveston counties have already been compensated more than $50 million for damages they’ve incurred.

The BP oil spill settlement agreement is complicated, and is still in a state of flux. There isn’t a clear figure that the company will have to spend to compensate everyone it harmed, though it is believed that the amount paid out to individuals making a business or property damage claim will be more than $7 billion. This is in addition to the amounts given to the families of those killed or injured on the Deepwater platform explosion, the payouts to the states (which filed separate suits) in the economic zone, and to individuals who can make medical claims.

In short, it’s a financial mess for the corporation, and because there is still so much turmoil surrounding the proceedings, a victim with an expert lawyer won’t slip through the cracks. For those in Texas, the requirements to enter the lawsuit are becoming clearer. Any owner who can show an 8 percent drop during any three months from April 2010 to December 2010 (compared to revenues in 2007-2009), and then a 5 percent bounce back in 2011 will qualify for the BP oil spill settlement agreement. These owners can also qualify by showing a 15 percent drop in revenue during any three month run from April to December 2010, and then a 10 percent recovery in 2011. Some other claims may be allowed if they are backed up by variance in customer patronage.

Among those that qualify for the BP oil spill settlement agreement are those that have taken damage to their property or property value, their business, or their waterborne vessels. It is important to note that the deadline for filing a claim under the Seafood Compensation program was January 22, 2013. While that type of restitution is no longer available, those that have lived in the economic zone for a number of months during the disaster and have suffered from medical issues related to the spill may qualify for a separate lawsuit. Entering this lawsuit does not bar the victim from also making a claim in the primary suit.