BP Oil Spill

Lawyers Helping Victims of the 2010 Gulf Coast Oil Disaster

The 2010 BP oil spill was a monumental catastrophe that dumped 5.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and devastated the lives of countless people in the region. Alabama's coastline was severely damaged. Pressured by the U.S. government, BP set up a $20 billion fund to compensate people living and doing business in the Gulf. If you were harmed by this tragic event, you may be able to recover compensation. The oil spill lawyers at Milam & Milam will fight to protect your rights in Florida and Alabama.

Establishing Eligibility for Funds

Many individuals and businesses filed claims in a class action lawsuit against BP for the oil spill. This includes commercial fishermen, seafood processing workers, dock and marina operators, commercial and private boat owners, and those who own beachfront properties, such as condominiums and restaurants along the water. The pre-existing Oil Pollution Act of 1990 had made companies responsible for events like the BP disaster.

Individuals and businesses must show that they were harmed by the oil spill in order to claim any of the money set aside in the official fund or to file a separate lawsuit. They may be able to get compensation for damage to real estate or personal property, the increased costs of public services, lost profits and earning capacity, loss of subsistence, loss of use of natural resources, and loss of revenue. Personal injuries associated with the spill and cleanup will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Emotional or psychiatric problems related to the spill probably won't be covered under the fund, but they could be pursued in a separate lawsuit.

Claims for money from the fund must be submitted with documentation, including federal tax returns. Some of those affected may need to meet specific requirements. For example, a business claiming lost profits must show that its revenue during three consecutive months between May and December 2010 was 15% lower than during the period before the spill and that revenue over the same three months in 2011 was no more than 10% higher than it was in the 2010 period. Evidence may include accounting books, payroll records, tax records, bank statements, boat registration records, reservation cancellations, and fishing licenses.

Meanwhile, individuals may prove lost income by submitting a tax return or W-2. People in "cash-only" jobs can prove their claims by submitting documentation as well as the phone number of somebody who can verify their employment.

Filing a Separate Lawsuit to Pursue Compensation

It may be appropriate to file a separate lawsuit rather than pursue a portion of the general fund. Appropriate claims that may be filed in connection with oil spills can include Jones Act lawsuits, toxic tort and nuisance cases, and environmental or regulatory claims.

The Jones Act gives crew members who are hurt at sea the right to sue employers for negligent or intentional wrongdoing that caused them injuries. Since crude oil can kill or harm people by polluting drinking wells or contaminating food sources, people hurt because of an oil spill can file personal injury claims against those responsible. Also, businesses that were economically undermined by the disaster can file claims for financial harm they suffered because of the spill. Finally, many environmental groups have regulatory grounds for federal lawsuits against the government based on the oversight of offshore drilling.

Discuss Your Case with a BP Oil Spill Attorney in Alabama or Florida

The BP spill lawyers at Milam & Milam have served many people and businesses harmed by the oil spill in both Alabama and Florida. With 25 years of combined experience, we offer clear communication, creative strategies, and dedicated representation. If you have been personally injured or economically damaged by this disaster, contact us by calling 251-928-0191 or request a consultation through our online form. We serve clients in Birmingham, Montgomery, Pensacola, and other locations in Alabama and Florida.