With the June 8 deadline for filing economic loss claims against BP for its 2010 oil spill fast approaching, businesses have one last chance to seek compensation from BP for the massive ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  Although many businesses have already filed their claims, there are hundreds of thousands of businesses that don’t know they are qualified for payment.  To figure out whether your business is qualified, and if so, whether your claim would be successful, here are four tips every oil spill claimant should know.

If Your Business is Located In Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana You May Qualify

Most people typically think of businesses located directly on the water when they consider whether to file a claim against BP—but what most people don’t know is that most businesses located anywhere within the Gulf states are eligible for payment.  Businesses don’t need to be located along the coast to receive payment from BP.  In fact, any business located anywhere in the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana are likely eligible.  While this may seem counterintuitive, BP entered into a settlement agreement that acknowledged that tourists drive through these states when heading for the Gulf Coast, and a lack of tourism in the states financially harms all businesses in the state.

Businesses In Most Industries are Eligible for Payment

It’s not just businesses in the tourism and entertainment industry that are qualified for payment.  The settlement agreement with BP allows claims from almost every type of conceivable business.  Although the settlement agreement exclude casinos, land developers, BP gas stations, insurance companies, and some other limited industries, it doesn’t matter whether your business earns $800 million in annual revenue or $1,000 in annual revenue—businesses of every size are eligible.  While representing clients in their BP claims, I have recovered funds from BP on behalf of a massive variety of business types, including shopping malls, hotels, restaurants & bars, lawn care companies, retail furniture businesses, condominium cleaning companies, window cleaning businesses, and many others.

Prepare for Filing by Gathering All Necessary Documentation

The filing of a successful claim depends primarily on financial and tax documentation.  The settlement agreement with BP is simplistic in one sense:  it doesn’t require businesses to prove a loss in revenue specifically due to the BP oil spill.  Instead, the settlement agreement only requires that businesses show a drop in revenue following the 2010 oil spill, when compared to previous years.  To prove this dip in revenue, claimants must at least provide tax returns and monthly profit and loss statements for 2009, 2010, and 2011.  Gathering these documents in advance and submitting them along with your claim will increase your chances of success.  However, to really boost your claim value, including tax returns and profit and loss statements for 2007 and 2008 is recommended.

Submit and Track Your Claim Online

Although claims are accepted by both U.S. Mail and through an online portal setup by the Federal Court in New Orleans, Louisiana, it’s best to file your claim online through www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com. By filing your claim online instead of through the mail, you will make sure all your documentation gets to the claim review team accurately and on time.  In addition, by filing online you will have immediate access to your entire case file and the ability to immediately respond to claim reviewer questions.

In summary, if you previously thought you don’t qualify for payment from BP, you should certainly reconsider if your business is located anywhere in the Gulf States.

Contact one of our business litigation attorneys, they can help you beat the BP Oil Spill claim deadline.

 

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