For many people, the Gulf oil spill is a historical event that did not significantly touch their lives outside of the initial immediate concern for the wildlife and human inhabitants of the region. However, years later some individuals and businesses are still suffering lasting effects from the disaster.
There are several ways that the Gulf oil spill has affected the public. Businesses and employees alike have lost income and wages. Some workers lost their jobs entirely. Environmental damage related to the spill is immeasurable, and the wetlands, wildlife, ecosystems and coastline of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Texas continue to suffer the effects.
Potentially hazardous chemicals helped clean up the spill, and the health risks for humans associated with these chemicals is of concern to many.
To address the numerous lawsuits that have been filed, BP (the company at the forefront of responsibility for the spill) established a $20 billion fund through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, an administrator for the money. This fund was designed to help individuals and families affected by the disaster, and claims for compensation could be filed directly through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.
At this current date, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility site is closed, and the statute of limitations for bringing suit against BP or the other involved entities passed in April 2013. Though it is more difficult to do so, filing a claim for damages, particularly latent health concerns, might still be possible.
If you feel that you’ve suffered damages as a result of the Gulf oil spill, work with an attorney familiar with environmental hazard and health cases. Building a solid, viable case against the responsible party will be essential to the success of your claim.
What types of claims can I make related to the oil spill in the Gulf?
While many lawsuits have already been settled related to the Gulf oil spill, there are still many individuals suffering damages that were either slow to materialize or were difficult to link to the environmental effects of the spill.
Some claims filed by individuals or businesses affected by the disaster include the following.
- Health problems: People in the area at the time of the cleanup, or those directly involved in the cleanup, were exposed to potentially toxic chemicals that posed immediate and ongoing health problems. If you feel you’ve suffered from exposure to chemicals associated with the Gulf oil spill cleanup and are still suffering the effects, or have lost wages or incurred medical bills, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Income Loss: Many businesses and workers lost income during the time following the oil spill. Tourist attraction owners and employees, rental property owners, hotel owners and employees, commercial fishermen, charter boat owners or operators and other businesses in the affected areas all potentially suffered losses because of the spill.
- Wrongful death: If you’ve lost a loved one associated to the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf, you may be within your rights to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Property and environmental damage: Many properties were damaged as a result of the spill. The spill itself is responsible for some damages, and the dispersants used to clean up the oil also wreaked havoc on the region.
Who might be responsible for damages from the Gulf oil spill?
While BP is the target of the large majority of claims, there are also a few other parties involved that might be more directly linked to your claim. The following entities might also be liable for the Gulf oil spill.
- Halliburton: This is the well contractor for the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
- Transocean: This is the owner of the rig.
- Cameron International: Cameron is the manufacturer of the faulty underwater blowout preventer, which failed during the spill.
Who can help me?
Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. helps people affected by environmental disasters and their effects. If you feel that you were adversely affected by the Gulf oil spill, we can help you. Call us today at (800) 550-0000 to set up a free case review.