The massive oil spill that resulted from the explosion and sinking of the off shore oil platform Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, is considered the worst ecological disaster in United States history. The economic impact of the oil spill is still affecting thousands who own property or earn their livelihood along the coast. Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon has served the Gulf Coast community for over a century, and with the BP oil spill still wreaking financial and ecological havoc along the Gulf Coast, our experienced Pensacola oil spill attorneys are prepared to protect your rights.
Do I Have a Claim Against the Parties at Fault for the Oil Spill?
The wide range of industries and individuals with possible losses due to the oil spill include, but are not limited to, rental management groups, hotels, real estate brokerage firms, restaurants and bars, tourism businesses, commercial fishing businesses, dock and marina owners and operators, and waterfront property owners. A detailed accounting of damages, including lost profits and property damage, is required to make an accurate and full claim for recovery due to the oil spill. Businesses and individuals that suffer damages from the oil spill, including loss of revenue, property damage, and cleanup costs, need to obtain experienced legal counsel quickly to ensure a detailed accounting of these losses.
Can Your Firm Help Me File My Claim, and How Much Do You Charge?
Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon’s Oil Spill Litigation Team provides free consultations for all potential oil spill claimants. Currently, BP is paying out claims through a claims procedure established by the Oil Pollution Act (OPA). After the full extent of your damages is determined by our experienced team of attorneys, our Oil Spill Litigation Team will prepare and file a claim with the new Court Supervised Claim Procedure. If there is a denial of liability for your claim, or if the claim facility presents you with a settlement offer you deem unreasonable, Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon is prepared to take all steps necessary to protect your rights, including filing suit or making a claim for federal funds through the Oil Pollution Trust Fund.
How Do I Receive Full Compensation for My Losses Due to the Oil Spill?
To ensure you receive full compensation for losses caused by the oil spill, detailed recordkeeping is essential. Whether you are a rental management group, a commercial fisherman or a hotel owner, you must keep track of the following three categories of damages: (1) lost profits; (2) extra expenses; and (3) diminished value of your business or property. In order to accurately calculate and document the damages for these particular areas, you should retain the following information, in no particular order:
- Tax returns and financial statements for the previous five years.
- Cancellations, including the number of cancellations, information regarding the reasons for cancellations and, if possible, the number of cancellations in previous years.
- Money spent to fight the negative effects of the oil spill, including any safety preparations taken, any increase in advertising to reassure the public that the beaches are safe, and any discounts provided due to the oil spill – in short, any money you spent doing something you would not have done if not for the oil spill.
- Information regarding any change in employee status, including reductions in the number of employees, reduction in employee pay, and other costs associated with employees.
- Previous property appraisals and valuations.
- Anything you did to mitigate the losses you suffered due to the oil spill. Note that all claimants have a duty to mitigate their damages as much as possible in light of the circumstances.
- A narrative of your strategy, plans, and expectations during the upcoming year for your business, before the oil spill occurred.
- Pictures and other photographic or video evidence of your property and the nearby beach before the arriving oil.
These general categories of damages are not comprehensive, and Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon will engage a team of skilled accountants and economists to assist in capturing your total damages due to the oil spill. It is important that you obtain legal counsel quickly to accurately calculate and track these losses.
How Do I Contact Your Firm?
The knowledgeable and skilled BP oil spill lawyers at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon will work tirelessly to protect your rights. If you belong to a civic organization or group that may benefit from our expertise, our firm welcomes the opportunity to host a town hall-style meeting to discuss your legal rights. If you have suffered losses caused by the oil spill, please call (850) 444-HURT (4878) for a free consultation, or fill out the electronic questionnaire.