BP volunteer workers have made every effort to try and contain the oil spill in the Gulf Coast but the impact of the incident to the economy and the environment cannot be repaired right away. The incident causes more than 6,000 barrels of oil leaking out in to the sea each day and despite the clean-up efforts, it is presumed that marine life in the area has been greatly affected. By law, BP is to be held responsible for all the clean-up efforts and should pay for all costs and expenses related to these activities. In all fairness to BP, they have set aside a fund that will pay for all these costs including other expenses including claims for injuries that may result in these activities.
As of the present time, more than $5 million per day is being spent to clean the gulf area and this amount is expected to increase over time. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 mandated the responsibilities of BP to compensate all the losses and damages incurred by the spill. Currently, the Federal Court is the one handling the distribution of funds and with the court-supervised BP settlement program, claimants are promised a more efficient and just compensation. Depending on the type of damage or loss, there are guidelines that need to be followed for faster processing of claims.
A claimant only needs to provide a detailed report of the incident via phone or online forms. Once these reports have been received, the claimant is given a number to use for follow ups. An oil spill attorney is required to handle the case of each claimant. Supporting documents should also be submitted for review to check whether a claim is eligible for compensation or not. Examples of documents usually asked to support claims:
• Loss of income – information pertaining to an individual’s source of income including tax records, registration and license, pay slips, etc. For businesses claiming commercial losses, business records will be required.
• Property damage – claims for minor property damage typically requires the submission of supporting documents like photographs, removal costs receipts, and other documents proving repairs and replacements done on damaged properties. Sometimes an on-site inspection will also be done by a claims personnel.
• Medical claims – information that supports injury claims including medical bills, records, prescriptions, and pharmacy records. For easier processing of claims, it is highly recommended that these documents are prepared or obtained in advance to avoid hassles.
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