Gulf Coast Oil Spill Attorneys: FAQs
If your home or business has been harmed by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, you likely have a number of financial and legal concerns. During such a challenging time, it can be difficult to keep track of all the important information you need to take in. The oil spill lawyers of Williams Kherkher want to help.
BP Appealed my Eligibility Notice. Can you help me?
Yes. We have handled over 30 BP appeals and have yet to lose a single one. We know what claims BP appeals and why. We have already developed the legal arguments and supporting exhibits and evidence to handle any appeal quickly and professionally. The appeals process is complex and has very short deadlines. If you fail to act the Appeals Panel will most likely select BP’s Final Proposal, which is almost certainly much lower than your Eligibility Notice. Please call us today if you need help with your BP appeal. We offer reduced fees for this service (we take our fee on the difference between what you are actually paid and BP’s Final Proposal amount).
I got a Incompleteness Notice. Can you help me?
Yes. Most Incompleteness Notices are caused by a claimant not sending in the proper documentation. Often times we will get a new client with an existing claim and find out the client’s prior law firm or “claim processing” firm simply forgot to submit important documents. In one instance, a new client had been told they only needed to submit 2009 and 2010 financials; this resulted in them getting an artificially low offer. Once we fixed the problem the client received and offer and payment that was over 6x higher. We take claims during every stage of preparation, so please do not hesitate to call today.
I filed my claim last June and nothing is happening. Can you get my claim “unstuck” if I hire you?
This is probably the most common reason we are hired. A claimant has submitted documents and waited patiently for several months, only to learn that the Deepwater Horizon claim center hasn’t even begun to review it. The simple fact is that we do have contacts within the claim center that are able to ensure that our claims don’t get lost in the shuffle. Call us today if you want to have your claim paid instead of ignored.
I want to fire my current lawyer and hire you. Am I allowed to do this?
It depends on what you agreed to with your current lawyer. We respect legal contracts and will not encourage or suggest anyone breach a contract with another lawyer (or anyone else). However, we have found that some lawyers involved in BP claims are not actively working on claims (or even filing them). If a lawyer told you they’d file your claim within a defined time period and has not, you may have a valid basis to terminate the agreement. If you are unsure you can contact us and we will attempt to evaluate your situation for no charge.
My claim was denied because I don’t pass causation. Can you help me?
Yes. In many instances we find that the reason a client didn’t pass causation is because they didn’t submit the proper documents (especially 2007 and 2008 financials). Or, we find that their prior lawyers or “claims processors” didn’t provide monthly financials but instead took an annual number and divided it by 12. Once we get proper financials completed we find that the client does pass causation. If you want a 2nd opinion please contact us today.
How much do I have to pay you?
We are contingent fee lawyers so you never pay us unless we recover money on your claim. Our typical fee is 25% of your claim payment. We advance the accounting preparation fees, and we then recover these advanced expenses when we obtain a payment from the Deepwater Horizon Claim Center. We don’t charge clients for travel, long distance calls, or overhead items (like copying or faxing). As a general rule of thumb our clients will get about 72% of the total payment.
A Claim Processor told me my claim was worth $100,000 before I showed them my financials. Is he right?
It is impossible for anyone to calculate your claim value (or to even know if you have a compensable claim) without first seeing your monthly financial statements. Anyone that cold calls you and tells you they have already calculated your claim is not being honest. If you want a legitimate, professional, and accurate evaluation please contact us. Once we have your 2007-2011 monthly financials we can tell you whether you qualify, and give you a good estimate of the claim size. After you hire us we then have our CPA firm prepare a formal claim packet with all necessary calculations and supporting documents.
Are your clients getting offers that are the same as your claim calculations?
Yes, within about 1%. In other words, if our CPA firm calculates your claim at $150,000, the offer will be within about $1,500 of that amount. Usually the Deepwater Horizon claim center offer is slightly higher because they round and truncate numbers a bit differently than our CPA firm does. In any event, our calculations are nearly identical to the claim centers.
What Zone am I in?
You can quickly and easily check your zone at http://www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com/maps.php. Simply click the link and follow the instructions.
What address counts for the zone determination?
The address where your business is located. We refer to this as the “brick and mortar” address, meaning the actual physical location where the work is conducted. The claim center won’t accept a PO box.
What claims are covered under the Economic and Property Damages Settlement?
There are six types of claims that may be filed under this settlement:
1. Any business or individual who can prove that they experienced economic loss due to the spill.
2. Damages incurred to waterfront or beachfront properties.
3. Loss of property value for SOLD Gulf Coast waterfront or beachfront residences. Properties sold between May 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010 are the only ones eligible for compensation.
4. Loss of subsistence if individuals can prove that their living relies heavily on affected areas.
5. Vessels of Opportunity claims.
6. Seafood industry related losses.
Are there medical benefits provided under this settlement?
Medical benefits are not included under the Economic and Property Damages Settlement. There is a separate Class Settlement that provides for all medical claims as a result of the spill. Any claimant who believes he/she is eligible for a medical claim is free to file a separate claim.
Are economic loss claims included under this settlement?
Yes. But there are certain types of businesses that are excluded under this settlement. Examples include: casinos, financial institutions, insurance, government claims, and the oil and gas industry.
If a claimant already signed a GCCF final release, will they still be eligible under this settlement?
If the release was signed before February 27, 2012, they are not eligible under this settlement any longer.