As the news reports poured in immediately following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the focus was constantly shifting. The disaster caused the tragic deaths and physical injuries to many oil well workers and Gulf region residents, inestimable damage to the region’s wildlife and the environment, and financial devastation that continues today. The recent settlement agreement that was reached between class action plaintiffs’ attorneys and BP attempt to resolve the crisis for many in the area, and among them are homeowners and investors who own or owned properties in the affected area.
The Gulf of Mexico has long been considered an ideal place to live and a sound real estate investment. The region boasts ideal weather, recreational activities and beautiful views. But after the Deepwater Horizon oil well explosion spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf waters, the appeal of living in the area, or even visiting, quickly lost its luster. Landlords found themselves with rental properties that they were unable to rent, and homeowners and property owners ended up either unable to sell their holdings or forced to let them go at much depreciated rates. Under the terms of the BP settlement, these property owners are now able to collect compensation for the economic damage that they suffered as a result of the oil spill.
The terms of the settlement agreement acknowledge and specify the wide variety of different types of damages that property owners in the region may have suffered. These include everything from lost rental income or property value, to compensation for damage done to the property, to loss of use or enjoyment of the property based on physical damage done by the spill or its cleanup.
If you are a property owner whose property was impacted by the BP oil spill and are uncertain as to what your rights are or how to go about filing a BP claim, a qualified BP oil spill attorney can help you assess the extent of the damage to your property and what your losses are. The BP claims process has been designed to be simple but there are a number of different claims forms that may be appropriate and the process can be quite confusing. Additionally, compensation may be available through your property insurance company or from a number of other sources as the responsibility for the damage continues to be established.
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