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If your property has been damaged by oil washed ashore along the Gulf of Mexico, environmental claims lawyers at Colling, Gilbert, Wright & Carter can help you collect appropriate payment from your insurance company. Insurance companies depend on minimizing claims to keep their profits high, and as a result you may find your claim reduced or denied, sometimes for seemingly small details. Consulting with a knowledgeable lawyer can help ensure your claim is made appropriately to maximize your chance of recovery. And if your claim is unfairly denied, a lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to get the compensation you are owed.
If you are considering filing an insurance claim for property damage related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill or if you have filed a claim but been denied, the environmental claims lawyers at Colling, Gilbert, Wright & Carter can help. Please contact us today for a free consultation.
Oil Spill Background
On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the semisubmersible oil platform Deepwater Horizon, owned and operated by Transocean, but leased to BP (formerly British Petroleum). The platform caught fire, suffered subsequent explosions, and sank. Eleven crew members are unaccounted for and have been declared dead. At first, it was believed that the rig’s leak-prevention equipment had stopped any leaks, although some spill of diesel fuel and crude oil was expected.
On April 24, leaks were discovered thousands of feet below the surface, and it was estimated that oil was leaking at a rate of about 1000 barrels a day. By the 28th, estimates of the rate of oil leaking were raised to 5000 barrels a day, although some estimates run twice that rate.
By April 30, the slick from the oil spill had grown to cover an area of nearly 30,000 square miles, and oil began making landfall in Louisiana. As it grows, it threatens coastal areas in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida as well.
Although submersible robots have been employed to try to stop the leak, it is currently unknown when or if the leak will be under control.
Resulting Property Damage
As the oil spill reaches land, it will cause damage to natural resources that may be irrevocable in our lifetimes. As a result, businesses, properties, and cities that depend on those resources will suffer serious financial injuries. Those who are expected to suffer damages include:
- Individuals and companies in fishing, oyster, and shrimping industries, including fishermen, processors, and packers
- Owners and operators of docks and marinas
- Owners of private and commercial boats
- Owners of waterfront properties
- Owners and operators of restaurants that are on the water or depend on fresh seafood
These damages may be devastating and may be related to:
- Real or personal property damage
- Natural resource damages
- Short-term and long-term loss of earning capacity and profits
- Loss of use of natural resources
These losses may be covered by your property insurance, but it is likely that many such claims will be delayed, disputed, or denied.
How a Lawyer Can Help You
A lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve for the damage to your real and personal property that resulted from the oil spill. First we can review your homeowner’s insurance or other insurance policy and your claim to ensure that your claim includes everything that is covered, and only those items that are covered. We can help ensure you are expressing your loss according to the terms of the policy, speeding the processing of your claim and increasing the likelihood that it will be accepted.
Then, if your claim is unfairly denied, we can help you pursue compensation with a bad faith insurance claim. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to attempt to avoid paying damages on many claims they should cover. Many times, they hope that you will simply give up and walk away. But we can help you fight for the money you are owed and get the compensation you deserve.
If your life, livelihood, or property has been affected by the BP oil spill, the lawyers of Colling, Gilbert, Wright, & Carter can help. To learn more, call or email us today to schedule a free consultation.