As of today over 1,400 offers have gone out from the Deepwater Horizon Settlements, and as of July 31 2012 check has been send out to those offers also. If you have submitted your claim to the Deepwater Horizon Settlements you are among 50,000 people that have submitted claims so far. The processing of claims are sure to get faster and faster as they get their systems up to speed.
I would guess that the 1,400 number we are seeing today will be more like 5,000 by the mid of September. Its so important for the class settlement to get a lot of claims processed before mid September because of the October 1 opt out.
October 1 Opt Out What What Should I Do ?
Now since I am not an attorney I cannot advice you what to do on October 1 2012, for that you should talk to your attorney but I can tell you what is going to happen after the Opt out date going forward. Now if you have the paperwork to prove your claim and you choose to stay in the BP settlement after October 1 2012, its because your paperwork is good you know and can prove your loss on paper and you are happy with the multiplier you are getting for your claim. So example if you are in the tourist industry and you are in Zone A you are looking at a 3.5 multiplier on your loss.
Now the settlement only gives you a multiplier on losses you can prove with W2, tax returns or P/L statements, what if you lost your house because you could not pay the mortgage because you lost your job because of the BP oil spill, again talk to your attorney about situations like this as I don’t think the settlement is written to cover losses like this.
Another example is mostly from the seafood industry, shrimp and crab season has been very tough on fishermen not in 2010 but in 2011 and 2012. The losses that are calculated with a big multiplier is from 2010 where the losses in this industry was not as big as what they are seeing now and in 2011. For these people the multiplier is correct between 5-8 times their losses but the year is wrong as the crab and shrimp did not disappear until 2011 season. Again when the harvesters are being hurt so are the processors and again they would have the same problem with the settlement.
On the other hand if you opt out of the settlement your attorney will have to be ready for OPA presentment by January 19 2013 a little less than 4 month after the opt out date. This is the last date to do OPA presentment or the 3 year statue will run on the case.
The OPA Presentment By An Attorney
The OPA presentment will happen in Houston, TX where BP’s head quarters are, this will be presented by an attorney to the agent of BP as they have claimed responsibility for the oil spill. This presentment has to be a full review of the losses that a client has had in respect to the BP oil spill. As the OPA (Oil Pollution act) was written very loose with plenty of room for interpretation losses like loss of house, boat, car, family will all be possible claims. Also anybody that does not fit the class action settlement that lost money because of the BP oil spill will be able to file with OPA. This would be anybody not in a settlement Zone or not in a job classification that is covered by the settlement. Here I would primary think of all the counties in Florida that are not Zones in the settlement and workers classified as Casino workers or Moratorium claims.
All the people that do not fit in the class should already have an attorney and have that attorney file their OPA claim now, as the BP OPA office has 90 days to bring back a reasonable settlement offer on your case or the attorney you are with can file suit on your case.
If you are still not with an attorney please fill out the form on the right and I will find you good representation in Houston TX no matter where you live in USA.
What Happens After OPA Presentment
Now the OPA presentment take 90 days where you have to get an offer back or the attorneys can file suit on your case and they will. So when you file suit the case with go back to the MDL in New Orleans and then it will go back to the state and county where you are from. So if you are in Pensacola Florida that is where you will get a trial date. The other option would be Houston TX as your attorney can choose venue on the case because the BP main office is in Houston Texas.
Now can BP really defend 10,000 cases at the same time ? No of course they cannot so they will have to settle every case out before trial or go to trial. For you and your attorney its important to get a trial date as soon as possible as this will put pressure on BP to get you a settlement offer you can accept. Getting a trial date in an MDL only base on other MDL’s that I have observed could be 12-18 month out.
Again talk to your attorney about stuff like this, and have him advice you on the legal side of things.