Oil spilling in the oceans is extremely dangerous and harmful. Oil spill causes negative effects to not just people who live in the surrounding land areas but also to the marine life-forms. This is why there is a huge importance given to the aspect of oil spill claims – the procedure for filling the required oil spill claim forms as per the Oil Pollution Act, (OPA) 1990.
The OPA emerged following the Exxon Valdez oil spill that occurred in the year 1989. The main reason was the fact that United States did not have the necessary facilities to counter the large scale oil spill litigation that originated after the incident happened. Also, the limited amount of claim that was provided to the affected was very low and quite insubstantial.
One of the important areas that the OPA concentrated on was about enlarging the provision for oil spill claims. The other important areas covered by the OPA include:
- Focused planning to counter any critical situation
- The penalties that need to be enforced in case of any negligence
- Improved guidelines and specifications about a ship’s construction and maintenance
Points to Consider While Filing Oil Spill Litigation
There are various requirements that need to be followed while filing oil spill litigation. The same can be explained as follows by taking the recent British Petroleum (BP) oil spill accident as an example:
- One of the most important necessities while filing the claim is of documents. In order to claim compensation for the damages, the documents need to be in order. If that is not so, then because of lack of verifiable proof the claim could be rejected
- A person filing for compensation needs to be aware for what damages caused the claim is being filed. Claims can be filed under property compensation, compensation to reimburse any cleaning-up costs and compensation to claim any loss in profits
- The third step is to follow-up on the claim made. This is because in case since each application is reviewed before being approved. If the company feels that the compensation asked for is unnecessary and goes to the court, then the claim applier can approach a lawyer to counter such a motion. In order to be aware of what is happening to the claim made, monitoring the application continuously is important
While filing oil spill litigation, it also becomes necessary to observe for any untrue dealings that happen over the internet. This is because filing for an oil spill claim does not require any monetary investment by the claimant. A fraud claim site could cheat the claimant by asking for initial investment making it even more costly for the person who needs the compensation desperately.
Most claim compensation forums have a phone number through which a claimant can approach the right authorities immediately. By taking this method, applicants can avoid any fraudulent claim providing sites and individuals.
By taking the step to compensate the required oil spill claim filed, the company provides the much needed monetary support to the people. But for the betterment of the marine world, it would be a huge step if oil spill accidents do not occur at all so that the eco-system is preserved and taken care of.
You may also like to read-Fighting Oil Spill on Ship & What is Ship Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP)?
References: uscg, ezinearticles