I consider myself one of the “small people” that the leader of BP condescended to “ care about”. Raised with 6 other children on a teacher’s income, as a boy, I trimmed hedges and mowed lawns to buy tennis shoes. Later on, I worked fulltime, attended business school and law school in the evenings, and repaired everything from cars to dishwashers with whatever I could find in my garage. So from one small person to another, here is my best advice.
Don’t Wait!!
The cost of waiting is too high. There have been over 50,000 payment claims filed and only 26,500 paid. Passively waiting is the kiss of death and can thrust you and your family into financial crisis, spiraling credit card debt and even bankruptcy. Don’t wait for the date to come, start following up ahead of time and keep detailed records of calls, names, dates, etc.. Consult an Expert.
Not a relative or a friend of a neighbor who once knew someone in a similar situation 20 years ago. Seek out a licensed and credentialed resource (see below) that is knowledgeable about the current legislation and changes to direct you & establish a plan of action. Once the plan is in place, follow it. Ask questions when you are unclear and ask for everything in writing.

Below are the websites and contact numbers for the Bar Associations and some suggested guides for Gulf Disaster Victims seeking Legal Assistance.

Call the Florida Bar toll free
Call the Louisiana Bar toll free
Call the Mississippi Bar

Helpful Guides:

Mass Disaster: A Victim’s Guide
A Consumer Guide to Client Rights
Guide to Find Lawyer

Remember to verify the lawyer’s credentials before agreeing to representation or handing over any payments. Look for address, Bar number, area of expertise & eligibility to practice law in that state.

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