How Can a Commercial Fisherman Collect Damages After an Oil Spill

Q
How Can a Commercial Fisherman Collect Damages After an Oil Spill?
A
Generally, a commercial fisherman has three options to collect damages after an oil spill. A fisherman can: (1) collect damages directly from the company responsible for the oil spill, (2) collect damages from the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, or (3) sue the company responsible for the spill for damages.

The procedures for collecting damages are very specific, and commercial fishermen must follow these procedures exactly in order to maximize their recoveries. First, claims must be made directly to the company responsible for the oil spill. That company then has ninety days to evaluate and pay the claims. If the responsible party does not act within ninety days or offers compensation that the fisherman does not believe to be fair, then the fisherman may pursue reimbursement through the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund or through litigation. A New York or New Jersey maritime injury lawyer can help commercial fishermen with their claims and their recoveries.