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Are you a business owner or individual who lives in the Gulf Coast region, but don’t think that you are eligible to participate in the BP Settlement? You may want to think again. We often hear from potential claimants that they aren’t in the “tourism industry” or that their income doesn’t depend on waters from the Gulf Coast. Those same individuals are often surprised to hear that they are in fact covered by the Settlement and are automatically bound by its terms.

While it may be true that the tourism and fishing industries have received the most attention in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, those were by no means the only industries that suffered. The fact is that oil spill had a true ripple effect on the entire economy in the Gulf Coast region. And the BP Settlement that was reached in March of this year and is currently awaiting final approval in the court covers economic loss and property damage claims from a wide array of businesses and individuals.

So if you are now left wondering whether you or your business may be able to benefit from the Settlement, the first thing you should do is check out a map of the geographic area the Settlement covers. If your business is located in one of the gray, red, yellow or purple areas of this map, you are automatically included in the Settlement.

Like we mentioned, it’s easier to identify who isn’t included: finance and banking related companies, insurance entities, casinos, real estate developers, certain oil and gas businesses, defense contractors and governmental entities. Unless you fall into one of those categories, it would be wise to do some investigation into the BP Settlement.

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