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Oil Spills

What causes oil spills?

The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF) has been maintaining a database of oil spills from tankers, combined carriers and barges since 1970. The ITOPF includes all oil lost to the environment in the figures that it presents for the amount of oil spilt in an incident, and this includes the oil that burned or remains in a sunken vessel. The number of large spills is relatively low and has decreased significantly during the last 42 years for which records have been kept. There has also been a decline in the number of medium spills since the 1990s, and 15 spills have occurred in the 2000s.

Whereas some oil spills cause little to no environmental damage because the spill occurs far from the shore and doesn't reach coastlines, other spills can have devastating impacts on the economy and personal lives of nearby residents. The causes of oil spills are varied but can play a significant role in how much oil was spilled.

Approximately 95% of the incidents recorded are small and medium sized spills, and the majority of these spills occurred during loading and discharging operations. Because these operations typically take place in ports and oil terminals, there is a high chance that the local population will be affected. A majority of the large spills that take place happen during loading and discharging and are caused by fires, explosions and equipment failures.

Oil Spills and Legal Actions

One of the most recent and catastrophic oil spills, caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, has led to thousands of lawsuits and legal actions against the oil company BP. The oil spill was an instantaneous tragedy that polluted the wetlands, closed small businesses and exposed regulatory problems in the oil industry. Numerous legal actions were filed under the Jones Act on the behalf of workers who lost their lives and suffered injuries because of the explosion.

Thousands of local residents also filed nuisance complaints and toxic torts because of the damage caused by the spill. Crude oil is toxic and can injure or kill plants, animals or people by seeping into groundwater and contaminating water or food sources. Many businesses also filed for economic damages caused by the oil spill, especially those in the tourist and fishing industries.

In addition to these lawsuits, environmental groups also filed legal actions against the federal government for a lack of oversight in the arena of offshore drilling. Claims can be filed by any individual or business and may be of a state or federal nature, or both. It is vitally important to seek legal representation before you attempt to file an oil spill lawsuit, as claims of this nature are difficult to win.

Aggressively Protecting Your Rights

Here at DominaLaw Group, we can provide professional legal representation for those who are suffering losses due to the effects of an oil spill. These losses may include loss of tourism customer profits, loss of income and profits, loss of sales and rentals, loss of service revenue and more. Contact our firm today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced professionals.

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Located at 2425 South 144th Street, Omaha, NE 68144.
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