|Published:||Feb 05, 2013 11:07 PM EST|
|Updated:||Feb 06, 2013 12:42 AM EST|
Southwest Florida is still cashing in nearly three years after the disaster in the gulf and today BP announced its recent profits fell nearly 8%.
The oil giant says it's plagued with payouts and a nearly four billion dollar settlement related to the oil spill and now a Fort Myers lawyer cays claims are moving more quickly.
Companies along Fort Myers Beach say the spill affected their business even though oil didn't come to the shores of Fort Myers Beach.
"People just thought it was black, everywhere," said John Shaw with RAL Resort Property Management. RAL oversees a handful of timeshare properties along Fort Myers Beach and it's just one company that was dramatically affected by the Deep Water Horizon spill.
"We had a lot of people that were calling who had reservations were cancelling, so we were losing a lot of business there," said Shaw.
RAL lost a little more than $25,000 in revenue and it is just one of more than 34-thousand businesses and people in Florida that have received settlement money from BP.
Consultants say with the recent changes, the claims process is now more lenient as to types of businesses and people that can qualify.
"Basically anyone from any industry can try to qualify," said Frank Pirrone with Gulf Coast Refund Consultants.
BP's settlement administrator says just in the state of Florida, 245 million dollars has been paid to individuals and businesses.
"The claims have certainly sped up in their payment and some are getting paid within a few months or so," said Randall Spivey with the Spivey Law Firm.
Shaw says without a lawyer or consultant, the process can be extremely tough. After hiring a lawyer, RAL was paid in a little over a month and it was money that they say was desperately needed.
"It was a big hit for our business and it is just something you don't recover from," said Shaw.
RAL was paid a little more than $50,000 by BP. The deadline to submit new claims is April 2014.