We’ve all seen them: Accident attorneys seeking new niches to get a piece of the American Sue Pie. It’s difficult to even find a real attorney for an everyday problem in the phone book anymore. It seems that everyone is trying to jump on the accident bandwagon; if you can’t find your own accident attorney, no sweat, you can always ask Gary at 1-800-ask Gary (Who, it just so happens, is a chiropractor. Go figure).
If you slip and fall in a super-market, you can call an attorney. If a doctor gives you the wrong drugs, you can call an attorney. If a doctor gives you the right drugs and they don’t help you, you can call an attorney. If you get into a car accident, you can call an attorney….
Now, if a foreign country spills some oil on your beaches, you can call an attorney for that too….
Michael Gallagher, of the Gallagher law firm, has set up a web-site with the URL of www.BPCLAIMS.ORG. The site is designed to look like a genuine claims site fro BP–but rest assured, it is not. It is set up with all the right tags so that if you Google for BP claims, his site comes up before you ever get to BP’s site.
It even has a place for you to enter your personal information–first and last name, e-mail addy, phone number etc– promising to send you a BP claims for immediately (Unless of course your claim is too small for them to be interested in. then they are likely to leave you hanging, or at least to send you a rejection notice at their convenience).
At the very bottom of the page it has a small link to the real site belonging to the Gallagher Law Group, which it seems specializes in oil-spill goug–errr claims, where it finally tells you that he wants a percentage of the action:
The real BP claims site has the BP logo in the top left corner, several links to what they are trying to do to stop the leak and clean up the mess, and of course, testimonials of how good a job they are doing (While Hayward is on vacation racing a yacht in the pristine waters off the coast of England–where there is spill because there is no drilling…).
BP Claims webpage:
President Obama has enlisted Kenneth Feinberg, who effectively negotiated the 911 settlements, as the Pay Czar to oversee the claims distribution process. BP has set aside $20 billion in an escrow account to cover legitimate claims (People who are out of work because of the spill) while they are simultaneously focussing on trying to save as much of the wildlife as possible in the affected areas.
Meanwhile, on Gallagher’s site, he is advertising that he can recover for people who have lost money on vacations that they weren’t able to take because of the spill (Notwithstanding that a vacation to any of the affected areas can still be had with a slight change of plans ie. go site seeing instead of to the beach, and how many tourists go to the Marshes of Louisiana for vacation anyway? The Governor of Alabama has said that his coasts have not been significantly impacted by the spill and the only part of Florida, currently, that is seriously effected, is a small part of the panhandle–not the entire West Coast. It is estimated that with the currents of the Gulf Stream, the spill will stay as far as 12 miles off shore until it reaches the Southern tip and the East Coast–who seem inevitably to be doomed).
I sincerely hope that it is safe to say, that although vacationers–whose plans could not be changed–do deserve to be reimbersed for what they actually spent on tickets and reservations–want first to let the businesses in the effected areas receive their compensation stat; so that they will still be in business next year for them to visit (Hopefully after this is mostly over) and are willing to wait to receive their own recovery of damages for that purpose….