Although there are countless victims of the recent BP oil spill, there is one group that may end up being overlooked victims. Employees who are paid in cash, such deckhands and laborers, unfortunately don't have any way to prove losses in the BP claims process and could end up being “hidden victims of the spill.” (K. McGill, AP Hopedale, LA, 7/7).
As a personal injury attorney I am saddened by this hard truth and am hopeful that some will fight for the rights of those who probably need the monetary recovery the most. Charitable groups are “trying to find and help such people. One group, Horizon Relief, is contacting seafood-related businesses along the coast, seeking information on employees who might need help.”
Aid workers and lawyers suggest many reasons why some people may not come forward and file a claim, including: they lack tax returns and other necessary documentation or are overwhelmed by the paperwork; others cannot read and do not want to admit illiteracy; some worry that their failure to pay taxes on past cash income may create other legal trouble and do not want to face any additional obstacles.