OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. — Fishermen and business owners stung by a summer of lost revenue from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have until Wednesday to file their compensation claims for short-term damages, and then they have to ask themselves: Do I feel lucky?
Many will eventually be offered a final settlement from BP PLC's compensation fund – but accepting that check is a gamble. To cash it, they'll have to sign away their right to ever sue the oil giant and let a court decide how much they're owed. And if the long-term damages end up amounting to more than the settlement, they'll be out of luck for additional payments to cover those future losses.
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