Did you know that zillions of people unknowingly drank and took a bath in the poisonous water of Camp Lejeune during the 20th Century? If reports are to be believed, as many as one million enlisted service members, their families, and civilian staff resided at the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina.
Research suggests that substances like cleaning solvents, dry cleaning fluid, degreaser liquid, and jet fuel were found in Camp Lejeune’s water supply. Chemicals like vinyl chloride, benzene, PCE, and TCE were also found in the drinking water of the military base.
Unfortunately, those exposed to this poisonous water developed rare cancers and children were born with deformities, and many succumbed to death.
Isn’t it gut-wrenching how families who served their country with loyalty were rewarded in such a disastrous way?
For 20+ years, Camp Lejeune victims were treated in this manner without recourse until, finally, the U.S. President, Joe Biden, signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law. This federal mandate provided former Marine Base Corps Camp Lejeune residents and their families the right to seek reparations from the government.
Are you, too, planning to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit? If yes, then read this guide to learn how a lawyer can help you with your contaminated water claim.
Table of Contents
1. A Camp Lejeune Lawyer Can Help You Apply for Disability Claims
Victims of Camp Lejeune who worked on the base between 1953 and 1987 are entitled to a Veterans Affairs (V.A.) disability claim. That means any guardsmen, reservists, and veterans who were exposed to the drinking water of Camp Lejeune qualify for disability benefits.
Put simply, you must have acquired one of the eight presumptive Camp Lejeune conditions to be eligible for disability compensation payments, which include:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Kidney cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Liver cancer
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Adult leukemia
- Multiple myeloma
- Bladder cancer
If you have any of these presumptive conditions, you need not prove that your illness is associated with exposure to the contaminated water of Camp Lejeune.
You are also eligible for filing a disability claim if you served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 for 30 cumulative days. The catch is that you’d qualify only if you weren’t dishonorably discharged from the military.
However, preparing and filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination disability claim is easier said than done. That’s where a Camp Lejeune lawyer comes into the picture. Camp Lejeune attorneys will help you prepare your disability compensation claim and file it.
Even if you have a condition the Veterans Affairs doesn’t consider presumptive, an experienced Camp Lejeune attorney will help you file a disability claim.
2. An Attorney Will Prove That You Contracted Your Illness At Camp Lejeune
Anyone who wishes to file a disability claim or a lawsuit will have to prove that they contracted their illness due to exposure to the toxins present in the water of Camp Lejeune. Otherwise, your case will be dismissed, let alone your chances of securing fair compensation.
Several pieces of evidence are needed to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Among them, the most important is military service records (D.D. Form 214), which is a record of your military service. This document is invaluable to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, as it clearly enlists the dates when you were stationed at Camp Lejeune.
Besides, you’ll need housing records that prove whether you lived in the barracks or Camp Lejeune’s enlisted-family housing to file a lawsuit. That’s because this information isn’t contained in D.D. Form 214.
TorHoerman Law suggests that medical records proving that you were harmed due to exposure to the contaminated water of Camp Lejeune are also needed to file a compensation claim.
If you have cancer or other diseases, gathering all these documents won’t be easy. Taking the help of a lawyer will be the best bet, as they can assist you with gathering military service, housing, and medical records. If need be, they’ll consult with your physician and obtain evidence that links your disease with Marine Corps Base water contamination.
Needless to say, a lawyer will do everything possible to prove that you contracted your illness due to exposure to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water to help you get the compensation you need.
Although the Camp Lejeune settlement amounts may vary from person to person, you can expect to receive $10,000 and $500,000. Remember, the stronger your case, the more your chance of securing fair compensation.
3. An Attorney Can Help You File a Wrongful Death Claim
The tragedy of Camp Lejeune water contamination occurred nearly a decade ago. As such, several victims who received a cancer diagnosis or other health conditions passed away before they could sue the government.
Nonetheless, you can seek justice and recover damages as their estate by filing a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim differs from a personal injury case, so filing a lawsuit will be a challenge for many estates.
In such cases, a Camp Lejeune lawyer can help you navigate the legal process. From gathering evidence to proving that they died because of illness incurred due to exposure to contaminated water, a lawyer will take care of everything from the get-go.
If you or your loved one contracted a medical condition due to exposure to the toxic water of Camp Lejeune, you mustn’t delay filing a compensation claim. Before anything else, consult a Camp Lejeune attorney, as they’ll help you gather evidence and prepare a case, which will help you secure fair compensation.
Bear in mind that the statute of limitation for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit is two years from passing the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, i.e., 2024.