The government is not exempt from responsibility when they do something wrong, and they are finally taking action to remedy the egregious actions at Camp Lejeune. However, they are not making the process easy for victims since you must file for benefits through Veterans Affairs or file a lawsuit. Since the issue is so contentious, you must work with a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022
On August 10, 2022, the Honoring our PACT Act was passed with the Camp Lejeune Act of 2022 to help victims of military injustices receive assistance for the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. Federal law means active duty members, civilians, families, and other residents of the facility can file a lawsuit against the government; previously, victims could not file any legal claims because of a North Carolina law prohibiting these actions.
VA Benefits are available
You can receive VA benefits while filing a lawsuit. The VA has $2 billion in benefits available to veterans and their families. Those exposed to the contaminated water are eligible for health care reimbursement. One caveat is when you win your lawsuit, some of the compensation will be offset by the VA benefits you receive for the same conditions. Work with a Camp Lejeune lawyer to ensure you get all the benefits available.
Requirements to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit
Victims can now receive federal benefits for 15 medical conditions. Eligible applicants can also receive healthcare and disability benefits. Presumptive conditions make specific claims easier. You will need to show residency status on base during the contamination period. Survivors can also file claims for deceased loved ones exposed to these toxins.
Health and disability benefits require plaintiffs to provide service records. Families of military servicemen must provide documentation of their relationship to the service member and service records. All parties must provide medical documentation of your medical condition, which must be one of the predetermined conditions. Medical documents must show treatment and a future prognosis and treatment plan.
What was in the water?
The water contamination at Camp Lejeune has led to illness, disease, and death. The toxins found in the water are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOC were vinyl chloride, benzene, tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene. Research shows these chemicals are directly linked to cancer and other health conditions.
These contaminants were from a nearby dry cleaning plant that had no connection to the base. Benzene is found in plastics, TCE for metal degressing, and Vinyl chloride for wire coating, upholstery, and pipes. PCE is a dry cleaning solvent and is also in metal degreasers.
What compensation will the government give you?
Through a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, you will get compensation for your losses over the decades. Examples include:
- Lost earnings: time taken off work for your injuries and loss of future earnings if your condition prevents you from working
- Medical expenses: hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, surgeries, prescription medications, and all medical treatment in the future
- Pain and suffering: the emotional and physical pain the illnesses have inflicted on you
- Loss of enjoyment: the inability of veterans to enjoy life and participate in activities due to your condition
- Wrongful death: many military members have been lost from these ailments, but the surviving family can recover funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses during their life, and more
You must speak with a Camp Lejeune lawyer to review your compensation options.
How long will a lawsuit take?
Since these lawsuits are new, it is difficult to say how long a case will take. A few factors can extend the time it takes, such as if the government denies your claim. Your health condition and the evidence you present will also play a role in a successful claim.
How can a personal injury lawyer help?
Federal law allows nearly all victims to file claims and obtain some form of recovery. The benefit is not automatic, and there is a legal element to contend with. Kwartler Manus, LLC can help facilitate your Camp Lejeune lawsuit. We will also provide expert testimony to show a link between your ailment and water contamination. Lastly, we will secure financial compensation for the decades of pain and suffering. Call our office at (267) 457-5570 to schedule an appointment today.