From August 1953 to December 1987, Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were exposed to toxic chemicals in the water. Many of these Marines and their families have since developed debilitating health conditions.
If you believe your illness is connected to the water contamination at the base, a Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer from our firm could fight for financial compensation. You could put this money toward paying your medical bills and supporting your family. Van Law is ready to listen to your story now.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
Before explaining your legal options, we want you to understand what happened at Camp Lejeune and how that could entitle you to compensation. Camp Lejeune has hosted millions of veterans, non-veteran employees, and their loved ones since 1942. Eleven years after opening, the camp’s water supply became contaminated with various toxic chemicals.
During this time, millions of people on the base were exposed to these toxins and developed life-altering conditions, such as cancer. However, despite knowing about the issue, the U.S. government did not remedy the problem until 1985. By this point, many people had either passed away or suffered life-altering ailments.
Let us help you!
We’re Committed to Pursuing the Full Cost of Your Injury-Related Damages
You have legal options. You can file a personal injury case if you personally suffered harm from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. You could file a wrongful death case on behalf of a decedent who passed away. The goal of either of these actions is to recover compensation for your injury-related losses.
These losses generally fall into one of two categories:
Economic Damages (Your Losses With Monetary Values)
Economic damages relate to your out-of-pocket injury-related expenses. Examples include:
- Medical bills: The conditions caused by water contamination are often grave. You could be reimbursed for medication, hospitalization, surgery, and any other treatment administered by a healthcare professional.
- Other out-of-pocket expenses: For example, you could be repaid for the cost of hiring a babysitter to watch your children while you were being treated in the hospital.
- Loss of income: Your condition may have caused you to miss work. Compensation for loss of income extends to your lost tips, commissions, salary, bonuses, and other career-related losses.
- Loss of earning capacity: The condition has permanently reduced your ability to work full-time, find a new job, and so on.
How does our team calculate these losses? We’ll examine your bills and invoices to arrive at an accurate value. We may also consult with field experts, such as medical providers, to learn more about your related expenses.
Non-Economic Damages (Your Physical and Emotional Hardships)
Your physical and emotional well-being are just as important as, if not more important than, your financial losses. Non-economic damages enable you to seek compensation for:
- Pain and suffering: The physical and emotional burden of dealing with the fallout from your exposure is a compensable damage.
- Loss of consortium: Your relationship with your loved ones has changed for the worse because of your diagnosis.
- Disability: Both physical and emotional conditions, such as cancer or post-traumatic stress disorder, allow you to seek damages for disability.
- Reduced quality of life: You now struggle to live independently and otherwise enjoy your life. The fact that you can no longer live the way you would like could entitle you to damages.
Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Lawyer Can Evaluate Your Losses
Each case is different, so there is no fixed or “average” amount a Camp Lejeune plaintiff can receive through a lawsuit. Van Law will quantify your damages by:
Working with you to create a list of all of the damages you are entitled to receive
Reviewing legal formulas and precedents that may be relevant to your case
Determining how serious your illness is (for example, is it terminal, or could you recover with proper treatment?)
Obtaining medical evidence to prove you really have each of the medical conditions you are suing over
The amount you receive will depend on how serious your illness is and how much evidence we can find to support your diagnosis.
Justice for Camp Lejeune Survivors and Victims
Recently, U.S. Congress passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. The stated goal of the new law is “to establish a cause of action for those harmed by exposure to water at Camp Lejeune.”
In other words, you have the right to sue the government if you or a loved one suffered harm from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Your case could yield one or more of the following outcomes:
You Get a Settlement
Personal injury settlements are often faster than court trials. A settlement requires the liable party to pay for your damages. We can pursue a settlement by:
- Calculating how much you can expect to receive based on the severity of your illness, the cost of medical care, the illness’s effect on your career, and so on
- Contacting the liable party, laying out your case, and requesting that they pay the amount we feel is fair
- Negotiating with the liable party if they do not offer a fair settlement right away
- Protecting you from the liable party’s attempts to undermine or undervalue your case
- Preparing the settlement agreement and any other paperwork necessary to get you compensated
You Get a Jury Award
If negotiations don’t yield a settlement, we can prepare your case for trial. The liable party may decide to offer a better settlement after you file, realizing that you are serious and will not back down from your case. If they do not, we can:
- Send the evidence we have collected to the applicable court (the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina)
- Schedule the dates when your trial will occur
- Participate in jury selection, making sure that all of the selected jurors are capable of considering your case fairly
- Present your case in court, including making arguments, raising objections, and examining and cross-examining witnesses
- Ensure your case complies with all laws and regulations, as any misstep could endanger your lawsuit
You Get VA Benefits
In addition to seeking money through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, you may decide to seek VA disability benefits. If approved, you can get monthly cash payments, healthcare benefits, and funeral assistance.
Yet, to receive these benefits, you must file a claim with VA. This process involves:
- Collecting evidence related to your (or your loved one’s) military service and medical history
- Submitting the correct forms via fax, email, or regular mail
- Appealing your case if your claim is rejected
Filing for VA benefits can be confusing and take a long time. It is difficult, but important, that you be patient during this process. If your claim is ultimately rejected, our team can guide you through the decision reviews process.
Our Lawyers Offer Personalized Services for Camp Lejeune Claimants
The lawyers at Van Law understand that no two lawsuits—and no two clients—are alike. As such, we tailor our services to meet the needs of each Camp Lejeune client by:
- Making ourselves available 24/7: When a client calls, we answer. Feel free to contact us with questions, concerns, or updates at any time.
- Keeping in touch: Whenever something happens with a case, we let the client know so they can make informed decisions.
- Coming to the client: If you are too sick to visit any of our offices, we can come to you instead.
- Providing free consultations: If you are unsure if you qualify for compensation, a member of our team can give you a free, no-obligation case review to inform you of your options.
From everyone at Van Law, we thank you for your military service. Now, we want to serve you by fighting for the monetary damages you deserve.
Illnesses Caused by the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
To qualify for compensation, you need to have at least one medical condition that VA connects to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. These conditions include:
Many types of cancer have been linked to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, including cancer of the:
In addition, you could qualify for benefits based on other types of cancer, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or adult leukemia.
Fertility Problems and Birth Defects
If you were pregnant while at Camp Lejeune, your child could have suffered the negative effects of water contamination. Some children in utero at Camp Lejeune developed:
- A lack of hand-eye coordination
- Chronic fatigue and headaches
- Mental illnesses
- Multiple sclerosis
- Other birth defects, such as cleft palettes
Some women at Camp Lejeune miscarried or were unable to conceive. If you or your child suffered harm while residing at the base, Van Law can help you move forward.
Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of conditions that interfere with blood cell production, per Mayo Clinic. Having one of these conditions could increase your risk of developing other dangerous health issues, including anemia, infections, and cancer.
Proving Your Eligibility After Camp Lejeune Contamination
Unfortunately, the fact that you have an illness alone does not merit compensation. You must prove different things based on your role at the base. For instance, to get benefits as a veteran, you must show:
- You resided at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 to 1987.
- You were honorably discharged from the military.
- You have an illness VA connects with the water contamination, such as cancer.
You also need supporting information with your application, such as:
- Your medical records
- An official diagnosis showing that you have the illness in question
- A statement from your doctor containing their thoughts about your illness and its potential connection to the contamination
- A statement from another doctor, such as one suggested by your lawyer, evaluating your illness and its possible causes
You also need to prove that you were at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. This proof could take the form of:
- Any household bills you received while living at the base
- Military records listing where you were stationed and when
- Testimony from people who were at the base at the same time as you were
Filing a disability claim or pursuing damages via a third-party claim can get complicated. Van Law is prepared to take on your case’s obligations and pursue what you need.
How Our Lawyers Will Advocate for What You Need and Deserve
Whether you’re suing the government or pursuing disability benefits, our team is ready to support you. We can file your claim or lawsuit by assembling the evidence needed to prove your case. We can help you file an appeal if VA denied your disability application.
We’re prepared to serve you by:
- Requesting documentation to support your case
- Reviewing any and all documents you have saved from or pertaining to your time at Camp Lejeune and/or your illness
- Interviewing witnesses and field consultants
- Evaluating your damages
- Negotiating for what you need
- Filing your case in court
- Submitting all evidence within all applicable deadlines
Camp Lejeune Compensation Is Only Available Temporarily
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 comes with its own statute of limitations. This statute stipulates that:
- Qualifying veterans can only apply for compensation from the day the bill is passed until the law’s two-year anniversary.
- Only cases begun within that time period will be considered.
- Cases filed after that time period are invalid and do not entitle the veteran to compensation through litigation.
The Act was signed into law in August 2022, so you could have until August 2024 to take action. This gives you enough time to weigh your legal options, which could include speaking to us about your case and hiring one of our attorneys.
A Camp Lejeune lawsuit lawyer from Van Law wants to help you get the money you deserve before it is too late. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can get started on your case
Connect With Our Lawsuit Lawyers Today to Explore Your Options
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