Between the 1950s and 1980s, the water at Camp Lejeune (CL) contained chemical contaminants which have been linked to cancer, birth defects and other illnesses. This water supplied most of the residences at CL.
The people who were at Camp Lejeune during this time may have developed health issues from drinking the water. Some health issues may have appeared quickly, but others may have developed over a number of years or even decades.
For a long time, victims of CL water contamination could only get disability from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, the VA denied many of these disability claims. Now, however, victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination with presumptive illnesses may be eligible to receive compensation through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA).
How do you file a claim?
To receive compensation, victims must file a claim under the CLJA. All claims must be filed with the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Office of Judge Advocate General. Victims need to file within two years of the passage of the CLJA.
Furthermore, victims must prove that their illness is connected to the water at Camp Lejeune. After all the necessary documents have been submitted, the Navy will review the claim and make a decision. Victims are able to file an appeal for any unfavorable decision.
Who can file a claim for Camp Lejeune water contamination presumptive illnesses?
Those who spent time at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 for at least 30 days can file a compensation claim. In addition, family members that lost a loved one at Camp Lejeune can file a wrongful death claim.
Cancer, birth defects and other illnesses that may be associated with CL water contamination could take years or decades to develop. Those with symptoms linked to CL water contamination should talk to their doctor about the cause.
What happens after a claim is filed?
Once a victim files a correctly completed claim, the Navy will evaluate it. The Navy has 180 days to review and respond. If the Navy accepts a claim, they will contact the victim to discuss a settlement. However, they might deny the claim.
What should I do if my claim is rejected?
Those who receive a notice that their claim has been rejected have 180 days to file a lawsuit against the federal government. Victims can file a lawsuit using forms provided by the Navy. A CLJA lawsuit must be filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Victims can file a lawsuit by themselves. However, filing a lawsuit is a complex process. Those unsure where to start are advised to get help from a professional.
Should I work with a lawyer to file a lawsuit?
The legal process is tough to understand, so it is best for victims to have someone experienced on their side. A lawyer will know when, where and how to file a claim.
Working with a lawyer can improve victims’ chances of getting compensated. A lawyer will know what is needed to help win the case.
If a victim wins their suit, their lawyer can help them get the highest amount of compensation for their pain and suffering. If they lose, a lawyer can advise them on other steps they might be able to take.
How much will a lawyer cost me?
You do not have to pay anything upfront to work with an attorney. Your lawyer will only get paid if you win your lawsuit and receive compensation.
If you are unsure whether to work with a lawyer, you can speak to an Action Matters attorney for free. They will review your case and answer any questions that you have. However, you do not have to work with a lawyer if you do not feel confident moving forward.
What else should I know about filing a claim?
The CLJA claims are a completely new legal process. It is not the same as filing for disability with the VA.
If the VA wrongfully denied your disability claim, you can still file a claim under the CLJA. If you currently receive disability from the VA, you can still file a CLJA claim. Receiving compensation under the CLJA will not impact your current benefits.
Time is running out to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination presumptive illnesses claim
The water contamination harmed many people at Camp Lejeune. The contaminants in the drinking water may have caused cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses. Unfortunately, signs and symptoms of these illnesses may not appear until many years after exposure.
Thanks to the CLJA, victims of Camp Lejeune can finally seek justice. By filing a CLJA claim, these individuals can get compensation for their pain and suffering.
There is not much time to file claims under the CLJA. Therefore, it is best to do so as soon as possible.
Talking with an attorney from Action Matters will not cost you anything. Our attorneys are ready to speak with you and help you feel confident in filing your CLJA claim. They will do what they can to help you get justice. Reach out for a free claim review today.