How Do I File a Claim for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
You can file a claim for Camp Lejeune water contamination by getting in touch with a personal injury attorney who handles those types of cases. They can:
- Figure out if you qualify to file a claim and seek compensation
- Explain the similarities and differences between the different types of compensation you could receive
- File all of the appropriate paperwork, including applications, demand letters, and evidence in support of your claim
- Attend hearings or negotiations to fight for your right to compensation
Hiring a Lawyer to File Your Claim
As mentioned, the first step you may want to take when filing a claim for Camp Lejeune water contamination is to find an attorney to assist you. You may file a lawsuit or seek VA benefits, and determining your next best steps can be challenging. The process of recovering compensation can also be complicated by:
- Strict legal deadlines
- A liable party that wants to minimize the amount of compensation you receive
- The difficulties inherent in finding evidence to prove your case, especially since the contamination occurred decades ago
Many personal injury law firms offer free consultations. You can take advantage of this to learn more about their services and how they can help you. If you hire a lawyer, available legal services often include:
- Collecting evidence to prove you have a compensable condition and that you probably would not have developed the condition if you had not been at Camp Lejeune
- Calculating your case’s total value, so you seek the right amount in damages
- Determining whether you should ask for VA benefits, a pretrial settlement, or both
- Filing your case with the right parties and following up with them to make sure they respond in a timely manner
- Representing you at VA hearings and/or negotiating with the liable party’s team
- Advising you on how to handle your case and answering any questions you have
What if I Do Not Hire a Lawyer?
If you choose to file a case alone, you would be solely responsible for completing all of the tasks outlined above. No allowance would be made for your condition or lack of legal experience.
If you make a mistake with your case, it could be rejected, or you could be forced to start over again from the beginning. This could make it difficult or impossible for you to receive fair compensation. Hiring a personal injury lawsuit attorney protects your rights.
Filing for Camp Lejeune VA Benefits
The process for seeking medical benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is as follows:
- Sending in all of the materials they request, including an application form and evidence that shows why you deserve compensation
- Waiting for the VA to process and respond to your application
- Receiving your benefits, if they accept your claim
- Going through the appeals process, including attending hearings and obtaining further evidence, if they do not accept your claim
You may have to submit evidence pertaining to your presence at Camp Lejeune, your diagnosis, and other facts.
To learn more about how you can file a claim for benefits, you can visit the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website or speak to your lawyer.
Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit and Seeking a Settlement
The process for filing a lawsuit and seeking a settlement from the federal government is similar in some ways to the process of seeking VA benefits. You still have to:
- Submit appropriate paperwork
- Collect enough evidence to satisfy the other party
- Present your case to the other party’s representatives
Just like if you file a claim with the VA, there is a chance that the liable party may reject your case. They may also try to offer you a settlement that is far too small compared to the injuries you sustained.
In this situation, a lawyer can protect your rights by negotiating with them on your behalf and not allowing the liable party to get away with offering insufficient compensation.
Qualifying for a Camp Lejeune Claim
From August 1953 to December 1987, Marines (and their families) serving in and around Camp Lejeune, North Carolina were exposed to contaminated water. This water contained many harmful chemicals that are known to cause potentially fatal medical conditions. Per the VA, these conditions include:
- Parkinson’s disease and other neurobehavioral problems
- Cancer of the kidney, bladder, lung, breast, esophagus, or liver
- Renal toxicity or hepatic steatosis
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Adult leukemia
- Fertility issues, including fetal death
- Aplastic anemia or myelodysplastic syndromes
- Multiple myeloma
The Camp Lejeune water contamination should never have happened. The government knew of the toxic chemicals in the water supply but did nothing to warn or protect those exposed to it. If you or your family suffered due to this negligence and you can prove the extent of that suffering, you could receive fair compensation.
How Long Do Camp Lejeune Claims Take?
While there is no way to predict how long filing a claim for Camp Lejeune water contamination will take, claims can take a long time—even months or years—to resolve. This is because:
- The VA may have a backlog of cases to deal with before they get to yours.
- The court system likewise has many other cases to resolve.
- The liable party may find ways to challenge your case.
This is why it is a good idea to contact a camp lejeune water contamination lawsuit lawyer as soon as you can. The faster they file your case, the faster your case enters the system to begin processing.
Your case may also take longer or shorter depending on your own actions. If you hire a competent lawyer who handles your case well and collects strong evidence the first time, your case may finish faster than someone who did not hire a lawyer and had to go through several levels of appeal due to missing or messy paperwork.
Need Compensation for Camp Lejeune Water Exposure?
Fill out this form today. We can put you in touch with a mass torts lawyer serving your area who can inform you of your rights and fight hard for the money you deserve. Filing a claim for Camp Lejeune water contamination can be complicated and stressful. You deserve to seek benefits or compensation without having to put in all of the hard work and effort by yourself.