The Camp Lejeune toxic contamination is one of the worst environmental disasters in the US. Countless victims suffered because of the negligence of the government, leading to prolonged exposure to water-borne toxins in domestic supplies in the area. Although the event dates back decades, the repercussions continue for victims and their loved ones as they battle fatal diseases even today. Many women lost their unborn babies, and they still live with the pain.
The government came forward to make up for the immense losses of hundreds of families that lost their loved ones and sustained deadly diseases due to the unprecedented exposure to toxic water. The silver lining is that victims can now claim compensation for their suffering and losses. But you cannot expect hefty compensation on the fly. You must do your legal homework to build a claim and get the amount you deserve. Here is the best legal advice for Camp Lejeune victims and their families.
Understand the nitty-gritty of the law
The first step is to understand the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 in detail. According to recent legislation, the government has a federal remedy for victims suffering in the aftermath of the disaster. The act entitles them to justice and compensation for pain, loss, and suffering due to the military base’s water contamination. All exposed Camp Lejeune residents, including active duty members, veterans, civilians, and their families can bring a lawsuit against the federal government. The legislation covers people who served or lived at the camp for a minimum of thirty days from 1953 to 1987. Additionally, primary caretakers of victims who succumbed to the effects of contamination can sue on their behalf. Once you understand the basics, you can decide on your eligibility and proceed with the claim.
Know the qualifying conditions
Besides ensuring your eligibility for compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, you must also check the qualifying condition. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, victims qualify for filing a Camp Lejeune toxic exposure lawsuit only if they suffer from specific diseases that link directly to the water contaminants at the location. These include the following presumptive disease-
· Cancers of the breast, bladder, kidney, lung, and esophagus
· Multiple myeloma
· Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
· Hepatic steatosis
· Renal toxicity
· Myelodysplastic syndromes
· Female infertility
· Neurobehavioral effects
Besides compensation for these conditions, veterans who served at the location during the said period can claim disability benefits for the following diseases-
· Cancers of kidney, bladder, and liver
· Adult leukemia
· Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
· Multiple myeloma
· Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
· Parkinson’s disease
Check the requirements for filing a lawsuit
If you are eligible for Camp Lejeune compensation, you can go ahead to claim your rightful health and disability benefits. But you must have valid evidence to prove the damages and eligibility. Start by submitting service records showing that you served at the location for at least thirty days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. The evidence will suffice for your dependent family members (spouses, children, and parents) who were also exposed to toxic water contamination. However, you must provide relevant proof to validate your relationship with these family members. Further, you must also provide medical records that establish a diagnosis of one or more of the qualifying health problems, along with details such as the date of diagnosis and evidence of treatment.
Bring an expert attorney on board
This one is a no-brainer because you must absolutely have legal guidance to verify facts and establish your claim in court. The Camp Lejeune compensation claim can be trickier than you imagine because you need to prove several facts to validate your eligibility in the first place. A seasoned attorney can also establish the link between your medical condition and the exposure to the contaminated water at the base. They also ensure getting you the compensation you rightfully deserve. You can rely on their expertise to get a fair settlement for your damages, even after losing a loved one.
As a Camp Lejeune victim, you must seek compensation for your suffering because it is the very purpose of the act. The government is ready to do its bit for victims and their families, but everything boils down to your eligibility. Knowing the legal basics is the key to understanding whether you qualify for compensation. The best way to do it is by getting a seasoned lawyer on your side in the first place. They can help you from start to end and ensure that you get justice and compensation for your pain and suffering.