For decades, members of the military and their families who spent time at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were denied legal remedies for medical conditions linked to water contamination. However, with enactment of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) and other efforts by lawmakers, relief may be on the way. If you served, lived, or worked at the base at any time from 1953 to 1987, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your losses. Many victims believe they cannot pursue the federal government for damages, but CLJA opens the door to millions of dollars intended to benefit victims.
Because the relevant issues are an emerging area of law and the process is complex, it is wise to rely on a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer for assistance. Plus, you no doubt have questions about your rights, so some answers may be useful.
Who qualifies for compensation under CLJA?
The law aims to cover anyone who developed an ailment because of exposure to water contamination at Camp Lejeune, after spending at least 30 consecutive days there. The presence of hazardous substances dates back to the early 1950s, and officials discovered the contamination in 1982. However, the damage was already done for many victims. You may be eligible under CLJA if you were exposed to contaminated water as:
- A member of the military;
- A veteran;
- A military family member who lived on the base; or,
- A contractor or civilian who worked at Camp Lejeune.
Do I have a medical condition covered by CLJA?
The ailments stemming from Camp Lejeune water contamination are wide-ranging, because the contaminants are cancer-causing and extremely harmful to humans. Examples include:
- Cancers of the liver, bladder, kidneys, lungs, breasts, and esophagus;
- Leukemia and lymphoma;
- Infertility and miscarriage;
- Birth defects;
- Parkinson’s disease; and,
- Many more.
What damages can I recover?
The Department of Veterans Affairs has established a fund for victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination. These amounts are intended to cover medical treatment, medications, and related health care. Note that any benefits you receive will not affect your current VA benefits. Depending on your situation, you may also qualify for:
- Disability benefits;
- Pain and suffering; and,
- Lost wages.
If a family member died as a result of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you might be eligible for amounts as death benefits.
Do I need a lawyer for a Camp Lejeune claim?
Though not legally required, working with a lawyer ensures you receive the compensation you deserve. The claims process is complicated, and you may need to file a lawsuit in federal court in North Carolina. You risk losing out unless you have representation on your side.
Learn More by Consulting with a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney
These answers to common questions about Camp Lejeune claims provide useful information, but you can see how retaining experienced legal counsel is essential. To learn more about how attorney Robert King supports you throughout the process, please call (585) 270-8882 or go online to schedule a consultation. After reviewing your circumstances, we can advise you on next steps.