The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), which was signed into law on August 10, 2022, allows military members, veterans, their family members and civilians who lived, worked or were in utero at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, to file a claim against the government for damages suffered due to exposure to contaminated water at the camp.
Numerous studies have established a relationship between exposure to the toxins discovered in Camp Lejeune’s water and the development of serious medical conditions, such as bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphoma or other neurologic conditions, which the VA considers presumptive injuries from the water at Camp Lejeune. However, other types of injuries might have occurred due to exposure to the contaminated water, including: breast cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease), scleroderma and infertility.
If you or a family member was exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and has suffered from any one of these or related conditions or illnesses, you can now pursue justice from the government and get the compensation you deserve for the medical expenses, pain, suffering, mental anguish, lost income and other losses you and your family have suffered because of the exposure to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. It is, however, important to understand the steps involved in the legal process and take appropriate action as soon as possible.
In this blog post, I will answer common questions about the process for filing a claim against the government for compensation. For expert legal advice relevant to your specific case, please call our office at 305-512-7600 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” form on this page.
How Do I Begin the Claim Process for Camp Lejeune Compensation?
The first step in pursuing compensation from the government for damages suffered due to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune is to file a claim with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU). The Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims form asks for information on your personal background, the basis of your claim, the nature and extent of your injury and the amount of your claim in dollars.
The form also includes a section for an authorized agent acting on behalf of a claimant to provide information establishing their authority to do so and their title or legal capacity. As this section suggests, it is critical to consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable about Camp Lejeune claims early in the process and get help completing the claims form. One essential legal rule to know, for example, is that the maximum amount a claimant can recover will be the amount stated on this claim form! A Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit attorney can make sure your claim is completed correctly and filed on time to receive the most compensation for your injuries.
It’s important to keep in mind that under the terms of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you only have two years to file a claim. Also, if you previously filed a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act for a Camp Lejeune water contamination illness, you need to file a new claim under the new Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Can I File a Camp Lejeune Justice Act Claim If I Have Received VA Benefits for My Illness?
Camp Lejeune water contamination victims or their families can file a personal injury or wrongful death claim to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, mental distress and other damages. Personal injury claims are filed for injuries you have personally suffered; wrongful death claims are filed on behalf of a family member in cases in which the victim died from a disease linked to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water.
Under the terms of the CLJA, you can file a claim even if you have received health care benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a Camp Lejeune disease or medical condition. Claims are intended to be for compensation for economic and non-economic damages not covered by the VA and will not affect any benefits you may be getting from the VA. However, the compensation you do receive will be offset by the amount of any benefit, disability award or payment VA Disability, Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security Disability Insurance has already given you.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive for My Camp Lejeune Claim?
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that expenditures for the PACT Act, which includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), will reach $667 billion over the next 10 years. Settlement payouts for CLJA claims alone are estimated at $6.7 billion.
For injured victims, this means that funds should be available to compensate you for the economic and non-economic damages you have suffered, including but not limited to:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, depression, anxiety, stress
The exact amount you receive could be substantial, but it will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the illness or medical condition you developed due to exposure to the toxic water; the extent to which the illness has impacted your quality of life, ability to work, mental well-being, and your family; and your attorney’s ability to make a compelling case demonstrating all the pain, suffering and losses you and your family have experienced because of exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
How Will a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer Help Me?
Getting help from an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with the Camp Lejeune water contamination claims process is an important step in maximizing your opportunity to achieve the substantial compensation you deserve for your injuries. A qualified Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney will:
- Listen attentively to your description of the medical condition/illness you or your loved one developed from exposure to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water.
- Ask pertinent questions about your experience at Camp Lejeune, the medical condition/illness you developed, its effects on your life, well-being, ability to earn a living and family.
- Expertly assess your situation to determine the full, fair amount of compensation you should receive based on all of the damages you have suffered and their many years of successful experience helping clients win large settlements and awards in serious personal injury cases.
- Amass the evidence, including medical records and expert witnesses, needed to fully support your claim.
- Make sure your claim is completed correctly and filed on time to receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
- Be prepared to take your case to trial and win with a Camp Lejeune water lawsuit, if a satisfactory settlement is not reached through the claims process.
- Provide advice, prompt responses to your questions and concerns and expert legal services.
- Protect your rights and guide you through the entire process without charging a fee for their services. Your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer should only be compensated on a contingency basis after successfully settling or trying your case.
Contact a Knowledgeable Lawyer about Your Camp Lejeune Claim
Now that the Camp Lejeune Act has passed, justice and accountability are finally possible for you and your family. Don’t miss the opportunity to get fully compensated for all the damages you have suffered.
Call Boyers Law Group today at 305-512-7600 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” form on our website for the experience, expertise and passionate commitment to justice you need.