5 Steps to File Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a special program for water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
In 1942, Camp Lejeune, based in North Carolina, was founded as a Marine Corps base. The drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated beginning in the early 1950s, and the worst-affected wells were shut down in 1985. Since the late 1980s, ATSDR has evaluated the health hazards posed by dangerous compounds in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water.
It’s possible that one million military and civilian employees, along with their families, came into contact with the tainted water. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows for natural persons and corporations to be compensated for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to file a claim for the Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit. In fact, there are plenty of procedures you need to follow before your lawyer can file your claim with the VA.
If you want to know how to file a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit, then keep reading:
Gather All Your Medical Records
Once you have a diagnosis, it’s time to gather all your medical records. This is important because you will need to prove that the illnesses and conditions you’re suffering from are related to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. As such, you will want to keep a log of all doctor’s appointments and tests that were done while researching your diagnosis at Camp Lejeune.
You may also need to request records from other doctors who treated you or hospitals where any treatment was given. You can usually do this by requesting them directly, but it may also be helpful if they are already available on Healthgrades or other similar websites, so it’s worth checking those out first before contacting anyone else (for example).
Consult With an Attorney
It is important to talk with an attorney before pursuing a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit. The lawyer will be able to give you advice on whether or not your case has merit, and if so, what kind of compensation you might receive.
- Talk with two or three different attorneys before hiring one. You should get a second opinion from another attorney before making any decisions about the case.
- Check the attorney’s past cases and ask about their track record of winning cases like yours. Ask them how often they have taken this type of case, how much time and effort they put into each case, etc.
- Find out how much it will cost you for them to represent you in court or through mediation/arbitration if that becomes necessary during the process.
File Claim for VA Benefits
If you are a veteran, you can file a claim for VA benefits. The Veterans Affairs Department (VA) will review your claim and decide if you are eligible for benefits. If so, the VA will send you a letter explaining how much money they will pay out each month or year and what requirements need to be met before they continue paying those amounts.
If your condition was caused by exposure at Camp Lejeune, the VA might award disability compensation or other types of benefits based on that exposure.
Lawyer Files Lawsuit in Federal Court
If you are a veteran, you can file a lawsuit in federal court. The Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Litigation Committee has advised that veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune may be able to file their claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The FTCA allows individuals to sue the government for damages caused by negligence or misconduct on the part of government employees or contractors. If your lawyer files on your behalf, he or she will also likely submit an administrative claim with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), as this is a necessary step before filing any lawsuit against the federal government.
Since 1993, the ATSDR has evaluated the consequences of exposure to VOC-containing drinking water that affected a huge population who are not veterans. If you are not a veteran and wish to pursue legal action against anyone responsible for your exposure to harmful chemicals at Camp Lejeune’s drinking water supply system, then state courts would be your next logical step.
Lawyer Submits Claim to VA
When you have filed your claim with the VA, your lawyer will submit it. The VA will determine if you are eligible for benefits and send you a letter telling you the outcome. If they agree that there was a link between your illness and Camp Lejeune water contamination, they will pay your lawyer. This can take anywhere from 3-6 months. If they do not agree, they will tell you why so that you may appeal their decision in court. You should receive this letter within 6 months of filing the claim with the VA.
As you can see, filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit can be a long and complicated process. Between the 1950s and 1980s, the ATSDR and Department of Defense estimated that around 750,000 persons were exposed to polluted water at Camp Lejeune. There are a lot of people who are waiting to file the claim and getting lost in the process. There are many factors to consider when deciding if this is the right course of action for you or someone you love who has been affected by their exposure to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.