3 Things Camp Lejeune Victims Need to Know About Lawsuits 

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The Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, once famous for being home to expeditionary forces in readiness, is now making headlines for all the wrong reasons. 

In the 1950s, toxic chemicals invaded the two water treatment plants of the military base, namely Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace. However, the contamination wasn’t discovered until the early 1980s. 

The industrial solvents tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were discovered in the two water supply systems at Camp Lejeune. Vinyl chloride and benzene were also present in the water supply systems. 

Numerous studies link these chemicals with several serious medical conditions. Some of them include bladder cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, esophageal cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and adult leukemia. 

Fortunately, the passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022 allows victims to recover damages by filing a lawsuit. However, there are certain things that you should know before you file a lawsuit. We’ll discuss those here. 

Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Won’t Affect Your Veterans Affairs Benefits

A common concern among Camp Lejeune veterans is that filing a lawsuit will affect their Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. However, this is a misconception. 

Filing a lawsuit for the harm you sustained from exposure to the polluted water won’t affect your VA benefits. In fact, the CLJA creates a new pathway for veterans as well as civilians to sue the government for the health issues they developed after being exposed to the base’s contaminated water. 

Your decision to seek relief under CLJA cannot influence the VA’s decision to provide reimbursement or payment for your hospital care and medical services. The amount of benefits or health care offered to you will also remain unaffected. Neither will it be void nor decreased. 

You must, however, note that your settlement amount will be reduced if you win the lawsuit. This is because the compensation must be offset by disability benefits or payments you provided by the VA. Essentially, the settlement is adjusted to avoid duplication of benefits for the same harm. 

The Statute of Limitations for Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit is Two Years

If you’re considering filing a Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit, you must be aware of the statute of limitations that apply. 

As per the CLJA, veterans and civilians affected by Camp Lejeune’s polluted water can file a claim within two years of the passing of the law. President Biden signed the CLJA into law on August 10, 2022. That means the last date to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit is August 10, 2024. 

Failing to file a claim before August 10, 2024, will rob you of your chance to seek compensation for the damages you suffered due to the toxins present in the base’s contaminated water. To avoid this, be sure to file a claim before the deadline. That way, you won’t have to bear your medical expenses from your pocket. 

As per TorHoerman Law, you can earn anywhere between $10,000 and $500,000. Of course, the settlement amounts will differ based on conditions diagnosed, injuries suffered, the time spent on the base, and many more factors. 

Documenting a Link Between Your Condition and Exposure to Polluted Water is Important

Just because you acquired one of the medical conditions linked with Camp Lejeune’s polluted water doesn’t mean you will win compensation. Establishing a link between your medical condition and exposure to the contaminants of the base’s water is important. If you fail to do so, you might not be eligible for compensation. 

You must gather sufficient evidence to prove you acquired a specific medical condition after coming in contact with Camp Lejeune’s toxic water. Some documents that you might require for your claim are medical records and diagnoses, medical bills, and records on disability benefits or VA compensation benefits. 

You will also need to prove you served at the camp for 30 cumulative days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Your military records will help you prove that. However, you qualify for a lawsuit only if you weren’t dishonorably discharged from the military. You will also have to prove this. 

As Camp Lejeune lawsuits are different from other personal injury cases, consider hiring an attorney. Not only will they help you gather evidence, but they will also prove your medical condition is a result of exposure to the contaminants in the water. This will increase your likelihood of winning fair compensation. 

Putting it all together, navigating a Camp Lejeune lawsuit isn’t as easy as other personal injury cases. It’s a bit different because the defendant in this lawsuit is not an individual or a business. Instead, the Federal government is the defendant. 

Moreover, your chances of winning fair compensation rest on your ability to prove that you acquired a condition after being exposed to the VOCs in the base’s contaminated water. 

Before you file a claim, understanding the intricacies of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is important. Doing so will help you navigate the legal process with confidence and maximize your chances of achieving a favorable outcome. However, be sure to discuss your case with a lawyer before filing a lawsuit. An experienced attorney can help you recover damages by building a solid case. 

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