To determine who qualifies to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) sets the following eligibility criteria for potential claimants, who must have:
- Lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between August 1st, 1953, and December 31st, 1987.
- Been exposed to the water supply for 30 days or more (the days do not have to be consecutive).
- Later developed cancer or another serious illness linked with exposure to the contaminated water supply at the base.
Qualifying veterans, military personnel, civilians, and families who lived or worked at the base (including in utero exposure) are eligible under the CLJA. Eligibility also extends to relatives of close family members who have since passed, and claimants previously denied under the Tort Claims Act. Below we answer general questions about making a claim, but if you would like to discuss your situation in more detail, we provide a free consultation to see if we can help.
Which Illnesses Are Linked to the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune?
Research from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has established links between exposure to the contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune and a higher risk of cancer and other serious diseases, including:
- Aplastic anemia
- Bladder cancer
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colon cancer
- Congenital disabilities
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Ovarian cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Prostate cancer
Please note this list is not exhaustive. As more research becomes available, additional health conditions may be included. As such, we would encourage you to check whether you qualify if you or a loved one was exposed to the water supply at the camp for more than 30 days between 1953 and 1987.
What Compensation Is Available Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, 2022?
Compensation will likely vary for each claim, but you can claim financial damages related to the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Other losses related to the harm caused by exposure to the contaminated water
The Congressional Budget Office estimates CLJA compensation claims will cost the government around $6.1 billion. This could also increase over time. After all, almost one million people are believed to have been exposed to the toxic water at the camp, and those affected deserve fair compensation.
Will a Successful Claim Affect My VA Benefits or Health Care Allowances?
No. Your benefits will not be affected, but a settlement offer from the CLJA may offset your VA benefits or other health care allowances.
How Do I Make a Claim for Camp Lejeune Compensation?
There are three steps to take to start your claim for Camp Lejeune compensation, outlined as follows:
Checking Your Eligibility to Make a Claim
You must show that you or a loved one lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1st, 1953, and December 31st, 1987, and developed a health condition linked to exposure to the contaminated water.
Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim
Next, you must provide evidence showing proof of presence at the camp, how you were exposed, medical documentation about your health condition, and detailed information about your financial damages.
This step is vital in proving your entitlement to recover compensation (and how much you can recover) and is where our Camp Lejeune compensation attorneys can be a valuable ally.
Filing the Initial Administrative Forms
Claims for personal injury or wrongful death under the CLJA must be filed initially with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s tort claims unit. After filing your initial claim form, the Navy’s legal administrators have 180 days to respond. It is important to be as detailed as possible at this stage of the legal process, or you could lose your right to pursue compensation. Again, we can help you here.
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How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim?
The statute of limitations for filing a Camp Lejeune compensation claim is two years from August 10th, 2022 (when the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was signed into law) or 180 days if the government denies your claim, depending on whichever is later.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Represent Me to Claim Camp Lejeune Compensation?
No. Hiring a lawyer for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit is not a legal requirement. However, the legal and administrative process is complex and requires documents to be completed in precise formats at specific times, so it can be beneficial to work with one. Legal representation can help you avoid mistakes that could otherwise result in your claim being delayed or denied.
Where Can I Find Out If I Qualify for Compensation Under the CLJA?
To learn if you qualify to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, contact the team at The Fitch Law Firm LLC for a free consultation. If our attorneys can help, we ensure your initial claim form is accurately completed and includes all of the evidence required to reflect the full extent of your past, current, and anticipated financial damages.
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