The Camp Lejeune lawsuit is one of history’s most significant environmental toxic torts. Senate data shows that at least one million veterans and civilians were affected by the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. As a result, many victims and their families can receive compensation from this settlement amount.
However, understanding how much each person will receive can be confusing for many affected by this tragedy. This post will discuss some basic questions about how this amount is calculated, how long it takes for victims to receive their money, and what you can do if you think your claim was denied incorrectly.
Background of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The Camp Lejeune water contamination is a complex issue that has affected many veterans and their families. The contamination started in the early 1950s when chemicals used to clean fuel tanks were discharged into the base’s drinking water system. The substances included TCE, PCE, benzene, vinyl chloride, and VOCs.
These harmful chemicals are associated with multiple health problems. For instance, the Camp Lejeune veterans had an increased risk for Parkinson’s Disease, with an odds ratio of 1.70 due to the VOCs. According to TorHoerman Law, an investigation found there were up to 48,000 pounds of VOCs in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. This amount is enough to have severe health consequences.
The Department of Defense conducted studies on this issue in 1987 and 1988. Still, it did not take any action until 1988, when it began distributing bottled water to residents living nearby Camp Lejeune who were thought to be exposed to contaminated groundwater through their wells.
This action was taken after being faced with mounting evidence linking exposure to cancer-causing chemicals with illnesses suffered by former residents of the base during their time spent there as Marines or dependents between 1956 through 1987.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed by Congress in 2022 that compensates victims of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. The act was further extended into a broader law called ‘Honoring our PACT Act of 2022’, which helps veterans better manage and approve disability and healthcare claims.
It resulted from a class action lawsuit against the United States government and is intended to provide financial relief for those who suffered illness or injury from exposure to toxic chemicals on base.
The law requires the VA Secretary to determine whether you were exposed, have an illness related to that exposure, and meet other eligibility requirements before making payments available through October 1st, 2022.
Understanding the Camp Lejeune Settlement Amount
The settlement amount is paid out by the government and the companies involved in Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.
The amount will differ from case to case based on the severity of the health condition you are facing after the exposure at Camp Lejeune. Moreover, if you are filing a disability compensation claim, you must prove that you have 1 or more of the 8 Camp Lejeune presumptive conditions.
What settlement amount you will get will depend on the strength of these evidence pieces. For instance, you may be more compensated if your medical condition is severe. So the Camp Lejeune lawsuit payout per person will depend on various factors.
How to Hire the Right Attorney for Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
An attorney can significantly impact whether or not you will win your lawsuit. Here are some tips for hiring the right lawyer for your needs.
Research and Gather Information
There’s a lot of information you need to collect about potential attorneys before selecting the right one for your needs.
- Research their experience: What cases have they handled? Have they won similar cases? Are they familiar with military law or environmental laws?
- Research their reputation: Do they have a good reputation in the community, or are people talking about them negatively on social media sites like Yelp and Google Reviews? How many awards has the lawyer received for his/her work?
- Research their fees: How much does hiring this particular attorney for my case cost? What happens if I don’t win my case? Will I owe anything more than what was quoted upfront before going into court with them?
- Research location: Does this lawyer practice near me geographically so I can meet face-to-face without traveling far away from home when needed? Do any potential witnesses live close enough where travel expenses wouldn’t be an issue when needed during depositions, trials, etc.?
The next step in finding an attorney to represent you in your Camp Lejeune lawsuit is to ask friends and family. If they have used a lawyer before, they can tell you if they were happy with their experience.
If you do not know anyone who has been through this process, ask your doctor or dentist who he or she would recommend. They can often give referrals to attorneys that have helped other patients in similar situations as yours.
The next step would be to ask your lawyer directly if he/she does not give any recommendations or if he/she does not want his/her name given out because some lawyers don’t allow other lawyers’ names to be disclosed.
Another option would be looking up local law firms online through Google search engines such as Bing or Yahoo. You could also use Yelp, which allows users from all over America to rate businesses, including lawyers, based on their experiences at these locations.
Assess Experience and Expertise
If you’re looking for an attorney to help with your Camp Lejeune case, consider the following:
- Does the attorney have experience with similar cases? This can be important because each case is unique and requires more than just basic law knowledge. An experienced lawyer will know how to handle your specific situation.
- What type of expertise do they have in your area of law? If you need a lawyer specializing in real estate closings or family law cases, then make sure they’re qualified before hiring them as an attorney on behalf of yourself or someone else affected by these toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune.
It’s important to check their references and reviews when looking for a lawyer to represent you in your Camp Lejeune lawsuit. You should ask other clients how they feel about the attorney’s work and how much they paid him or her.
Once you’ve found an attorney that seems like a good fit, ask them about their fee schedule so there aren’t any surprises later on down the road when it comes time for payment, and make sure that amount fits within your budget. Finally, double-check that the person has a license in your state before hiring them. Otherwise, they won’t be able to represent you.
We hope this article has helped you understand the Camp Lejeune settlement amount and how to hire the right attorney. Following the tips in this article can increase your chances of winning the lawsuit and getting the settlement amount.