If you got diagnosed with a specific type of cancer or another disease and you think that it might be related to your military service at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, you might be eligible for benefits from the government. There are new laws that allow some claims that were previously denied or ineligible.
A toxic torts lawyer can help you if your claim got unfairly denied. Here is the legal process for filing a toxic tort claim for injuries sustained at Camp Lejeune:
Determine if You Are Eligible for Benefits
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA) creates a right to benefits for people who meet the eligibility requirements under the Act. The primary required factors include:
- Having been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, and
- Developing a medical condition due to exposure to contaminated water at the base.
Even if you previously filed a claim and the military denied your claim, you might be eligible now, under the new law. The Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Department of the Navy says that you will need to refile your claim.
Documenting Your Claim for Camp Lejeune Contaminated Drinking Water Benefits
Because the military has received so many requests for personnel records from the thousands of people filing claims, you do not have to submit your personnel or employment records with your claim, but that might change at any time.
Also, you might have to provide proof at a future date during the processing of your claim that you were, in fact, present at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987. The days do not have to be consecutive.
You will need to provide acceptable evidence that you received a diagnosis of one of the diseases now linked to the contaminated water in the on-base drinking water wells. You will want to talk with your personal injury lawyer about what types of medical records the military will accept for the purposes of this claim.
Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune
The military discovered that two of the on-base wells that provided drinking water for people living or working on the base had lethal chemicals in them. Eventually, the military shut down the wells, but only after people had been drinking the toxic water for decades.
Some of the diseases these toxins cause can take many years to develop. Many forms of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, infertility, and other diseases are now known to be linked to the chemicals that contaminated the water wells on base.
The military treats some forms of cancer and other diseases as “presumed” conditions, meaning that you do not have to prove that the contaminated water caused the disease. In that situation, all you have to prove is that you satisfy the eligibility requirement of being on the base for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 and that you received a diagnosis of one of the presumed diseases.
Camp Lejeune claims are not limited to members of the military. As long as they meet the eligibility criteria, servicemember families who lived on the base and civilians who worked on the base can file claims.
A toxic torts lawyer can help you pursue the benefits you deserve for your Camp Lejeune contaminated water claim. For help with your case reach out to our office, we offer a free consultation.