The Camp Lejeune Justice Act creates a new federal cause of action that allows people who were sickened by toxic water at Camp Lejeune to obtain financial compensation. Not only is there a new right to sue under this law, but Congress has also relaxed some of the normal causation rules that must usually be met in order to get a settlement. If you or a loved one were exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune, here are the basic steps to file a claim for financial compensation.
While the new law is a major victory for veterans and their families who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune, there may still be obstacles to winning financial recovery. When you file a Camp Lejeune claim, you are taking on the federal government. Even though the law recognizes that you may have an entitlement to financial compensation, it does not mean that the government will readily give it to you. In order to present the most effective possible case, you need the help that an experienced attorney can provide. If you or a loved one have been sickened by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune, our lawyers can help you get the financial compensation that you deserve.
Your claim must include proof that you qualify for financial compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. You will need to show that you were at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 and that you have suffered an illness. You will need to provide medical records that document your illness. You do not need to directly prove that your illness was from Camp Lejeune water, but you need to provide scientific evidence that your condition could be connected to the toxins in the water.
Once you have contacted an attorney and compiled all the necessary documentation, you will file the actual claim directly with the government. The Department of Defense has established a process you must follow to file a claim through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The government will review your claim and decide whether it has merit.
If the government finds merit in your claim, they will then discuss financial compensation. They may make you a settlement offer. In this instance, the government is like any insurance company in that you may need to negotiate to get the amount of money that you deserve. Your attorney knows how much your claim is worth, and they will advise you whether to accept an offer.
If your claim is denied, or you are not satisfied with the result of the settlement negotiation, you can file a lawsuit in federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina. The federal judge may then decide whether you are due compensation and how much. The law says that you cannot go to court unless you have filed your claim with the government first.
The Comerford Law Firm helps injured veterans get the benefits and compensation they are due for a service-related injury or condition. To schedule your free initial consultation, you can send us a message online, and someone on our team will be in touch.
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