If you’ve been affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, there is help available. You might be entitled to benefits if you were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. Here are some steps you can take to receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Rights
To file your Camp Lejeune lawsuit, you will need to work with an experienced attorney who specializes in representing veterans in these types of cases. A lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit based on negligence and help you throughout the entire process.
A lawyer can also help you apply for disability and other VA benefits. Several organizations offer free or low-cost legal assistance to veterans and their families. You can find a list of these and other organizations on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Apply for Veterans Benefits
If you’ve been diagnosed with a disease caused by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you may be eligible to receive benefits from the VA. Diseases caused by exposure to contaminated water include bladder, kidney, liver, lung, and prostate cancer, as well as multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The VA recognizes more than 100 illnesses resulting from exposure at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
You will need to be able to provide proof of disease that is associated with exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune to be eligible to receive these benefits. You may submit this proof in the form of a doctor’s diagnosis, laboratory test results, medical records, or treatment records. Suppose you are unable to obtain medical records from your doctors or other healthcare providers. In that case, you may still be able to prove your illness by obtaining a letter from your doctor explaining the connection between the illness and exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
File a Lawsuit Against the Government
If you or a family member were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and experienced adverse health effects. As a result, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the government for your injuries. Most individuals filing a lawsuit against the government do so through a personal injury lawyer rather than a law firm that specializes in personal injury cases. If you have been seriously injured as a result of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, hiring a lawyer with experience in personal injury litigation may be a good option for you. Some law firms specialize in cases involving the cleanup of Superfund sites, which are similar to claims involving contamination at Camp Lejeune. An experienced lawyer can help to ensure that you receive a fair settlement in your case and that your legal rights are protected throughout the process.
Take Medical Action
If you have already been diagnosed with a disease linked to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, then it is important that you take steps to control your symptoms and prevent your condition from getting worse. Your doctor can work with you to develop a treatment plan for your illness or condition and refer you to other healthcare professionals for additional care if needed. For example, you may be referred to a physical therapist for exercises designed to relieve symptoms of muscle stiffness or pain associated with your illness.
You may also need counseling to deal with the emotional effects of your illness. Counseling can help you learn how to cope with your condition and identify ways to manage your symptoms over the long term. Document everything with dates, times, and everything in writing! Having records will come in handy in the legal arena and can be very important to proving a case.
You can do a few things if you suspect you or a loved one was exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. First, you should talk to your doctor to determine whether you have been exposed to contaminated drinking water at the camp and whether that exposure may have resulted in the development of an illness or injury.
You should also document any signs and symptoms you may have experienced as a result of the exposure, including any medical treatments you have received. Finally, you can contact an attorney who has experience handling water contamination cases and determine whether you have a legal claim for damages against the Department of Veterans Affairs or another government agency.
In some cases, you may be able to file a claim on your own behalf. In other cases, you may need to hire an attorney to help you file your claim and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.