If you’re a veteran of the Marine Corps – or a veteran’s family member – who served or resided at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and subsequently developed a severe medical condition, speak at once to a California Camp Lejeune claim attorney regarding your legal options and rights.
Contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune – from 1953 through 1987 – made national news in 2022 when President Biden signed the PACT Act allowing veterans and their families to seek justice after exposure to deadly and hazardous toxins found in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water.
What Is the PACT Act?
If you served or resided at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, what should you know about the PACT (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics) Act? If you became ill after exposure to toxic drinking water, what steps should you take? Is there a deadline for bringing legal action?
For the answers that you and your loved ones may need about water contamination at Camp Lejeune and your rights under the PACT Act, keep reading.
What Does the PACT Act Provide?
Before the PACT Act took effect, federal law shielded the military from lawsuits brought by those who have been injured on active duty. The PACT Act expands care and benefits for veterans who were exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other dangerous substances.
The Act also gives veterans and their family members who became ill after residing at Camp Lejeune two years to file a claim with the Navy, and if the Navy rejects a claim or offers an unacceptable settlement amount, the party bringing the claim has the right to sue for damages.
What is the Deadline for PACT Act Claims?
The PACT Act may produce more injury claims than any other single piece of legislation in legal history. In less than a year, over a half-million injury claims have been filed under the Pact Act.
While claimants must act quickly – the deadline for filing a claim is August 10, 2024 – that is still enough time for thousands of other claims to be filed. There is no way yet to know how much compensation will eventually have to be paid to Camp Lejeune veterans and their families.
What Conditions Are Linked to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
Camp Lejeune’s water treatment plants were contaminated from 1953 through the 1980s by toxic chemicals that included tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and benzine.
If you served or resided at Camp Lejeune from 1953 through 1987, and if you have been diagnosed with one of the following conditions, the Navy generally presumes that Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water caused the condition:
- Bladder, breast, esophageal, kidney, or lung cancer
- Leukemia, multiple myeloma, or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes or hepatic steatosis
- Miscarriage or female infertility
- Renal toxicity, scleroderma, or neurobehavioral deficits
Additionally, new evidence linking Parkinson’s disease to the water at Camp Lejeune continues to emerge. A study published in JAMA Neurology (May 15, 2023) suggests a 70 percent increased risk of Parkinson’s disease for persons who have been exposed to trichloroethylene.
Is There Justice for Surviving Family Members?
The PACT Act also allows surviving family members of deceased Camp Lejeune water contamination victims to file wrongful death claims on behalf of their loved ones. Even if a family member died years ago, you can still file a wrongful death claim until August 10, 2024.
If your family member passed away years ago – or even decades ago – and you no longer have (or cannot locate) that person’s medical or financial records, a Camp Lejeune claim lawyer can advise you and probably even help you obtain the records you need.
Whether you are bringing an injury claim or a wrongful death claim for a deceased loved one, the documentation you will need may include medical records, medical bills, and military service records which prove that you or your deceased loved one were at Camp Lejeune.
What Steps Should You Take?
If you can prove that you are a victim of Camp Lejeune water contamination, if you believe that you are a victim, or if a deceased loved one was a victim, contact an attorney as quickly as possible.
A Camp Lejeune claim lawyer can help you prepare your injury claim and help you compile the documents to prove that, for at least thirty days from 1953 through 1987, you were at Camp Lejeune, and you later developed a severe medical condition.
How Are Camp Lejeune Claims Handled?
Your lawyer can help you document your damages and losses – medical expenses and lost income along with pain and personal suffering – to calculate the compensation you may recover. The Navy has 180 days after you file your claim to accept or reject it.
If the claim is rejected by the Navy, your claim lawyer will go to court to fight for your compensation. Should the Navy offer you a settlement, your claim lawyer will negotiate for the full compensation amount that you deserve and need.
What If You Cannot Afford an Attorney?
Especially if you are struggling with a serious disease and your medical bills are substantial, you may think that you can’t afford an attorney’s help. Think again. Hiring a personal injury lawyer will require no attorney’s fee unless and until you recover compensation.
If you aren’t compensated at the conclusion of the legal process, you’ll owe no fee to your attorney. The process begins with a no-obligation, no-cost evaluation of your claim. You’ll get personalized legal advice about proceeding with a Camp Lejeune claim under the PACT Act.
Let Frost Law Firm Represent You
As mentioned previously, the last day to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim is August 10, 2024. If you intend to file a claim, you must speak with an attorney immediately and begin – now – to compile the documentation you will need.
California-based injury attorney Scott L. Frost has over twenty nine years of legal experience successfully representing those who have been injured by another party’s negligence. Scott is a former Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer with years of experience representing people injured by toxic substances. Scott and other members of the Frost Law Firm Team are Veterans Administration Accredited and regularly file claims with the VA. The award-winning legal team at Frost Law Firm handles personal injury claims across the United States.
Our personal injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our clients through jury verdicts and out-of-court settlements. Contact the offices of Frost Law Firm now – from anywhere in the nation – by calling 866-FROST-WINS to start the legal process or to learn more about your rights as a Camp Lejeune water contamination victim.