The wait for Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlements is proving to be lengthy, leaving the veterans disappointed. By now, we are aware of the issue: the water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 was contaminated with harmful chemicals, leading to cancer and various other health hazards. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 allows victims to seek the compensation they deserve by filing a water contamination lawsuit. However, the veterans are still awaiting better outcomes.
In May 2023, Bloomberg Law News reported that even after 9 months of the government pledging to compensate the victims, not a single claim had been settled. According to the Navy, it is essential to establish an online portal for better claim management. To date, there have been over 45,000 claims since Congress sanctioned the probable payouts.
Probable Reasons For The Delay
However, the Navy, which governs the Marine Corps base, shared with the lawyers that the absence of correct resources and existing government regulations caused the delay. The Navy acknowledged that they are still not in a position to launch the required portal.
In the meantime, the delay enraged the Camp Lejeune workers, veterans, and their relatives. They have spent years attempting to avail compensation and treatment for Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and various other ailments caused by the contaminated water at the North Carolina base.
Needless to say, Camp Lejeune veterans deserve improved care and assistance. In this article, we will discuss this topic and shed light on how you can access your Camp Lejeune compensation.
Better Care Needed For Camp Lejeune Veterans
In April 2023, The Carolina Journal reported that Camp Lejeune veterans and workers deserved easy access to V.A. (Veterans Affairs) benefits, including disability compensation for fatal health issues that they developed. However, the reality doesn’t match up to this expectation.
Many veterans didn’t receive the compensation they deserved due to several reasons. The primary one is that the V.A. deploys ‘subject matter experts’ to assess the claims. The majority of them are preventive and general medicine doctors who lack the necessary know-how and experience to review the complex ailments that veterans struggle with.
Even the V.A. claimed that the doctors possessed the correct credentials. It also claimed that they received training on Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water problems and claims assessment. However, that did not prove sufficient.
Consequently, over 21,000 claims by veterans were unjustly denied or delayed because the V.A. inappropriately handled nearly 40% of the claims. Nearly $14 million in retroactive payments were denied to several veterans due to incorrect dates assigned to them.
Approximately half a million veterans who once resided at Camp Lejeune suffer from ailments due to the toxic water. For many of them, a monthly disability compensation from the V.A. would be helpful. This is because treatment for cancer and other chronic ailments is expensive. Furthermore, several veterans with malignant diseases can benefit from this compensation.
To ensure that veterans can access their compensation, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act forbids the government from granting immunity against lawsuits. Additionally, the new law, which falls under the Honoring Our PACT Act, declares that the district court will have special jurisdiction over any claim filed by the victims.
Other than receiving compensation from the government, veterans should receive V.A. disability compensation. Ensuring their claims aren’t rejected is crucial. Therefore, veterans need to get in touch with a Veterans Service Officer or an attorney, who will increase their chances of having their claims approved.
How To Get the Compensation You Deserve?
Individuals who spent almost 30 days or more at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 can file a legal complaint if they suffered after getting exposed to the contaminated water. It is essential to preserve all evidence and medical records and share the same with a lawyer, for them to build a compelling legal case.
The ailments and injuries that qualify individuals for financial aid include:
- Cancers associated with organs, such as kidney, bladder, and liver
- Blood cancers, like lymphoma and leukemia
- Respiratory ailments
- Ailments linked with vital organs, like brain, heart, and liver
- Congenital ailments and infertility
- Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
TorHoerman Law states that the settlement amount for Camp Lejeune veterans will vary. It will depend on the injuries they have suffered, the conditions that were diagnosed, and the time they have spent at the Marine Corps base in North Carolina. Lawsuit settlements can also include damages incurred, such as lost income, medical bills, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more.
It is truly disheartening to see that several Camp Lejeune veterans are still waiting for the justice and compensation they deserve. Many of these veterans are older adults, so timely help is very important. Many feel that they might not receive compensation or justice during their lifetime.
However, the delays shouldn’t deter any individual from filing a lawsuit if they have suffered from the toxic waters at Camp Lejeune. It is important to obtain a medical diagnosis to establish that the contaminated water is responsible for an ailment or injury. Once that’s done, it is necessary to seek legal assistance from an expert lawyer.