You deserve fair compensation for your illnesses and other financial losses. The Joel Bieber Firm wants to help you pursue the justice you need with a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. Our attorneys are ready to hear your story.
American citizens greatly respect veterans and members of the military. However, the government has often failed to protect service members the way they deserve to be protected — the Camp Lejeune water contamination issue is a prime example.
If you or a loved one lived in Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between the 1950s and the 1980s, you might have been exposed to harmful contaminated water. The toxic chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune led to countless victims receiving life-altering diagnoses for multiple types of severe medical conditions.
Background on the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
In 1941, the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was established. From the early 1950s to the late 1980s, the tap water at the base was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Service members and their families drank, cooked with, and bathed in the contaminated water, with no knowledge that the water they used and consumed was toxic and harmful.
After such significant exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, service members and their families began to fall ill, developing various severe ailments. Aside from other physical illnesses, one of the telling signs of something going awry was the dental issues from Camp Lejeune water contamination.
Years later, the government stepped in to investigate the issue and take action. Unfortunately, many continue to live with serious illnesses as a result of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, and many lives have been lost.
Numerous victims are still receiving devastating news regarding their health to this day. The effects of the water contamination tragedy at Camp Lejeune have been felt for years and will continue for years to come.
Toxic Chemicals Found in the Water at Camp Lejeune
Multiple water treatment plants at Camp Lejeune contained harmful chemicals at dangerous concentrations of 300 times or more above the levels permitted by safety standards.
Also known as tetrachlorethylene, the uses of PCE include dry cleaning and metal degreasing. Recent studies have shown this toxic chemical increases the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder cancer, and multiple myeloma. It may also contribute to neurobehavioral difficulties.
TCE is often used as a degreaser for metal machinery. The National Cancer Institute has positively linked TCE to kidney cancer and has found potential links to other types of cancers.
Benzene is used to make other chemicals that are needed to manufacture plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, and nylon. The chemical is also utilized in making dyes, drugs, and pesticides. Benzene is linked to certain cancers, including leukemia.
Vinyl Chloride (VC)
VC is a colorless gas with many uses, including producing plastic products. In the past, VC was used in everyday products, like makeup. This gas can cause a rare form of liver cancer, along with lung, brain, and other types of cancers.
The sources of chemical contamination at Camp Lejeune varied. Some of the contamination came from improper waste disposal practices, leaking underground storage tanks, and industrial area spills.
Compensable Illnesses in Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
Those who repeatedly used and consumed the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune unknowingly put themselves at risk for illness. Among the many kinds of illnesses produced by the use and consumption of the contaminated water, some of the most common include the following:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Brain cancer
- Lung cancer
- Liver cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Cardiac defects
- Renal disease
- Neurological effects
- Autoimmune diseases
- Camp Lejeune water contamination heart disease
Ingesting toxic chemicals can affect almost any organ. Camp Lejeune water contamination thyroid issues are also prominent. Problems with the thyroid can indicate other, more serious illnesses.
Symptoms of Camp Lejeune water contamination generally depend on the type of medical condition a victim faces. In the most unfortunate cases, water contamination has led to deaths.
If you have suffered illnesses and injuries due to contaminated Camp Lejeune drinking water, contact The Joel Bieber Firm today. Our attorneys may be able to secure compensation from a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit on your behalf.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
In recent years, the government has tried to implement ways for victims of Camp Lejeune to pursue justice for their harm.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was introduced in 2021. The act allows individuals to sue the government for harm suffered from Camp Lejeune water contamination between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Victims can only sue the government under the act if they were exposed to the contaminated water for at least 30 days.
Victims who sue under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act are prohibited from bringing a separate tort action against the government. The lawsuit under the act is the exclusive legal remedy.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is the latest news on Camp Lejeune water contamination 2022. The act will likely go into effect this year.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Compensation for Injuries and Illnesses Resulting from Contaminated Water
You can pursue financial recovery by suing for your water contamination-related illness. Compensatory damages serve to compensate you for your tangible and intangible losses.
Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlement amounts depend on the details of each situation. You could be eligible to receive damages for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
The type of damages and the value of your case will depend on certain factors, such as:
- The type of illness and severity
- Your past, present, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages from your inability to work
- How long you were exposed to the contaminated water
Your water contamination attorney will examine the details of your situation to help establish the value of your case. While financial compensation cannot erase years of hardship and trauma, it can ease some of the monetary burdens your illness and losses have caused.
Evidence to Prove Your Illness and Losses in a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
Evidence is crucial in any lawsuit, including one for contaminated water exposure illnesses.
During your lawsuit, your water contamination lawyer will work with you to gather relevant evidence to strengthen your case. This evidence might include:
- Proof that you resided at Camp Lejeune during the specified period
- Medical bills
- Medical records establishing your diagnosis
- Records detailing VA disability benefits
For example, if you believe that due to Camp Lejeune water contamination, diabetes developed, you’d need to have enough medical evidence to back up your claim.
Your attorney will use these and other pieces of evidence to build a substantial case on your behalf.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit and Eligibility for VA Benefits
There’s some positive news if you’re a service member affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination: If you receive compensation under a lawsuit, that won’t hinder your ability to receive benefits from VA programs.
If you served in Camp Lejeune, you might be eligible for VA benefits. To qualify, you must meet all of the following requirements:
- You served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1953 and December 1987
- You were not dishonorably discharged from the military
- You must have received a diagnosis for one or more Camp Lejeune water contamination presumptive illnesses
The VA might provide benefits and support for the following illnesses
- Adult leukemia
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Aplastic anemia or other myelodysplastic syndromes
Veterans and their families may qualify to receive healthcare benefits with the same requirements. These conditions will also be considered:
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Renal toxicity
If you and your family are covered by the VA and qualify, make sure to apply for disability compensation.
Statute of Limitations for a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
A statute of limitations is a legal time restriction placed on an individual’s ability to file a lawsuit. Like any other type of claim, victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination will have a limited amount of time to file their lawsuit.
There are two deadlines when filing a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Victims who have already developed a condition or illness have two years from the date the act goes into effect to file their claim.
If an individual has not yet developed a medical condition at the time the act becomes effective, they will have two years from the date of diagnosis to file their claim.
It is imperative you keep the statute of limitations in mind. Failing to file your claim within the prescribed amount of time will result in the loss of your right to pursue compensation for your illness and losses.
Figuring out a statute of limitations is always challenging — especially when your lawsuit involves the government. Speak with your water contamination lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your case is handled timely and properly.
Consult with a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Attorney
At the Joel Bieber Firm, we’re dedicated to helping injured clients seek justice and obtain the financial recovery they rightly deserve. Our firm’s attorneys have over 400+ years of collective experience. We use our knowledge, skills, and resources to protect our clients’ rights and fight for a fair resolution on their behalf.
Getting you the recovery you need is what keeps us going.
We understand the positive impact a favorable settlement can have on your life and circumstances. Contact our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation with a water contamination lawyer. Fill the form below.
Frequently Asked Questions
If when you are contacted by the other party’s insurance company they will likely attempt to have your conversation recorded. You are not required to give a recorded statement, and we strongly urge our clients not to give this statement. In fact, we encourage you not to speak to the other party’s insurance company about the facts of the crash or about any injuries that may have resulted. Your conversation should be limited to information about damage to your car and its location. Tell the insurance company to contact your insurance company or your lawyer.
A car crash is never a pleasant experience. Afterward, everyone’s emotions are usually running high. It is best to remain calm and not argue with the other driver. Someone may be injured, and you should make sure everyone involved is ok, and that there aren’t any injuries. Even if the accident doesn’t seem bad, and no one appears to be hurt, you should call 911. You need the police to be present to keep everyone safe and to get the vehicles moved. Also, it is good to have the police present for insurance purposes to prove that the accident happened. Be sure exchange information with the other driver including the other driver’s name, address, insurance company name and policy number. Make notes of the make and model of the vehicle. Be sure not to make any statements as to the accident being your fault.
There are varying time deadlines, and in some instances other special “notice” or filing deadlines, that apply to injury claims. There is no law, however, that requires an injury victim to report an accident-related injury to an attorney. With the understanding that the deadlines apply whether or not an attorney is involved, the better question might be whether it makes sense to call for legal help with your injury claim now, as opposed to later? We believe the answer to this question is always or almost always “yes”. The person or company that “accidentally” hurts you usually reports what happened to a liability insurance company right away. That company then immediately begins to investigate what happened, to investigate the claims being made, and to investigate the people making the claims. The insurer does this to protect its interests and that of its insured, not the interests of the victim. Often there is an issue over who is legally responsible for what happened. When this occurs, the insurance company may deny your claim entirely or attempt to negotiate a settlement for less than full value. In addition, there is almost always disagreement over the severity of the injuries and damages being claimed, with a resulting argument over their monetary value. Insurance claim adjusters do this for a living. As personal injury attorneys, we do this for a living as well, with the critical difference that we do it for you, not the insurance company. The sooner we get to work, the sooner we are able to protect you, and the more likely it is that we’ll be able to help you obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve. We charge no extra for getting to work now as opposed to later; in fact, we charge no fee until your case is successfully resolved. If the other guy’s insurance company is already working to protect him, shouldn’t someone be working to protect you right now as well? (Call us, right now, toll-free, at 888-777-5635.)
Initially, we need you to provide us with as much information about the incident that led to your injuries as possible. How did the incident happen? Where did it happen? Who was involved? Were there any witnesses? Who did you speak with at the scene of the incident? What was said during the conversation? If you have an Exchange of Information Form, an Incident Report, or any other documents relating to the incident, we would like to have copies. Similarly, we ask that you provide us with any photographs that you may have, including photographs of your car (if you were involved in a car crash) and photographs of your injuries, such as cuts, bruises, and scars. Finally, we need information regarding the kinds of injuries that you sustained, where you have sought treatment, information related to any lost wages, and information as to how the incident has impacted you physically and emotionally.
Personal injury attorneys do not get paid like other attorneys do. While some attorneys charge by the hour or make you pay in advance, personal injury attorneys get paid a percentage of your settlement or jury verdict. This is called a “contingency fee.” Importantly, you do not have to pay us in advance to represent you and we do not get paid for our work until your case is resolved. Working on a contingency basis provides a real benefit to clients because the client’s interests and the law firm’s interests align. We are both focused on maximizing your recovery.
You should always feel free to contact your attorney with any questions you have about your case. It is important that you keep the Firm up to date with your contact information so that your attorney can get in touch with you regarding case developments. In addition to your attorney, you will also have a paralegal working on your case. Your paralegal will be working to collect all of your treatment information. You should keep your paralegal updated on where you are seeking medical care and if you are referred to any new providers. Once you are released from treatment, your attorney will keep you up to speed on negotiations with the insurance company and will provide you with guidance about your cases value. If your case is one that goes to litigation, your attorney will guide you through the litigation process.
There is not a simple yes or no answer to this question. At The Joel Bieber Firm, we take a great deal of time, effort and care in obtaining the best settlement offer we can from the insurance company. If we are able to reach an agreement with the insurance company, you will not have to go to court. However, if the insurance company doesn’t pay a fair value for your case, The Joel Bieber Firm is ready and willing to file a lawsuit and fight for your case in court.
Do not sign any document for the insurance company without consulting a lawyer. The insurance company may ask you to sign a Medical Release or a Final Release of your claims in return for some payment. Medical Release: Your medical records are protected under a federal law known as HIPAA. While the insurance company may have a right to see some records in order to evaluate your claim, the release of that information should be limited and controlled. The medical release created by the insurance company may allow the insurance company to speak directly to your doctors, to receive all of your records for an unlimited time and to use those records for any purpose even purposes not related to your claim. Final Release: Once you sign a release, you cannot seek reimbursement for any additional treatment or other losses regardless of whether you made a mistake in signing too soon. Even a release given in exchange for a property damage settlement could release your claims for bodily injuries and lost wages.
That is a very good question. It can also be the topic for an entire seminar because it can get quite complicated, and every situation is different, which is all the more reason to talk to a lawyer. But the short answer for the typical situation is this—ready?—in most cases, you better hope you’ve got good insurance coverage on yourself. Why, you ask? Because in the typical case, you will be making a claim on your own automobile insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage. The number of uninsured motorists on the road in Virginia is surprising. There are even more people driving around who are underinsured. When the driver at fault is uninsured, or is underinsured, your most likely recourse in the typical situation is to pursue an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim on your own auto policy. The amount of uninsured coverage on your policy is a cap, or the limit, on what money you can collect. An easier way of saying it is that the amount of coverage you have on your policy will probably be the limit on what you get if the other guy doesn’t have insurance or is underinsured. That is why it is so important to make sure you have good uninsured motorist coverage in your own policy. If there is one thing you take away from reading this, it is to go back, look at your policy, and make sure you have enough uninsured coverage on your own policy so that all damages will be covered. Here’s why. First, understand what uninsured coverage is. It is like insurance you take out on yourself to protect against a costly collision. Uninsured motorist coverage gives you money to pay for damages whether the at-fault driver is uninsured or is less insured than you are. It is insurance to make sure there is enough money to go around in case you are in a wreck with someone who has no insurance, or as we often see, has only the low minimum coverage required in Virginia. In Virginia, the minimum amount of liability coverage that a person can buy is a 25/50/20 policy. The numbers represent different types of coverage in thousands of dollars. The first two numbers (the “25,000/50,000”) are the amounts that the insurance company will pay for bodily injury claims arising from an accident that you are legally liable for. The first number is the per-person amount and the second number is the per-accident amount. This is the lowest amount of insurance you can get. It also is usually the total amount of uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) available. If you have low liability coverage, you also have low uninsured coverage to cover yourself if someone hits you. Let’s take a look at a typical example. If you have a minimum policy and someone hits you is uninsured, or also has the minimum coverage, that amount is all you can get—$25,000 per person, and $50,000 for everyone in the wreck. You would make a claim and your recovery would be capped at $25,000 no matter what the total actual damages are. As we often see, $25,000 doesn’t get you very far these days in a moderate-to-significant crash. Taking into consideration all the medical expenses, lost wages, possible future expenses and lost earnings, never mind the injury itself, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and a possible impairment, damages can easily exceed $25,000, but, still, that’s all that you would get. If you have low coverage, you can easily come up short. And, unfortunately, that happens. On the other hand, if you have higher uninsured coverage—let’s say, $50,000/$100,00 or $100,000/$300,000 or even more—then you would have twice or four or more times the money available to pay for your actual damages, even though the other driver has no insurance or only minimum coverage. With higher uninsured coverage, there is more money available to cover all the damages and a better chance that all your damages will be covered. Like we said earlier, there are a lot of people out there driving around with no insurance and with only the minimum amount of liability coverage who are causing some bad accidents. There may be other ways to get around an uninsured driver hitting you depending on the circumstances, but the usual case will have you use your own uninsured coverage. So, you should take a look at your financial and insurance situation, talk to your insurance agent, and decide whether or not you need more coverage. The time to decide on the right amount of uninsured motorist coverage is obviously before there is a wreck, injuries, and bills. Now that you know that what coverage you have may be, and probably will be, the total amount you get after a wreck, make sure it’s enough– enough to at least buy you peace of mind.
Seeking medical treatment is important for two reasons. The first is your health. Whether you have been in a motor vehicle crash, fell on someone else’s property, been bitten by a dog, or been injured in some other fashion, the goal is to return to the state of health that you were in prior to the incident. That is job one. Secondarily, the cost of your medical treatment is the responsibility of the party that injured you and their insurance company and it is an important factor for determining how much pain and suffering you have experienced from the incident.
Insurance companies will sometimes offer to or even send you a check as an enticement to settle your case quickly. It is always to their advantage to get you to accept a quick payment before you really know what is wrong with you. Be aware that if you accept, endorse, deposit, or cash the check it can be found to be an acceptance of the settlement offer and your case will be over. (Do not cash or deposit the check and then try to return it later, as that may also be found to be an acceptance of the settlement offer.) This can be a very costly mistake if you are still treating for injuries from a crash, still out of work, or if you may need additional medical treatment in the future. Once the check is accepted, you will likely never be able to get the additional compensation for your injuries, medical treatment, and losses that you deserve. If you are offered a check or receive one in the mail, do not accept it unless you are 100% sure that you want to forever end your case for the amount of the check at that moment. If you are not 100% sure, you should refuse or return the check and seek legal advice about your case.