Water contamination at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 may have caused a high risk of developing many severe conditions, both for the service members who worked on the base and their family members who may have lived there during those times.
Many of those veterans, their families, and others have now returned or moved to Wisconsin, where, sadly, the effects of Camp Lejeune water contamination have caught up to them. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows Wisconsin service members and their families to seek compensation for their losses after exposure to the contaminated water. A Wisconsin Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer can help them recover those funds, which can help them pay for treatments and more.
What Is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows anyone who faced exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, including people who may have suffered that exposure in utero, to pursue compensation for the damages associated with the harm caused by that contaminated water.
The contaminated water at Camp Lejeune may have increased the risk of:
- Adult leukemia
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Aplastic anemia
Water contamination at Camp Lejeune may also have caused several other potential health conditions. However, the VA notes that service members and their families exposed to that contaminated water may need one of the presumptive conditions listed above to pursue compensation for the damages suffered due to contaminated water exposure.
What Compensation Does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act Provide?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act provides compensation for the direct losses that service members and their families may have sustained due to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Compensation may include several common areas experienced by many service members and their families.
Compensation for the Cost of Medical Care
Medical care often tops the list of expenses for service members and their families exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Those high medical costs can cause a significant financial burden, especially for individuals who may have struggled with employment due to those continuing conditions.
Treatment for conditions like cancer, for example, averages around $42,000 per year. Most insurance companies do provide coverage for most of the medical needs associated with cancer treatment; however, those costs can, over time, still prove prohibitive for many patients.
While calculating medical costs to include as part of a Camp Lejeune claim, patients should remember that they cannot include any expenses already paid by the VA or any other government award. Expenses paid by the government should not count toward the total cost of medical expenses in an injury claim.
In some cases, the spouses of service members may also have already received assistance through the VA or other services. A lawyer can help service members and their families better understand what compensation they can claim as part of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and how they can calculate the medical expenses they may have had to pay.
Compensation for Income Losses
Cancer and other damaging conditions like Parkinson’s disease that may develop from exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water can make it difficult for patients to work. Some service members may have left the service and turned to other professions. As their conditions developed, however, they may have found themselves struggling to work.
Similarly, children and spouses of service members who may have lived at Camp Lejeune during the period of contaminated water may also struggle to get into work while dealing with the conditions caused by the exposure. As part of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, service members and their families who lost time at work because of conditions associated with the contaminated water may have the right to claim compensation for those lost hours at work and the lost income that went along with them.
In addition to calculating the time they had to miss at work because of those damages, service members and their families who suffered from those conditions should also look at whether they may have permanently lost the ability to work because of their conditions.
For example, some patients with liver or kidney cancer may find that their physical condition has deteriorated enough that they can no longer work in their previous industries. That can mean discharge from the Armed Forces or inability to hold a job at another facility. In that case, service members and their families might have the right to claim compensation for lost earning potential.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
The conditions associated with exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can cause considerable overall suffering. In many cases, patients may go through substantial pain as they seek treatment for their illnesses. Sometimes, patients might go through painful or uncomfortable treatments.
Cancer can lead to long-term disability and struggle, including permanent impact on the immune system and overall health. Serious medical conditions can also interfere heavily with relationships with friends and loved ones, which can strain the patient greatly.
As part of a Camp Lejeune Justice Act claim, service members and their families may have the right to claim compensation for the non-financial damages due to a condition developed from contaminated water exposure. A lawyer can help you get a better idea of what compensation you might deserve for your suffering and how you can best put together a compelling claim that includes compensation for those losses.
Wrongful Death Claims
Sometimes, the service member or family member who suffered a devastating condition due to contaminated water exposure may have died of that condition before the passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. In those cases, surviving family members may have the right to file a wrongful death claim allowing them to pursue compensation for losing a loved one.
Wrongful death claims may include compensation for the loss of the individual’s income and support for the family, and the non-financial loss of that loved one’s presence. A lawyer can help the surviving family learn more about their right to compensation and put together a comprehensive wrongful death claim.
What Should I Do if I Served at Camp Lejeune and Suffered a Diagnosis Related to Contaminated Water Exposure?
Service members who served at Camp Lejeune may find themselves wondering if they may have a high risk of suffering from a devastating condition due to their contaminated water exposure. Both service members and their families should talk to their doctors about the risks associated with the exposure so that their doctors can help monitor them for any symptoms and provide treatment as soon as possible.
If a service member who served at Camp Lejeune or a family member who lived or worked on the base does face a diagnosis of a devastating condition, they may need to take several important actions to help protect themselves and their right to compensation.
1. Get a Medical Diagnosis
In the case of some types of medical conditions, sufferers may choose to ignore symptoms for as long as possible. You may not want to pursue medical treatment or feel concerned that a diagnosis will interfere with other plans. You may also have conditions like Parkinson’s disease and prefer to control those symptoms yourself for as long as possible before turning to medication.
However, if you intend to seek compensation through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you should talk to a medical care provider and get a full medical diagnosis immediately. As a current or former service member, you may want to pursue treatment through the VA, which will help ensure that you have the help you need to get quality care for your condition.
2. Seek Treatment as Recommended by Your Care Provider
As recommended by your medical care provider, seeking the right treatment can make a huge difference in your ability to recover from your condition or maintain your health for as long as possible. Do not put off needed medical care treatments or put yourself in a position that could cause your symptoms to worsen.
Ignoring your care needs could leave you liable for any further damages caused by your condition. Work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that fits your symptoms and specific needs. In some cases, for service members, that may mean seeking treatment through the VA. In other cases, you may need to pursue treatment on your own.
3. Contact a Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Once you realize that you have a diagnosis stemming from contaminated water exposure at Camp Lejeune, get in touch with a lawyer as soon as you can. You may have a limited time to put together a claim and pursue the compensation you deserve for those damages. A lawyer can help guide you through the claim process, decrease the odds of facing claim denial, and offer better insights into your next steps as you manage your condition.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Handle a Camp Lejeune Justice Act Claim?
If you need to file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you may need a lawyer to help guide you through the claim process and provide essential support. While the Camp Lejeune Justice Act lays out the compensation you may have the right to include, you may still need a lawyer to help guide you through the claim process.
A Lawyer Can Fill Out All Your Paperwork Correctly.
You may have a great deal of paperwork to put together as you fill out your Camp Lejeune contaminated water claim. If you fail to fill out that paperwork correctly, you may suffer delays in processing your claim, which could prevent you from getting the funds you need on hand when you need them. A lawyer can help ensure you have filled out all paperwork correctly and included all the key details to help progress your claim.
A Lawyer Can Calculate All the Compensation You Deserve
When you file your Camp Lejeune contaminated water claim, you may need to take a close look at all the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can help ascertain you understand all the areas in which you may deserve compensation so that you can include them in your claim. Failure to include those key elements may mean that you miss out on the compensation you may deserve for those losses since you cannot go back and file another claim in the future.
A Lawyer Can Present Evidence to Establish Your Presence at Camp Lejeune Between August 1953 and December 1987.
In some cases, it can prove difficult to establish that you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune. While service members may have clear records that establish where they served and during what period, spouses and children may not have the same clear records, especially in the case of divorce or death. A lawyer can help hunt down those vital records and make it easier for you to prove that you served at Camp Lejeune during the relevant time.
A Lawyer Can Lay Out the Evidence You Need to Establish Your Condition.
By working with a lawyer, you can receive the support you may need to put together medical records that establish your costs, condition, and any permanent disability related to those conditions.
Get Help From a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer
If you suffered damages related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you might have the right to pursue compensation through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Contact a Wisconsin Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer to learn more about your right to compensation for those damages and how you can best pursue it.