U.S. service members, their families, and civilian employees were exposed to dangerous, toxic water at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, for decades. The recently passed Camp Lejeune Justice Act finally provides a path to compensation for affected people and their families. You may be wondering: Am I eligible to get Camp Lejeune Justice Act compensation? In this article, our Camp Lejeune water contamination attorneys answer the question by explaining the key things that you need to know about your eligibility to bring a legal claim for toxic water.
Background: Hundreds of Thousands Exposed to Dangerous Toxic Water Over Decades
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed to respond to a very serious, long-term public health problem. Many people were exposed to dangerous, toxic water at the military facility over the course of nearly 35 years. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) estimates that more than a million people—military members, their family members, and civilian workers—may have been exposed. The new law provides a path to compensation for those made ill.
Three Things You Need to Prove to Recover Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Compensation
Only some people who ever served at Camp Lejeune are eligible to bring a toxic water claim to seek financial compensation. There are some basic eligibility factors that you need to satisfy. Here are three specific criteria that you need to meet:
- Presence On Camp Lejeune Between 1953 and 1987: According to the federal government, toxic water was a problem at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, through December 31, 1987. The new law only covers claims that arose during that period. The first step to proving your eligibility is proving that you were on-site at the facility in Jacksonville, NC, during this time period.
- A Minimum of 30 Days of Exposure at the Facility: A single day spent at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 is not enough to qualify for compensation. You need to prove that you spent at least 30 days at the facility. An overnight stay is not required. Working on the facility for 30 days is sufficient to meet this standard.
- A Medical Condition Caused By the Toxic Water: Finally, you must prove that you have a medical condition that was caused by the toxic water. Here is a crucial thing to know about the law: The Camp Lejeune Justice Act makes several medical conditions “presumptive”—meaning there is presumption that the toxic water caused the condition if you were at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987. Certain non-presumptive conditions can still qualify for compensation, but you must be ready to provide causation.
You May Be Eligible to Bring a Toxic Water Claim on Behalf of a Deceased Family Member
Did your now-deceased spouse, parent, child, or other close family member serve at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987? If they had any medical impairment caused by toxic water, you may have the right to file a claim on their behalf. The law clearly states that surviving family members can seek compensation. The eligibility criteria are similar and the closest surviving family member should generally file the claim; however, the criteria vary by state. If you are a surviving family member with any questions about your eligibility to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, an experienced attorney can help.
You Must Initiate a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim Before the Deadline
The Camp LeJeune Justice Act is a brand new law and it only opens up a limited window for affected people or surviving family members to file for compensation. There are two years to file. This means that all victims must file their claims before August 10th, 2024. If you wait too long to initiate your claim for compensation, you can be denied any compensation based solely on a missed deadline.
Contact Our Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyers for Immediate Help
At Paynter Law, our talented and seasoned North Carolina Camp Lejeune Justice Act lawyers have the legal expertise that you can trust. If you have any specific questions or concerns about your eligibility to bring a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, we are more than ready to help. If you have a claim to make, we will be there with you through every step of the process. Give us a phone call now or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We handle Camp Lejeune’s toxic water lawsuits on behalf of clients in North Carolina and beyond.