If you were sickened by the water at Camp Lejeune, you may wonder what steps are involved in seeking compensation. As lawsuits continue to be filed, more claimants are stepping forward. Having experienced legal counsel assist with your claim is necessary to protect your rights.
Rueb Stoller Daniel is here to work with you as you file for the maximum monetary damages. What follows are four critical steps you need to take in order to file a Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit.
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
Servicemembers and others who worked or were stationed at Camp Lejeune may have been harmed by contaminated water. The source of the contamination is VOCs (volatile organic compounds), hazardous chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses. VOCs spilled or leaked from underground storage tanks and waste disposal sites into the water at the base.
You could be eligible to file if you:
- Drank, bathed in, cooked with, or cleaned using water at Camp Lejeune,
- Became sick as a result of your contact with the water,
And one of the following applies:
- You served at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987;
- You lived on the base for 30 days or more during the same period;
- You are a dependent or spouse of an eligible veteran during the same period; or
- You were an infant born of a woman who was pregnant on the base during the same period.
Step 2: Obtain the Evidence Needed to Support Your Claim
You will need to substantiate the above criteria with supporting evidence. That may include the following.
Proof of Residency on the Base
This may come from military records like the DD214 or NAVMC118. You may also have other proof such as photographs or correspondence with an address at the base.
Proof of Your Illness
VOCs have been linked to several cancers and other serious diseases. Evidence typically includes medical records, lab test results, doctors’ notes, and more. You may have other evidence like written correspondence or statements from family or friends who know of your condition.
Other Evidence Unique to Your Claim
Depending on your circumstances, you may have other relevant evidence. For instance, you may have been a contractor who worked at Camp Lejeune and came in contact with the water.
An attorney will assist you in gathering the evidence you need to file.
Step 3: File an Administrative Claim
The next step is the formal administrative claim process. A form, sometimes called a Form 95, requires several key details from the claimant. That includes:
- Your identity
- How you became exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune
- The disease or condition you developed as a result
- How much in monetary damages you incurred
It is essential that a lawyer help you complete and file this form. The government will then have 180 days to accept or deny the claim. Lawyers for the Navy will be responsible for reviewing and making a decision about the claim.
Step 4: File a Lawsuit
There’s a strong likelihood the government will either deny your claim or offer an unreasonably low amount in damages. The point of seeking damages is to compensate you for the financial and other losses you sustained. However, the law allowing Camp Lejeune water claims is relatively new.
No cases have reached a settlement or trial yet, as lawyers and the government prepare and begin negotiations. Therefore, it is not clear approximately how much these cases could be worth.
How We Can Help Your Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
In addition to working with you through the above steps, we will make the claim for the most money available. We understand the mass tort claim process and how to prove a client’s injury and damages. Where needed, we will rely upon expert witnesses who can support the amount of damages you seek. And throughout the process, we will tenaciously advocate for your and your family’s rights.
To get started on your Camp Lejeune contaminated water claim, reach out to Rueb Stoller Daniel today.