The objective of any mass tort litigation is winning damages to compensate the victim. But doing so is much more complicated than simply adding up dollar amounts. Whether you settle your case or it goes to trial, you only get one chance to get the damages right.
This is where having skilled legal representation will make all the difference. Below are some of the ways Rueb Stoller Daniel will be handling damages in the upcoming Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.
Determining the Nature of Past and Present Damages
Victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination have likely experienced personal injury as a result of the government’s negligence. For years, the U.S. government denied any wrongdoing in the matter. Victims suffered all this time without any legal recourse. And their damages continued to accrue.
Every mass tort litigation lawsuit is different. But the damages available in each case are roughly the same. Past and present damages in a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim will likely include:
- Medical bills to treat injuries and diseases resulting from the toxic water
- Lost wages that stemmed from the injuries and diseases or treatments thereof
- Pain and suffering and emotional damages
- Permanent disability
- Loss of quality of life
- Wrongful death damages in the event the victim died
Your attorney will help gather the relevant records – medical bills, pay stubs, and much more – to substantiate the damages claimed. Our team works hard to investigate damages and build a case for the most amount available under the law.
One thing to bear in mind is that VA disability coverage only addresses medical and health issues. So even if you’ve been rated as disabled, your compensation through the VA is limited. To pursue other damages like lost wages and pain and suffering, you’ll need to file a lawsuit.
Estimating Future Damages for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
As mentioned above, victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination only have one chance to correctly calculate damages. And there’s a simple reason for this: the justice system values finality. When cases are either resolved in court or through out-of-court negotiations, they are generally done forever. Barring some evidence of fraud during these proceedings, all parties will have to live with the outcome.
Damages are not just in the past or present. They will arise in the future, too. With respect to Camp Lejeune water contamination, victims may encounter these (and other) damages down the road:
- Future medical expenses, including for treating cancer and other serious diseases
- Lost future wages, also known as lost earning capacity
- Future needs related to disability such as long-term nursing care
If you settle your case, a condition of accepting compensation is that you waive future claims. That means if your medical condition gets worse, you won’t get additional money. In fact, if any of your damages turn out to be more severe than predicted, you cannot reopen the matter. The same is essentially true for litigation. Once a judgment is handed down awarding you compensation, the matter is closed.
This makes it all the more important to reasonably predict the future damages the victim will incur. Expert witness testimony can help ascertain the nature and value of these damages.
For instance, a medical expert witness can explain what treatments you will need later for your illness. A vocational expert witness can discuss how your injuries will impact your earning ability later in life. These witnesses can help determine a reasonable dollar amount to account for such future damages.
Expert witnesses provide technical information to aid in litigation, mediation, and settlement negotiations. Our law firm has a network of expert witnesses prepared to testify on behalf of our mass tort clients.
Ready to Go to Work On Your Water Contamination Lawsuit
Do you have questions about the Camp Lejeune water contamination claims? Are you ready to start your own? Recently enacted legislation has finally allowed victims to seek the justice they deserve. Call Rueb Stoller Daniel today to learn more.