If you were affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and worry that filing a lawsuit will negatively affect your veteran’s disability benefits, we’re here to ease your mind. If you choose to file a lawsuit for the health effects you’ve suffered, your disability benefits will not decrease or disappear.
As The Thumbs Up Guys, we’re here to help you understand how Camp Lejeune lawsuits work and reassure you that you won’t lose your benefits. Read on to learn more about the compensation you could receive from a lawsuit and how your benefits are protected.
How the PACT Act Affects Your Veteran’s Disability Benefits
President Biden passed the Honoring Our PACT Act in August of 2022 with a section allowing victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune to file new lawsuits. Many troops that served in the camp were concerned that if they filed a lawsuit for a health condition they suffered, they would lose their veteran’s affairs (VA) benefits.
However, this is false: your VA benefits will not decrease or be void. The only thing that may be reduced is your settlement if you win your lawsuit.
This is because the award must be offset by disability benefits or payments you received. Your settlement must also be reduced to accommodate Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
Requirements for Camp Lejeune Disability Benefits
Now that you know your VA benefits will not be affected let’s look at the requirements for qualifying for VA benefits from water contamination at Camp Lejeune. If you’ve been putting off contacting a lawyer to pursue VA disability benefits worries about your benefits, we hope we’ve relieved your worries.
To qualify for benefits, you must meet various criteria about your time at Camp Lejeune; to be eligible to collect disability benefits from water contamination, you must meet the following criterion:
- Between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, you spent a minimum of 30 days serving at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River in North Carolina.
- You didn’t receive a dishonorable military discharge.
You must also have one or more of the eligible health conditions. These conditions include:
- Adult lymphoma
- Other myelodysplastic diseases than aplastic anemia
- Urethral cancer
- renal cancer
- liver tumor
- Multiple myeloma
- Nodular lymphoma
- Parkinson’s condition
If you meet these criteria, you could be eligible for VA disability benefits for the health issues you’ve suffered from water contamination. Although it’s not required, a lawyer can be beneficial in obtaining your VA benefits.
An Overview of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Troops serving at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 were exposed to highly toxic chemicals via drinking water. After an investigation in 1982, the Marine Corps discovered that two of eight treatment plants were contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride (VC), and benzene.
These chemicals are involved in either the production of heavy metal machinery or used as a cleaning solution. So troops at Camp Lejeune that ingested these chemicals became sick with a wide range of health conditions such as different types of cancers, conditions that would lead to birth effects, internal organ damage, and neurological conditions.
How Long Do You Have To File a Camp Lejuene Lawsuit?
According to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA), passed on Aug. 10, 2022, you have two years to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. By filing your claim on time, you can increase your chances of recovering the maximum amount of compensation you’re eligible for.
Since the Camp Lejeune lawsuits are recent and ongoing, there may be new updates about the situation. In addition, a lawyer can answer any questions you have about filing a lawsuit or the lawsuit in general.
Camp Lejeune lawsuits have a flexible statute of limitations, allowing you more time to file. The law text states that if your claim was denied, you have 180 days from the denial date to refile your lawsuit.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
When it’s time to recover compensation for the harm you’ve suffered due to water contamination at Camp Lejeune, a lawyer can be helpful. Our lawyers can discuss the general damages you may be able to recover, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement
Damages that the CLJA made clear will not be available in Camp Lejeune lawsuits are punitive damages. These damages are usually awarded to plaintiffs to punish the defendant for their negligent actions, resulting in a higher settlement amount.
The Thumbs Up Guys can help you understand and identify the damages your health conditions qualify you for. Then, we’ll review your situation and inform you of the damages you could recover based on your injuries and health issues.
How Much is the Average Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit Settlement?
While there are still yet to be any settlements paid out, there are many estimates about what a potential settlement could be. Of course, the amount of compensation you could receive varies with the several severe and even life-threatening health conditions the contamination caused.
However, there are estimates that the average settlement for Camp Lejeune water contamination cases can range from $25,000 to over $1 million. The severity of your health condition and the damages you’ve suffered are two major factors in your settlement.
When you meet with a lawyer from our law firm, we can assess your losses and tell you the settlement amount you could recover. We’re ready to help you recover from your injuries with the money you need.
Learn More About Camp Lejeune Lawsuits and Your Veteran’s Disability Benefits
As The Thumbs Up Guys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys, we want to help you get sufficient compensation for your health issues due to the Camp Lejeune water contamination. Our lawyers understand how difficult it is to navigate a legal process when you may be suffering from a temporary or lifelong illness.
We can help you get VA benefits and financial compensation in a lawsuit for your losses. Call us or fill out the contact form on our website today to file a free case consultation.