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The Camp Lejeune Act of 2022 continues to make big waves for the rights of our former service members, their families and other military-affiliated persons. Now people can seek justice for injuries caused by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River. Following these significant developments, it is important to be appropriately equipped to pursue a claim successfully. Therefore, choosing the best lawyers for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit is essential. Learn what to look for to choose the best attorneys to represent your claim.
What is a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Camp Lejeune Lawsuits seek compensation for people that developed serious health issues after significant exposure to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune. It is worth noting that filing a case involving the federal government is heavily regulated. In most situations, the Feres Doctrine limits the ability to present a claim against the military for damages incurred during the period of service. However, in 2022, the United States Senate passed a transformative bill called The Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Now, people that suffered toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River in North Carolina from 1953-1987 can present a claim for diagnoses that have been recognized as related to Camp Lejeune exposure by the law. Therefore, the Camp Lejeune cases are an exceptional legal development that can potentially benefit many service members and their families.
How Do I Know If I was Exposed?
Several studies were conducted to better understand the scope of the toxic exposure and the nature of the injuries that the exposure could cause. The available science suggests that the exposure occurred between 1953 and 1987 at Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station-New River in North Carolina. Furthermore, the law established a list of diagnoses presumed to be caused by exposure. The diagnoses include various types of cancer, some neurological diseases and some types of infertility issues.
A Camp Lejeune Legal Team Will Help You Submit a Camp Lejeune Claim
Traditionally, claims involving the military must be submitted through one of many avenues, depending on the service branch with jurisdiction and the nature of the claim. Because the military judicial systems can be so complex, determining what office or department to bring your claim to can be somewhat of an odyssey. Fortunately, the Justice for Camp Lejeune Act opened the door for affected parties to seek compensation through the US Federal Court System, outside the military judicial system. As a result, many injured service members, families and military-affiliated individuals choose to pursue a claim through the U.S. Federal Court System.
Camp Lejeune Claims in the US Federal Court System
Numerous claims arose from Camp Lejeune injuries throughout the nation. In fact, the CDC estimates that as many as 1 million people were affected. As a result, The United States Court System established a Multi-District Litigation. This means that to make the best use of the Court and taxpayers’ resources, all Camp Lejeune toxic exposure cases filed in federal court are attended by the same District Court. Currently, the Multi-District Litigation is set in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
It is important to note that filing a claim requires knowledge of the legal system and rules that must be followed to successfully pursue a claim. Seasoned Camp Lejeune legal teams have the knowledge to discuss the needed requirements to qualify for a claim. Among other things, a Camp Lejeune lawsuit requires the following proof:
- Exposure: Having lived in or near Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New-River in North Carolina between 1953-1987.
- Diagnosis: a qualified medical professional must have diagnosed a medical condition related to toxic exposure on the military bases.
- Burden of proof: among other things, the correct evidence proving exposure and diagnosis must be filed to the right entities along with the correct forms and documentation.
Mass Torts: A Powerful Strategy for Camp Lejeune Claims
There is strength in numbers. Experience has proven this adage to be true for toxic exposure cases. Often, big legal developments like the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will spark the interest of multitudes, wondering if they might qualify. A proficient toxic exposure attorney and their legal team knows that a larger burden of proof can be a strong driving force in court—they will know when opting for filing a mass tort is the best option.
Therefore, the best Camp Lejeune legal teams are equipped to discuss the qualifying criteria for the lawsuit. Once eligibility is established, they will handle the information and requirements at every step of the legal process. This includes organizing the large burden of proof in a way that enhances the clients’ chances of a successful outcome. When the time is auspicious, they will file the cases in groups, using the clients’ cumulative burden of proof as a collective advantage.
Kindly note that mass torts lawsuits and class action lawsuits are not the same. Opting for a mass tort legal pursuit instead of an individual lawsuit or a class action lawsuit can be beneficial. This legal strategy preserves each client’s individuality in the claim, while providing the benefit of participating in a stronger lawsuit supported by a larger burden of proof. In other words, participating in a Mass Torts lawsuit with the right attorney will increase your chances of retaining the court’s attention.
A Seasoned Camp Lejeune Lawyer Knows Just What Your Claim Needs to Be Successful
As you may suspect, filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit can be a tedious and complicated endeavor. This requires thorough knowledge of the intricacies of the United States Federal court system, as well as the often enigmatic military world with its jargon and processes. An attorney with experience handling claims within the military legal system is familiar with its nuances, important dates and processes. In other words, experience with the military torts process is vital to a military claim. The best lawyers for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit know how essential it is to be well-versed in military matters and will use that knowledge to your advantage.
Proving liability for toxic chemical exposure is an uphill battle. More often than not, defendants will try to discredit the validity of a claim for injuries induced by toxic exposure. Establishing a fact pattern that supports a claim is an involved endeavor that requires specialized knowledge. A proficient Camp Lejeune legal team will be familiar with the relevant details to look for to establish liability.
The best Camp Lejeune attorneys and their legal teams will know how to navigate the process of gathering relevant information. A competent legal team knows the type of information and proof needed to successfully initiate a claim. Gathering the right information and documents is not only essential to establish liability, it is also imperative to justify the compensation your legal team will seek on your behalf. A seasoned attorney can evaluate your case and determine the type of compensation merited in your case.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Seek?
You can potentially be entitled to recovery for some or all of the following:
- Medical costs: You may be entitled to compensation for present and future treatment and medical care. In addition, you can potentially recover your medical expenses incurred in the process of getting diagnosed and treated.
- Lost wages: Income lost as a result of illness or required treatment may be recoverable through a Camp Lejeune claim.
- Future lost income: Unfortunately, for many, the illnesses brought on by the toxic exposure diminish or eliminate the capacity to maintain gainful employment.
- Health and disability benefits: The Camp Lejeune Justice Act has provisions for claimants to pursue healthcare benefits and disability benefits.
- Pain and suffering: This potential form of compensation accounts for the loss of quality of life, as well as emotional and physical distress.
- Wrongful death compensation on behalf of a lost loved one: Immediate family members may be eligible to present a claim for the loss of a loved one injured by Camp Lejeune Exposure. Currently, for the purposes of this lawsuit, the U.S. judicial system defines immediate family members as spouses and biological or adoptive parents, siblings, and children.
Camp Lejeune Attorneys Are Available At The Carlson Law Firm
At The Carlson Law Firm, many of our attorneys and legal staff are service members, veterans and military-affiliated. Their first-hand knowledge of the military is an asset when pursuing a Camp Lejeune claim. Our seasoned Camp Lejeune legal team will work hard to get the justice you or your loved ones deserve. They will address important questions about aspects such as family claims, disability benefits, the claim process and expectations. If you or a loved one were exposed at Camp Lejeune or the Marine Corps Air Station-New River and were diagnosed with injuries as a result, feel free to contact us at 800-359-5690. We Care. We Can Help.