For about 34 years, the contaminated drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina put many people at risk for many serious illnesses like cancer. Between 1953 and 1987, 2 of the 8 wells at the base were contaminated with toxic cancer-causing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Unfortunately, these contaminated wells supplied drinking water to military families, children at daycare, patients in hospitals, and service members and civilians working at the base. The contaminated water has been linked to fifteen different medical conditions and illnesses including reproductive problems, several types of cancers, birth defects, and Parkinson’s disease.
Therefore, thousands of families who were exposed to toxic substances were negatively affected and suffered from severe illnesses, permanent disability, and losses. Some of the severe illnesses resulting from the water contamination at the base include pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, rectal cancer, aplastic anemia, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, brain cancer, and breast cancer.
Why should I file for a Camp Lejeune claim?
According to the knowledgeable attorneys at Riddle & Brantley in North Carolina, if you developed health conditions or complications after being exposed to the toxic substances in the water between August 1953 and December 1987, then you should file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and pursue justice and compensation. The CLJA gives all veterans and families who have been exposed to the VOCs the right to file a claim and obtain compensation for the suffering, losses, and damages they have experienced.
What is the claims process under the CLJA?
The first action to take is to file the claims form and submit the correct documentation as evidence to support it. For instance, you must submit your medical records showing your illness, the date it was diagnosed, and if you received or are receiving treatment. You must also produce a document to show you served at the base for at least thirty days during the relevant exposure timeframe between 1953 and 1987.
Family members must provide documents showing their relationship to the veteran like marriage certificates, birth certificates, and adoption papers. Moreover, they must provide proof to show they resided on the base during the exposure to the toxic substances. Such evidence entails base housing records, utility bills, and tax returns.
VA Disability compensation
Apart from the CLJA, victims of water contamination may be entitled to monthly disability compensation. However, in order to stand a chance of getting this benefit, you need to submit a claim to VA on the right form. Moreover, if you lived or worked at the base for at least thirty days from August 1953 to December 1987, then VA will assume you were exposed to the toxic substances, and you will not have to show evidence that you were exposed to it.
What compensation will I receive?
You may recover losses associated with medical expenses, diminished earning capacity, loss of consortium, reduced quality of life, and pain and suffering.
In conclusion, if you want justice for the suffering you have endured from drinking contaminated water at the base, then it is advisable to file a claim, and if you succeed, you may get compensation for all your medical expenses and other losses.