It seems like every time you turn on your television there is an advertisement by lawyers seeking to represent victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During the 1950s water sources at the Marine base became contaminated with numerous chemicals that could cause a wide variety of health problems. It has been estimated that as many as hundreds of thousands of people may have been made ill due to the chemical exposure.. Congress passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act in 2022 which provides for compensation to victims of the polluted water.
To qualify for benefits, victims must have spent a minimum of thirty days at camp Lejeune from August 1953 to December 1987 and must file a claim through the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit. The federal government will either then offer a settlement or deny the claim. If a claim is denied or the settlement offer isn’t acceptable, the claimant can then file a lawsuit. For more detailed information about the program and applying for benefits, go to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs website https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/camp-lejeune-water-contamination/
Unfortunately, as you can expect scammers are already contacting people in regard to Camp Lejeune claims. The claims process is complicated and I would advise people to use an experienced, VA accredited lawyer. Scammers are posing as lawyers and contacting people through phone calls, emails or social media. Be wary of any lawyer who asks for an upfront fee and promises a large settlement or judgment.
Also be wary of emails that require you to click on links because those links could be infected with malware.
Research any attorney before hiring him or her. A good place to start is with the Veteran’s Administration which has a list of accredited attorneys. https://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp The VA has strict standards for lawyers receiving accreditation and they are also familiar with the VA and its programs.
Lawyers handling these types of claims generally work on a contingency basis whereby they are paid a percentage of what they obtain either through a judgment or settlement and receive nothing if they are not successful.
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