Filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit for a deceased family member is a challenging yet essential endeavor for families seeking justice and accountability. The Camp Lejeune water contamination, a tragic chapter in U.S. military history, has left a lasting impact on veterans and their loved ones. As the families of those who served at Camp Lejeune cope with the devastating consequences of toxic exposure, understanding the process of pursuing legal recourse becomes paramount.
In this article, we will delve into the critical points to consider when filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit for a deceased family member.
Eligibility for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Roll Call recently reported that the government is facing an increasing number of claims and lawsuits related to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Alongside this, the cases involving severe health consequences linked to exposure to toxic chemicals at the North Carolina Marine Corps base are also on the rise.
As the litigation unfolds, a significant portion of these cases are transforming into wrongful death suits rather than damage claims for illnesses. Many Marines and their family members, who were affected by the polluted water and fell ill years after the exposure, have tragically lost their lives.
To be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit on behalf of your family member, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be the personal representative of the estate of a deceased veteran who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination.
- The veteran must have died from a condition that is linked to exposure to the contaminated water at the base.
- The veteran must have lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during the period of contamination.
According to AboutLawsuits.com, lawyers representing both the U.S. government and plaintiffs are making progress towards finalizing a proposed Global Case Management Order aimed at expediting the resolution of this extensive litigation
Since the implementation of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, tens of thousands of claims have been submitted. The act has created a two-year window for individuals harmed by the toxic chemicals to file lawsuits. The water’s contamination was known for decades, leading to numerous injuries and hardships for those exposed.
Required Paperwork for Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
You need to first file a complaint with the court to initiate your lawsuit. The complaint will state the facts of your case. It should include your loved one’s name, service dates, and the health problems that they suffered as a result of exposure to the contaminated water.
If you are not already the personal representative of your loved one’s estate, you will need to file a petition for the appointment of a personal representative. This petition will ask the court to appoint you as the personal representative so that you can file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate. You will also need to provide a copy of your loved one’s death certificate. The death certificate will show the date of death and the cause of death.
Fees Associated with Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
There are no filing fees associated with filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. However, you will be responsible for paying your attorney’s fees. The amount of your attorney’s fees will depend on the complexity of your case and the experience of your attorney.
TorHoerman Law notes that typically, attorney’s fees in Camp Lejeune lawsuits are based on a contingency fee arrangement. This means that your attorney will not charge you any fees unless they are successful in recovering compensation for you. If your case is successful, your attorney will typically receive a percentage of the settlement or award. The percentage of fees that your attorney will receive will depend on the terms of your contingency fee agreement.
Finding an Attorney to Represent You
When filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit for a deceased family member, finding the right attorney is crucial. Look for experienced lawyers with expertise in environmental and military-related cases.
A competent attorney can guide you through the legal process, assess the strength of your claim, and ensure you meet all deadlines and requirements. Seek recommendations from trusted sources, research potential attorneys’ backgrounds, and schedule consultations to assess their suitability for representing your case effectively.
A compassionate and dedicated attorney can offer invaluable support during this emotionally challenging journey.
What to Expect in a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
In a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, expect a complex and time-consuming process.
Bloomberg Law noted that nearly nine months after the government’s promise to compensate thousands of veterans, not a single claim has been resolved. Furthermore, the Navy cites the need to establish an online portal for improved claims management.
Since Congress authorized potential payouts, over 45,000 claims have been filed, with the potential for ten times as many before the window closes in August 2024. However, the Navy has attributed the slowdown in claim reviews to government regulations and resource limitations, with the online portal not expected to be operational until summer.
The delay has incensed Camp Lejeune veterans and their families, who have long sought treatment and compensation for health problems. While the delay can be emotionally taxing, seeking justice for your deceased family member is a way to honor their memory and find closure.
Potential Outcomes of a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
In pursuing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit on behalf of your family member, the potential outcomes encompass settlement, trial, or dismissal. A settlement would lead to a lump sum payment for the plaintiff. If the case proceeds to trial, the jury will determine the government’s liability for the deceased loved one’s death.
A favorable jury verdict would result in compensation for the plaintiff, while an unfavorable one would lead to no compensation being awarded. Navigating these possible outcomes requires careful legal representation and a thorough understanding of the evidence and laws involved.
Filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit for a deceased family member is a critical pursuit for justice and accountability. Nevertheless, advocating for the rights of those who served at Camp Lejeune is a profound way to honor their memory. Filing a lawsuit will also bring to attention the devastating consequences of water contamination on military families.
By staying informed and engaging in this legal process, families can stand united in seeking justice for their loved ones and driving change for a safer future.