The mid-1900s was a tragic year for those serving in the armed forces because Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s water supply was contaminated. If reports are to be believed, more than one million veterans, alongside their families, were exposed to this toxic water.
For nearly four decades, veterans bathed and drank the contaminated water. Only after thorough testing did the Marine Corps discover volatile organic compounds or VOCs in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water. These hazardous chemicals are linked to severe health issues, including certain types of cancers.
Recovering damages wasn’t an option a few years ago. But now, Camp Lejeune victims can seek compensation for damages sustained due to the exposure to the contaminated water by filing a lawsuit.
Navigating the legal system isn’t easy, but having a lawyer by your side will simplify things. On that note, here are a few tips to help you find the right Camp Lejeune lawyer.
#1 Familiarity With the History of Camp Lejeune’s Water Contamination Tragedy
You cannot hire any personal injury lawyer you come across on the internet. Instead, you should search for a lawyer who is intimately familiar with Camp Lejeune’s water contamination tragedy. This is more important than you think.
The lawyer you choose for your Camp Lejeune lawsuit must be thorough with the intricacies of the water contamination tragedy of the military training facility. Otherwise, how would they know on what grounds you’ll receive fair compensation?
In regard to Camp Lejeune lawsuits, there are certain restrictions as to who can file the case, why, and when. Unless a lawyer is up-to-date with the latest turn of events, they won’t be able to guide you.
#2 Familiarity With Medical Conditions Linked With the Contaminated Water of Camp Lejeune
Simply knowing the ABCs of the Camp Lejeune water contamination tragedy isn’t enough. Your lawyer should be familiar with diseases and medical conditions associated with exposure to contaminated water.
Unless your lawyer knows what chemicals were present in the water of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, determining your compensation will be impossible.
Investigations reveal that four volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were present in the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Dry cleaning solvents and degreasers, alongside 70 other hazardous chemicals, were found in the drinking water supply of Camp Lejeune, reports TorHoerman Law.
Due to the exposure to these VOCs, veterans and their families suffered a host of health conditions. These include:
- Lung cancer
- Liver cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Breast cancer
- Brain cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Hepatic steatosis
- Renal toxicity
- Multiple myeloma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia
Only the best lawyers for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit can prove a link between VOC exposure and your health issue. Of course, when the relationship between the two is established, your chances of winning fair compensation will increase.
#3 Experience Handling Case Against the Federal Government
The Camp Lejeune lawsuit isn’t like any other personal injury or wrongful death claim. You won’t be filing a lawsuit against a business or a person. Rather, the defendant is the Federal Government, which is why filing a claim is complicated. There are certain rules that you will have to abide by to win compensation. You won’t recover any damage if you make any mistake.
For this reason, you must choose an attorney who has handled similar cases against the Federal Government in the past. In addition to that, the lawyer you choose must be experienced in handling complex cases of wrongful death and serious physical injury cases.
Ask your attorney how they collect evidence. That’s because they will have to prove the lifetime costs of the injuries you sustained at Camp Lejeune. Their answer will let you know if they are experienced enough to handle your Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
Unlike other personal injury cases, service records and medical bills aren’t enough to recover damages. You will have to prove that you were present at the military training facility between 1953 and 1987. On top of that, it’s essential to prove that your illness is a result of exposure to the VOCs found in the contaminated water of Camp Lejeune.
#4 No Upfront Fees
Many lawyers charge upfront fees, whereas others work on a contingency fee basis. Upfront fees, of course, are non-refundable. The upfront cost entails everything from processing your application to preparing the case. However, there’s no guarantee that you will win the case.
The contingency fee model, on the other hand, involves no financial risk, as you pay only when you win the case. Opting for lawyers working on a contingency model will be the best bet. That way, you won’t have to pay any monthly fee. Instead, pay only if you obtain a settlement. Fair enough— isn’t it?
In a nutshell, finding the best lawyer for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit requires thorough research. From their qualifications and work experience to success stories, you need to consider a lot of things before hiring one to represent you in a court of law.
When finding a lawyer, make sure to shortlist only reputable firms. Assess experience and credentials, schedule a free consultation, and, finally, check for reviews online. Hand over your case to them if everything seems alright.