If you have been affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you may be wondering how to find the best legal representation. You should find an attorney who will fight hard for your rights and provide compassionate support.
Fortunately, top lawyers in North Carolina can help you win your Camp Lejeune case. This article will explain what makes these attorneys stand out from their peers and how to find one of them.
Understanding the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
Camp Lejeune is a U.S. military base located in North Carolina. The base was built in 1941 and has been in operation since 1942, making it one of the oldest bases on the East Coast. The purpose of Camp Lejeune is primarily to train soldiers for combat situations overseas through drills and exercises. But there are also several essential facilities located within its boundaries.
It was home to over 100,000 military personnel and their families. Currently, very few people are stationed at Camp Lejeune due to its history of water contamination.
According to TorHoerman Law, the water supply at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 was contaminated. This exposure has led to numerous health conditions. These health conditions include leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
You can file a lawsuit if you have been stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days within the said years. If you have a presumptive condition, you don’t need much proof to establish that your situation is due to water contamination exposure. However, you need to collect evidence for other conditions to establish that.
Regardless of the condition, if you can prove it is because of your exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you can win compensation. But this can be challenging, as the Navy will also try to put its defense. Hence, you need to hire the best lawyers for Camp Lejeune lawsuit to ensure your win.
The right lawyers with suitable experience will be able to collect enough evidence. They will also help negotiate the settlement amount so you can get the best deal. Thus, with their knowledge and expertise, you can increase your chances of winning the case.
Qualities of Top Attorneys for Camp Lejeune Cases
It is estimated that almost $7 billion may be disbursed in payouts in the next ten years. That is why attorneys are lining up to fight the lawsuits with promises of all possible assistance. However, not all attorneys are equal. Several qualities make the best attorneys stand out when seeking a lawyer to represent you in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
Here are some qualities you should look for in an attorney:
Track Record of Success in Similar Cases
You should always choose a lawyer with a track record of success in similar cases. Here are a few reasons why:
- Expertise in the area: Lawyers who have successfully handled similar cases will likely deeply understand the specific issues and nuances. This expertise can be invaluable in navigating complex legal processes.
- Understanding of precedents: Success in previous cases often involves a lawyer’s ability to leverage legal precedents effectively. An attorney with a track record in similar circumstances is more likely to know relevant precedents that could influence your case.
- Negotiation skills: Lawyers with a history of success in similar cases may have honed their skills through experience. This can be crucial in reaching favorable settlements or agreements outside of court.
- Client testimonials: A lawyer’s track record is often reflected in client testimonials. Positive feedback from previous clients who had similar cases can provide insights into the attorney’s competence, communication skills, and overall effectiveness.
Understanding of the Unique Challenges
The unique challenges posed by Camp Lejeune lawsuits can be difficult to navigate without the help of an experienced attorney. A lawyer who understands these issues will have the knowledge and resources necessary to take on your case. This could mean the difference between winning or losing.
Here are some factors to consider when understanding the unique challenges posed by Camp Lejeune lawsuits:
- Multiple contaminants: The water at Camp Lejeune was found to contain various contaminants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE). These chemicals have been associated with multiple health issues, including cancer, birth defects, and other chronic illnesses.
- Long latency periods: Many health problems associated with exposure to contaminated water have long latency periods, meaning symptoms may not manifest until years after exposure. This challenges establishing a direct causal link between the contamination and specific health conditions.
- Complex health issues: The health problems associated with Camp Lejeune contamination are diverse, ranging from cancers to neurological disorders and reproductive issues. Proving causation for such a wide array of health conditions can be complex and requires extensive scientific and medical evidence.
- Class action vs. individual lawsuits: Some cases related to Camp Lejeune are pursued as class-action lawsuits, while others are individual claims. Managing the complexities of either approach requires legal expertise to ensure that the unique circumstances of each plaintiff are adequately addressed.
- Scientific complexity: Establishing a clear scientific link between the contaminants in the water and specific health outcomes is a crucial aspect of these lawsuits. This involves expert testimony and a comprehensive understanding of toxicology, epidemiology, and other scientific disciplines.
- The growing number of cases: Attorneys representing clients from the camp believe that the number of claims will rise with each passing day. The DHHS Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry estimates that around one million people may have been exposed. Attorneys believe that of the one million exposed, up to 500,000 may file claims.
Common Challenges in Finding a Lawyer for Camp Lejeune Lawsuits
When looking for a lawyer, finding one familiar with the Camp Lejeune lawsuit can be challenging. Many lawyers are unfamiliar with the details of this type of litigation. Thus, they may be unable to provide you with sound legal advice.
Camp Lejeune lawsuits often involve complex issues related to environmental contamination, toxic exposure, and military regulations. Finding a lawyer with specialized knowledge in environmental law, toxic torts, or military law can be challenging.
Establishing a direct link between exposure to contaminated water and individuals’ health issues can be challenging. Lawyers may need to work with environmental science and medicine experts to prove causation.
Moreover, military bases may enjoy certain immunities and legal protections. Lawyers representing individuals in Camp Lejeune lawsuits may need to navigate these complexities and explore exceptions to overcome government immunity.
Legal Resources and Support for Affected Individuals
There are several resources available for affected individuals, including:
- Support groups. These groups are a great way to connect with others who have gone through similar experiences. They can also help you feel less isolated and alone during this challenging time.
- Legal aid organizations and clinics that provide free legal services to low-income people.
- Lawyers who have experience in similar cases or those who specialize in military law may be able to offer advice.
Moving ahead with so many cases will be challenging for the courthouses. Hence, it is up to the lawyers to support the victims, and they are doing so efficiently. In August 2023, a clash occurred between the lawyers for the Justice Department and potential victims of toxic waters. Both sides proposed ways for the court to handle the numerous lawsuits daily.
Attorneys for multiple victims suggested consolidating the lawsuits and taking up a single trial within the first quarter of 2024. Justice Department lawyers are against the consolidation of cases. They have mentioned that they can begin trials in 2024 and not before that. Thus, victims have until August 2024 to file claims with the Navy.
The Camp Lejeune water contamination crisis has impacted the lives of many military personnel and their families. Securing the finest legal representation is a right and a crucial step toward seeking justice and compensation. By choosing experienced attorneys, you can navigate the complexities of legal proceedings and hold responsible parties accountable.