Sep 29, 2023

Camp Lejeune Elective Option Pros and Cons

Posted by : ZeroRisk Cases Marketing

The victims of toxic water at Camp Lejeune have been waiting for justice for decades. Last year, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed to assist survivors in receiving compensation. The claims process is plagued by delays and setbacks. Many veterans are wondering if they will ever receive a payout. This month, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Navy launched a faster Camp Lejeune payment process to reduce the amount of claims that end up in court. The new plan may be an option for some veterans but it might not be best for everyone affected by Camp Lejeune’s toxic exposure. Each case is unique, so it is important to consult a Camp Lejeune lawyer before you decide how to proceed.

What happened at Camp Lejeune?

Camp Lejeune has had a problem with water contamination for more than 30 years. The North Carolina military base’s water plants contained harmful chemicals to human health. The documents show that the U.S. Marines were aware of the contamination years before they shut down the water plants. More than a hundred thousand people drank or bathed unknowingly in contaminated water. The military’s warning of the contamination was too late to save the lives of service members, their families, and employees who were exposed to chemicals.

In the past, victims of Camp Lejeune have sought compensation only through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans are generally barred from suing over injuries sustained while serving. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act established a two-year period for victims of Camp Lejeune and their surviving families to file claims with the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General.

Unexpected Camp Lejeune Claims Delays

The U.S. Navy had six months from the time the Camp Lejeune claim process was launched to provide a response to any claims, either by denying them or offering a settlement. It became clear that the deadline would not be met, as the government did not settle any claims in the first 6 months following the CLJA. Claimants can sue Camp Lejeune if they are not satisfied with the amount of the settlement if it is denied, or if there has been no response from the government. Over 90,000 claims have been filed, but none of them have received a payout. Victims and legislators have expressed frustration over the delays. Some have asked why it is taking so long.

In an effort to deal with setbacks, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Navy introduced a new payout scheme earlier this month. Camp Lejeune survivors with qualifying conditions can receive up to $550,000 in payouts if they are diagnosed with kidney cancer or liver cancer. They may also be diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (MM), Parkinson’s Disease, Parkinson’s, kidney disease, end-stage renal diseases, or systemic sclerosis/systemic scleroderma. The amount of compensation a victim is entitled to depends on the length of time they spent at Camp Lejeune. Veterans will benefit from the payout plan if they don’t have to deal with the same issues as in the original claim. However, it’s not the best choice for everyone. We’ll examine who could benefit from the voluntary Elective Option, and who might choose to file a lawsuit against Camp Lejeune instead.

Camp Lejeune Elective Option Pros

Accelerates The Process: Many vets who filed Camp Lejeune claim serious illnesses have reduced their lifespan. Some victims have a limited time to live and are terminally sick. The new payout process is more attractive to someone who wants to receive a settlement before their death.

Makes Cases More Difficult To Prove: If you have a qualifying illness but spent only 30 days in Camp Lejeune, then the government can argue that your illness was caused by other factors if you go to court. You could be entitled to compensation of hundreds of thousands of dollars under the payout system.

Simplified eligibility: If a veteran served at Camp Lejeune from August 1953 until December 1987 for more than 30 consecutive days and received a qualifying diagnosis, they are eligible for the EO. It is a more streamlined process that requires less proof than a lawsuit.

Camp Lejeune Elective Option Cons

Cannot File A Lawsuit The Elective Option is designed to reduce the burden placed on the courts, and so veterans who opt for this option are not allowed to file a lawsuit against the government. If you decide to forfeit this option, you may regret it, especially if later you find out that you could get more money by going to court and claiming damages for pain, suffering, lost wages, and other losses.

Multiple Qualifying IllnessesEven though veterans may have been diagnosed with multiple qualifying illnesses after exposure to Camp Lejeune, they would only be eligible for compensation for the illness that has the highest compensation. A lawsuit could lead to a more favorable outcome in this situation.

Settlement Cap: While a quicker payout might sound appealing to Camp Lejeune survivors but payouts through lawsuits are likely to be higher. No one knows how long the Elective Option is likely to take. The EO may be a good option for victims who are eager to finish the process. They should be aware that a lawsuit could return them more money.

You must go through the Camp Lejeune litigation claims process to qualify for the Camp Lejeune Elective Option. If you have already filed a lawsuit, an EO settlement could be offered to you. Before deciding what to do, you should consult with an attorney who handles Camp Lejeune claims. A lawyer can review the facts in your case and give you advice on how to proceed.

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