If you served at Camp Lejeune and are suffering from a health problem or illness, there's a chance it could be related to the contaminated water. The Marine Corps has already acknowledged that the contamination is responsible for numerous diseases among former base residents.
According to ATSDR, one million military and civilian staff and their families have been exposed at Camp Lejeune. And while they've taken steps to provide medical care and disability benefits to those affected, there's still more work to be done. This blog post will help you understand what symptoms might indicate exposure and what steps you should take next if you are exposed.
Know Where to Start
If you think you were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, knowing where to start is essential. There are many different things happening with the water contamination issue, and it can be confusing for veterans and non-veterans alike.
Firstly, there's no need for alarm if you think your exposure was limited. Veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune who only had brief encounters with its water supply may not have been affected by these toxins.
Track Your Symptoms and Possible Exposure
Now is the time to start tracking your symptoms and possible exposure. Remember, it can take years for symptoms to appear after exposure, so it's important to note when they started and how often they occur. Also, keep track of any potential sources of contamination other than Camp Lejeune drinking water.
When it comes to tracking your symptoms and exposures, there are many different ways you can do it. You could use a journal or spreadsheet or start making notes in an old notebook if that works best for you.
Find A Doctor with Experience in Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Once you start to experience symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination, it's essential to find a doctor with experience in treating Camp Lejeune water contamination. Your doctor should be familiar with the VA's compensation program and have experience working with veterans exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Your doctor can help you identify the best treatment options for your condition, such as medication or surgery. They may also recommend lifestyle changes like diet or exercise that can improve your symptoms or reduce their impact on your health.
Share Your Medical Records with a Trusted Support System
Share your medical records with a trusted support system. It's important to share your medical records with the people in your life who will care for you and help ensure that you're getting the treatment and support you need. You may share them with family or friends or through an online community like Camp Lejeune Victims' Advocates (CVA).
Who should receive medical records? Any person/organization who can provide emotional support and physical assistance is an appropriate recipient of this information.
If there are people in your life whom you trust but aren't close enough to ask for help directly, consider sending copies of your health records anonymously. This way, they can review them without feeling obligated to offer any assistance beyond simply reading over the documents themselves.
Understand the Limits of Veterans Benefits
VA benefits are not a substitute for a lawsuit. They come with strict limitations, and you will only be eligible if you develop one of the illnesses on the VA's list of service-connected disabilities. According to USA Spending, VA has $336.14 billion in budgetary resources.
As part of your application, VA doctors will examine whether your condition is related to Camp Lejeune exposure, but this can take years. Once approved, you may receive a monthly disability payment and medical care through Veterans Affairs hospitals or treatment centers.
However, these benefits are limited in scope. They don't cover lost wages or pain and suffering, and they aren't available to everyone exposed at Camp Lejeune during that 34 years-plus of contamination.
Talk to an Attorney about Compensation for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
If you are showing Camp Lejeune Water Contamination symptoms, it is essential to know your legal rights. An attorney can help you understand the limits of benefits and compensation.
An experienced attorney will also be able to provide information on how long the government has taken to investigate the water contamination and how long they will continue to do so. The personal injury lawyers market in the US grew by 6.4% in 2022, and it's not hard to find a personal injury attorney.
A good lawyer should be able to show you how much compensation has been paid out so far, as well as whether there have been any settlements in other cases similar to yours. If a settlement does exist for your type of injury or illness caused by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination, an attorney can help get you more money than what was offered through this settlement deal.
The best thing you can do is get tested as soon as possible. The sooner you know how much damage your body has suffered from the contaminated water, the better your chances for recovery and compensation.