How Long Does a Camp Lejeune Water Case Take?
Camp Lejeune water cases are expected to take one to two years to settle on average, so it may be a good idea to start a Camp Lejeune lawsuit right away.
The money secured from a Camp Lejeune settlement can be used to pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other costs. Settlement offers may be awarded for many types of injuries and illnesses, including several forms of cancer, birth defects, and Parkinson’s disease.
It is important to understand that a Camp Lejeune settlement will not affect your benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The federal government has money set aside to pay victims of the Camp Lejeune contaminated water disaster, which is completely separate from VA money.
However, time is limited to file a claim, so get started right away if you or a loved one is seeking a Camp Lejeune settlement.
Learn how to file a claim and quickly pursue a settlement right now.
Steps in the Camp Lejeune Payout Timeline
The Camp Lejeune payout timeline depends on how long each step in the settlement process takes. Learn about the steps below.
1. Determining Eligibility
The first step is to determine if you are eligible to pursue a Camp Lejeune settlement. You can do this by contacting us for a free claim review at any time.
Former military service members, civilian workers, and their families exposed to the chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 may be eligible for compensation through a legal settlement.
It’s okay if you are unsure about exposure history. Our trained advocates at the Camp Lejeune Claims Center will quickly assess your case and recommend next steps to help you.
2. Filing an Administrative Claim With the Navy JAG
If you qualify to pursue a Camp Lejeune settlement, we can help you file your administrative claim with the Department of the Navy. Filing an administrative claim is a requirement of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA), part of the PACT Act.
“Any person who believes they qualify for relief under the CLJA must first submit a claim to the Department of the Navy.”
—U.S. Navy Office of Information
News reports have warned that the administrative claims process has proven sluggish and complicated. Therefore, many claimants are choosing to work with a Camp Lejeune law firm to handle the paperwork.
Once you submit everything you need to provide, including proof of military service and medical records showing a qualifying condition, the Navy is then given 180 days to decide on your administrative claim.
3. Awaiting a Decision
If your administrative claim is denied or you do not receive a decision before the 180 days is up, you will have additional Camp Lejeune legal options, such as filing a civil lawsuit. This is a significant factor in the specific Camp Lejeune settlement timeline that applies to your case.
To make decisions even more confusing, the Justice Department (DOJ) and the Navy have offered some claimants a voluntary Elective Option.
The government says this option will speed up the Camp Lejeune payout timeline, but some legal experts fear this may be a way to pay less than what victims would be awarded if they took their case to court with the help of an experienced trial lawyer.
While you can choose to navigate these complexities on your own, it is likely in your best interest to work with a top-notch personal injury lawyer from the start, as they can help guide you through the entire legal process.
4. Negotiating a Camp Lejeune Exposure Settlement
Reaching a Camp Lejeune settlement may involve a lot of back-and-forth negotiations, which is why it is a good idea to have a personal injury lawyer act as your legal communicator.
Legal experts project some Camp Lejeune toxic exposure payouts could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having an experienced trial lawyer on your side can mean you won’t get lowballed.
Additionally, a skilled litigator with experience fighting powerful corporations will likely negotiate more effectively on your behalf.
What this means is that you could receive more money than if you try to go it alone.
RELATED: Find out what your case may be worth on our Camp Lejeune settlement amounts and payouts page.
5. Taking the Case to Court
If your administrative claim is rejected or you do not hear back from the Navy within 6 months, you will have the option of filing a civil lawsuit in North Carolina.
“The Eastern District of North Carolina has been designated as the exclusive jurisdiction and venue for cases filed pursuant to Section 804 of the Act, known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.”
—United States District Court
Remember, the lawsuit is against the federal government, and it is completely separate from the VA.
As of September 2023, it has not yet been decided how Camp Lejeune lawsuits will be processed. With tens of thousands of cases expected to flood one court, most experts agree they will need to be batch-processed in some manner.
Working with a lawyer can ensure your Camp Lejeune settlement timeline is as short as possible.
Watch this short video from our founder, who lost his dad to a Camp Lejeune presumptive condition, on the importance of fighting for justice for Camp Lejeune victims.
Explore the legacy of John Carberg, a U.S. Marine who developed bladder cancer from exposure to contaminated water while living at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. View Transcript.
Duration: 02 min 43 sec
I used to ask my dad, “What was it like when you were a Marine, or when you were formerly a Marine?” And he would correct me every time, he’d say, “You’re never formerly a Marine. It’s never something in the past. Once you’re a Marine, you’re a Marine for life.”
My name is Chris Carberg and my father was United States Marine John Carberg, who passed away from bladder cancer.
My dad was 17 years old when he joined the Marines. And his dad was a Marine, his brother was a Marine. It was something in our whole family that we were proud of. He lived on a military base.
My father was at Camp Lejeune for, I believe less than 60 days. He had no idea that there was anything wrong with the water.
And to think that people were spending their last moments, before they were deployed to dangerous situations, being poisoned is absolutely infuriating. We had families at Camp Lejeune. We had families on the base. We had mothers who were pregnant drinking that water.
What changed with the PACT Act and with the Camp Lejeune Act of 2022, is that for the first time, the government lowered and dropped its own immunity to being prosecuted. Veterans, their family members, they are able for the first time to file lawsuits against the government.
My dad never cared about his legacy, but what he cared about was his family. He cared about my mom, he cared about me and my sister. He cared about us. and I think that what he would want is what he always wanted. For his family to be taken care of, for my mom to be taken care of. My dad would never do something like this for himself, but he would do it for my mom in a heartbeat.
When my son and daughter ask me eventually, “What happened to Pop-pop?” I have to tell them the truth, which was that, “Well, Pop-pop was serving his country proudly. He did everything the right way, doing that that he could.” And now it’s our turn, it’s our turn to care for him and while he was sick and alive, we fought for him. We did our very best.
It’s our job as families to honor the memory of our loved ones by fighting on their behalf when they can’t fight for themselves anymore.
Camp Lejeune Settlement Timeline and the Statute of Limitations
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows those who qualify to file lawsuits for Camp Lejeune water contamination 2 years after the bill was passed in August 2022.
This means you only have until August 2024 to file your Camp Lejeune claim.
This is important because it allows veterans and their family members another chance to pursue compensation even if they were harmed decades ago.
However, it also means they have a strict deadline to adhere to.
Don’t miss your chance: We can help you file a Camp Lejeune claim and pursue settlements right now. Call (866) 473-4764 to find out your eligibility.
Will All Camp Lejeune Cases Be Offered Settlements?
It remains to be seen whether every Camp Lejeune case will reach a settlement. If a settlement offer is not made, a Camp Lejeune lawyer can argue the case in court to retrieve a payout.
Not every settlement offer will be the same due to many factors (including what illnesses or injuries the victim developed, the severity, and their medical expenses).
Some Camp Lejeune lawsuits may take a long time to settle due to the complexity of cases and the number of claims expected to be filed. That said, a top Camp Lejeune lawyer will do all they can to help you receive settlement payouts quickly.
How Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Settlements Are Determined
No Camp Lejeune lawsuits have been settled yet. When the time comes, Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlement amounts will likely be determined in several ways.
Government lawyers are likely to come up with a matrix formula that helps determine Camp Lejeune settlement amounts by placing each case into a specific category or tier.
For example, the Elective Option categorizes illnesses into 2 tiers:
|Over 5 years of exposure||1-5 years of exposure||30-364 days of exposure|
|TIER 1||Bladder cancer||$450,000||$300,000||$150,000|
|TIER 2||Kidney disease (end-stage renal disease)||$400,000||$250,000||$100,000|
|Systemic sclerosis/systemic scleroderma|
Claims involving wrongful death would receive an additional $100,000.
While the government suggests that this will speed up the Camp Lejeune payout timeline, many fear this is yet another example of victims being denied the compensation they deserve.
Your Camp Lejeune claim may be worth significantly more than the settlement offers in the Elective Option. Therefore, getting an opinion from a skilled Camp Lejeune lawyer may be in your best interest.
Individual Case Factors
Every Camp Lejeune toxic water case is unique, with many potential injuries and damages possible in each case.
Factors that may affect individual case values include:
- Extent and severity of the health condition
- How much the person’s life was affected by the illness
- Medical expenses and other financial damages
- Pain and suffering
- Whether the person is expected to recover
- Wrongful death caused by exposure
A skilled lawyer can determine how these factors may impact your Camp Lejeune settlement timeline and compensation awards.
Find out how much your case may be worth right now with a free case evaluation.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Timeline
The timeline for each Camp Lejeune lawsuit can vary. Notably, if cases do not reach a settlement, the Camp Lejeune lawsuit timeline could be extended if the case goes to trial (as a trial date must be set, a jury or judge must review the information presented, and a verdict must be rendered).
Your Camp Lejeune settlement timeline could be between 1-2 years. Working with a skilled lawyer means they will move your case forward as quickly as possible and regularly update you on the status of your case — including when you can expect to receive money.
To stay ahead of unforeseen delays, working with knowledgeable Camp Lejeune attorneys from a reputable law firm from the start is of the utmost importance. These attorneys can keep you updated on the timeline for your case.
Get Help From Top Camp Lejeune Lawyers
When it comes to securing a successful Camp Lejeune settlement quickly, working with the right lawyer is key.
Top attorneys can help you understand Camp Lejeune settlement timelines and work to get the most amount of financial aid in the quickest amount of time. Without a lawyer’s help, you may have difficulty or delays in securing a Camp Lejeune settlement.
See if you’re eligible to pursue a Camp Lejeune settlement. Connect with us today for your free claim review.
Camp Lejeune Settlement Timeline FAQs
What offices are handling Camp Lejeune settlements?
The main office handling Camp Lejeune claims is the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit in Norfolk, Virginia.
The office has pledged to handle these claims “as quickly as possible,” but there is no exact Camp Lejeune settlement timeline available as of September 2023. Therefore, filing as soon as possible is ideal.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is also handling claims involving VA benefits like health care and disability compensation for veterans who got sick from the drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
How long will it take to settle a Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
While no settlements have been reached yet, each Camp Lejeune lawsuit is expected to take 1-2 years to reach a settlement.
This length of time can vary, as each Camp Lejeune case is unique. But it is a good idea to get started right away to prepare for any delays during the Camp Lejeune settlement process.
What health conditions qualify for a Camp Lejeune settlement?
Many health problems have been linked to the toxic water on base. These include multiple forms of cancer, birth defects, and more.
You may qualify to receive a settlement if you have one of the Camp Lejeune health issues linked with any of the toxic chemicals found in the water.
The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in Camp Lejeune’s water supply included benzene, dichloroethylene (DCE), tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene or PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride. Exposure to VOCs could cause the health issues listed above.
What is the average payout for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
No payouts have been given out yet for Camp Lejeune lawsuits, but legal experts predict that values could range anywhere from $25,000 to over $1 million.
It is expected that the federal government will end up paying over $6 billion in payouts to claimants and their family members over the next decade.
Has anyone received compensation from Camp Lejeune water contamination?
No cases have reached a settlement yet involving Camp Lejeune toxic water, as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was just passed in August 2022, and it is common for settlement timelines to be 1-2 years.
What is the deadline for Camp Lejeune claims?
The deadline to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is August 2024, giving people two years from the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act to file their claims.
This may seem like a lot of time, but it will pass by more quickly than people may think, so file your claim sooner rather than later.
Has the Camp Lejeune lawsuit been settled?
No, Camp Lejeune lawsuits have not yet been settled as of September 2023.
The first Camp Lejeune settlements are expected to be reached by the end of 2023, and they will be paid out until roughly 2033.
The Camp Lejeune Claims Center is committed to providing regular Camp Lejeune lawsuit updates whenever more specific information on the settlement timeline and formulas is released.