Veterans Disability Info Blog

Camp Lejeune Settlement Timeline

Thanks to the passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, Congress has created a way for eligible Veteran and their families to receive compensation for for medical issues caused by toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune, but this money will not be available forever. 

If you believe you are entitled to compensation, it is important to understand the Camp Lejeune settlement timeline. The process of pursuing justice can take time, and there are deadlines you need to be aware of. Let the attorneys of Gang & Associates provide our experience with these complex cases to help you get the outcome you deserve.

Steps in the Claims Process

The amount of time it takes to resolve these cases can vary, but there is a general timeline that every person seeking a claim will have to follow. Before you can file a lawsuit or seek benefits from the federal government, the first step is determining that you are eligible. A person can only recover compensation from the Camp Lejeune Justice Act if they were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987. Damages can be available to veterans, their families, or any third party that lived or worked on the base. 

Before you can file a lawsuit against the Federal government, you will need to file an administrative claim with the JAG office of the Department of Navy. The law only allows a lawsuit in situations where the administrative process has been exhausted. It is important to seek the help of an attorney during this part, as any omission in the form could harm your ability to file a lawsuit in the future. The government has 180 days to respond to the claim. Unfortunately, the Navy JAG is typically taking longer than 6 months to even confirm receipt of a claim by issuing a “Letter of Perfection”. The Letter of Perfection is how the Navy JAG lets you know the claim form was completed correctly and does not need correction.

If after 6 months of submission of the claim, the Navy JAG has not accepted the claim or offered an acceptable settlement, then the next step is filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit in federal court. If you wish to file an administrative claim under the CLJA, it MUST be submitted by August 10, 2024. If your administrative claim is not filed by August 10, 2024, you will most likely lose your ability to file suit in Federal court.

How Long Will It Take to Settle a Camp Lejeune Claim?

Every case is different. There are unique factors that can impact the amount of time it will take to resolve an injury claim and conclude a settlement. Some factors—including accepting what is known as the Elective Option—could dramatically shorten the Camp Lejeune settlement timeline. Of course, there are other tradeoffs that could make the Elective Option a less attractive choice overall. Further, only a small fraction of claims will actually meet the stiff requirements of the Elective Option.

For many people, it can take years to conclude their case from the date their petition is filed until the time the settlement money is paid out. Although some claims have been filed, the vast majority of them have not yet concluded. In fact, there are over 100,000 claims at the Navy JAG that have been filed but not established by the government.

Of course, this process can come to a sudden and unfortunate halt if you fail to file suit in a timely manner. Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you can miss out on your chance for justice entirely if you file your claim after the deadline. Your Camp Lejeune administrative claim must be filed by August 10, 2024, in order for you to qualify for compensation.

Have Any Settlements Been Paid So Far?

Unfortunately, less than 100 of the over 185,000 claims file has been offered a settlement. The elective option was created to supposedly make settlement offers more efficient, but it has not.

The tradeoff is that the Elective option is unlikely to provide you with propert compensation, as the Elective Option does not take into consideration your pain and suffering, lost wages, disfigurement, or medical bills.

Trials Verses Settlements

Given that less than 100 claims have been settled, most plaintiffs will ultimately have to go to trial to get the compensation they deserve. The way your case is resolved can have an impact on how long it takes, given that settlements generally occur much faster than a trial would.

Seek Help During This Process From Gang & Associates

If you have questions about the Camp Lejeune settlement timeline, now is your chance to get answers. The deadline to file a lawsuit is approaching, and it is important that you speak with legal counsel right away. Contact the attorneys of Gang & Associates immediately for your free consultation. 

We are Here to Help

If you are having trouble obtaining benefits, contact us online or at 888.878.9350 to discuss your case.