Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyers – What if I Die before My Lawsuit Settles?
As of August 10, 2022, the victims that suffered harm after being exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have the right to file a lawsuit against the government. Considering how long ago the Camp Lejeune water contamination incident happened, it is important to note that many of the affected parties have grown older and many of them have been battling severe medical conditions for years. Because of this, we have received a number of questions surrounding whether claimants have the option to leave their settlement to their family if they lose their lives prior to their case settling. This is a normal concern.
For more information about whether you have the option to leave your settlement to family in case of death, contact the experts here at our law firm as soon as possible. Our lawyers are more than ready to evaluate your claim and provide you with the guidance that you need to fight for your rights. Here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group, you can trust that our lawyers are ready to do whatever necessary to secure the settlement that you and your family are owed.
A Review of Some of the Most Common Questions We Have Been Asked
Some of the questions that reoccur most frequently include the following:
- What is the average time period to settle a Camp Lejeune water contamination case?
- How long does it take to settle a cancer case caused by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune?
- How long do I have to wait to get a settlement check for my Camp Lejeune case?
- What if I’m dead before the settlement? Who gets the settlement money?
- Can I make arrangements for my settlement if I die? Can I leave it to my family?
- Can my family receive the settlement check if I am not alive by the time my claim settles?
- Does my family have survivor’s rights?
Now, let’s consider why we are getting these questions so frequently.
The water at Camp Lejeune was highly toxic from 1953 to 1987. Even those exposed at the last possible moment of 1987, either as infants or in utero, would be about 35 years old today. However, these are only a very small percentage of all those affected. Most others who were affected by the contaminated water at the base camp were already adults when they were exposed. This means that those who were affected as adults (18 and up) are at minimum 53 years old today. Now, considering that many of these people developed dangerous health conditions as a direct result of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, they could be battling their disease and looking at a lessened life expectancy.
How Long Can the Settlement Process take for my Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Case?
So, how long should you expect to wait for your case to settle? What is the average settlement time for cases like these? When trying to determine the time that it can take to settle your claim, it is essential that you understand the different factors that can ultimately affect the time that it could take to settle your claim. These factors include the following:
- The harm suffered (that is, the specific condition caused by exposure to the toxic water)
- Whether medical treatment has been completed or is still ongoing
- Whether complete medical records are available
- Whether all other supporting documents are available
- The competency of the legal team representing the claim
- The cooperation of the defense (Are they stalling? Are they ignoring communications? Are they automatically rejecting all settlement requests?)
- The cooperation of the claimant (Is the claimant constantly rescheduling important appointments? Is the claimant refusing to continue medical care? Is the claimant ignoring calls/emails?)
These are just some of the factors that could potentially affect the time that it could take to settle these types of cases.
In general, these cases can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to settle. Cases that are straightforward from start to finish and have no complications along the way can normally settle within eight months. As things get more complex, the settlement time gets longer. Even minor issues with a claim can cause it to take twelve to fourteen months to settle. More significant issues can make the settlement process take eighteen to twenty-four months. Unfortunately, some cases can take over two years to settle.
We always aim to settle cases as quickly as possible. Here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group, we understand the frustration that you are feeling, and we understand why you are so eager to settle your case. We know that you have been waiting decades for justice after being harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune; now that you finally have the right to sue, you are worried about whether you will even survive to see a successful settlement. Because of this, we are committed to settling these cases as quickly as possible – in as little as six to eight months. If we can’t settle your case within this time, you will know exactly why. Plus, we will continue fighting to get you a fair settlement as quickly as possible.
My current lawyer is taking way too long to settle my case. If you believe that the team currently handling your case is taking too long to make progress and reach a settlement, then you should consider switching lawyers. Unfortunately, in many cases, the issue is that the team handling the case is incompetent. If you are dealing with an incompetent team, or you are simply unsure of whether the team is really handling things effectively, you can seek a second opinion with another law firm. Our firm offers free second opinions, which could allow you to get the guidance that you need. If you decide to switch lawyers, our experts can take care of the switching process. You can also be certain that our lawyers will immediately start working towards getting you your settlement.
I am Concerned about Dying before My Case Settles
The exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune likely resulted in a devastating medical condition, like cancer; your health can probably deteriorate very quickly. Because of this, you might be concerned about whether your family could have survivor’s rights or whether your family could be eligible to receive your settlement check if you die before your lawsuit reaches a settlement. Considering that it is very possible for you to lose your battle with cancer or the other conditions that you might be dealing with, it is important that you understand what could happen with your settlement if you die before your case is resolved.
Will my family be able to receive my settlement check if I am not alive when my case finally settles? Yes, your family will definitely be eligible to get your settlement check in your passing. This is because when death occurs while a lawsuit is pending, surviving family can take the place of the decedent. In other words, if you die in the middle of a lawsuit, your family will be able to take your place as claimant; therefore, when the lawsuit settles, your family will be entitled to the settlement.
What happens if I die before my lawsuit is filed? In this case, things are a bit different. Your family will not be able to just take your place. Rather, your family will need to file the lawsuit on your behalf. Once the lawsuit is successful and a settlement is awarded, the family that filed the lawsuit will be entitled to the settlement.
Can I Make Other Arrangements for My Settlement?
Of course, you can make specific arrangements, just like you would with a normal will. For instance, if you would like your settlement to be split between two or three of your family members, then you could leave detailed instructions for that. If you do not leave any instructions, your settlement will likely go to your next of kin.
Am I Eligible to File a Lawsuit for the Harm Caused by the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune?
Under the PACT Act, the parties who were stationed, living, or working at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 are eligible to file a lawsuit against the government, specifically with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Veterans, non-military staff, contractors, and their families could all have grounds to file a lawsuit. The PACT Act created a two-year window for claimants to file these claims (up until August 2024). Those who were dishonorably discharged, and their families, cannot file lawsuits.
Contact the Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
For over three decades, the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with many toxic chemicals, including PCE or PERC, TCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride. Millions of Marines, other military staff members, non-military staff, contractors, civilians, and their families were exposed to the toxic chemicals. Those who were exposed to the contaminated water developed a number of dangerous conditions, including many different types of cancers, for example. If you were harmed, the PACT Act gave you the right to finally file a lawsuit and get a fair recovery. You are not too old to sue. You can still recover the settlement that you are owed. In the case of your death, your family will be able to get your settlement.
Our free consultations and free second opinions ensure that our clients have access to the information that they need to begin or continue their claims. During these free legal services, our lawyers will be available to answer all your questions and address all your concerns. These are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee, which means that you will never be required to pay upfront fees to speak with our attorneys. In addition, because we work on contingency, our clients will not have to pay anything until after winning their claims.
Are you ready to speak with our lawyers about your right to sue and get a settlement for the harm that you suffered because of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune? If so, contact us today. The Camp Lejeune lawyers here at the Downtown L.A. Law Firm are ready to help you.