Information provided by the Bergman & Moore law firm (American Legion litigation and training partner) via The American Legion as published in the Legion magazine, December, 2023.
Q. Will an award reduce my monthly VA benefits Payment?
A. No. The VA is on the record saying that ongoing disability payments will not be reduced by awards received under the CLJA. However, watch for changes that Congress may choose to make.
Q. Can I file a disability claim at the same time as I file a CLJA claim?
A. Yes. You can file a disability claim yourself or get help from your local Legion, VA, or other Veteran service organization. To file a CLJA claim, see https://camplejeunelitigationteam.com or call 800-898-9450. If you are a Legion member, be sure to let them know.
Q. Can I file for a family member who died at Camp LeJeune?
A. Yes. Survivors and loved ones may bring an action so long as they are an appointed representative of that person.
Q. What are attorney fees and costs related to a CLJA claim?
A. Be sure you understamd the fees and costs before committing to a legal firm. With some firms, these can run as much as half of any award you may receive. Using the firm referenced here, their fees are capped at one-third of your award with no additional costs.
Q. What can I do if I am unhappy with my legal firm?
A. You can simply fire them. Send them a letter in writing stating simply, "I wish to discharge you as my attorney in my CLJA claim. Please return all documents I submitted." They cannot hold you hostage. A repsonse from them is not needed, but be sure to give a copy of the letter you sent to your new firm. This should be sufficient to release the old firm and be free of paying them any fees.
Q. I am very ill and may not be around to collect any award if this drags on. Can my family collect on my behalf?
A. Yes. To submit an administrative claim for a client acting as an agent for another, documentation showinh authoritymust be submitted. A valid power of attorney or similar document conferring authority is required. For deceased claimants, state laws vary on what authority (estate affadavit, full probate, etc.) is required to ensure the client representative is the propery part and has authority to file suit.
U.S District Court of the Eastern District of North Carolina
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