Filing a VA Claim Over Burn Pit Exposure Injuries

August 10, 2022
Filing a VA Claim Over Burn Pit Exposure Injuries Providing benefits for veterans is the least our country can do to respect the sacrifices they make during their service. Recently passed legislation offers long-overdue healthcare and disability benefits to military service members and their families who have been harmed by toxic chemicals from a variety of sources, such as burn pits.  Many burn pit victims have developed serious health issues like cancer. Under the conditions and funding provided by the Healthcare for Burn Pit Veterans Act, service members are eligible to file a claim to receive healthcare benefits. The personal injury lawyers of Dolman Law Group are well aware that navigating a bureaucracy can be challenging, especially if you are struggling to pay bills or recovering from treatments. Our team of accomplished burn pit attorneys can help you recover the full amount of benefits you are entitled to claim from the Department of Veterans Affairs under the Healthcare for Burn Pit Veterans Act.

What is the Healthcare for Burn Pit Veterans Act?

The Healthcare for Burn Pit Veterans Act is a provision in the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins Act or PACT Act. On August 2nd, 2022, the PACT Act passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The Healthcare for Burn Pit Veterans Act specifically allocates resources for veterans and service members who were exposed to the toxic substances released from burn pits on U.S. military bases and camps.  President Biden has indicated he will quickly approve the bill once it reaches his desk, citing our “sacred obligation to equip all those we send into harm's way and to care for them and their families when they come home.” This bill would allow burn pit veterans and other burn pit service members to file claims with the VA for damages. The burn pit provision also directs the VA to conduct trainings, screenings, and studies related to the toxic substances produced by burn pits.

Who Qualifies for Compensation for Burn Pit Injuries or Illnesses?

Veterans can find more detailed information by logging into the Veterans Affairs website, but generally speaking, those who served during the last 32 years in one of the following areas may be eligible for burn pit injury benefits. This includes those who served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations.
  • Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield (ODS)
  • New Dawn (OND)
  • Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF)
Even if you haven't developed symptoms, the VA is still recommending you enroll yourself in the burn pit registry as soon as possible. The reasoning for this is you could have been unknowingly exposed or developed symptoms later on, and registering sooner facilitates the process of collecting benefits. It also provides the VA with a clearer picture of how exposure may be related to certain illnesses.

Toxic Burn Pits Put Veterans' Health at Risk

Over the past three decades, millions of military service members have been exposed to harmful chemicals and toxic fumes produced from burn pits. Burn pits were implemented by the U.S. military to dispose of various kinds of trash, waste, and other substances in military operations across the world. Unfortunately, when certain substances are burned, they can release toxic chemicals, referred to as “airborne hazards” by the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a result of being in close proximity to or downwind of these burn pits, many have developed rare forms of respiratory cancer and other respiratory issues. The Department of Veterans Affairs has identified the following cancers and respiratory conditions as being caused by or associated with exposure to burn pits.

Types of Burn Pit Cancer:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea
  • Adenocarcinoma of the trachea
  • Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea
  • Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung
  • Large cell carcinoma of the lung
  • Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung
  • Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung
  • Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung

Other Burn Pit Respiratory Conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Sinusitis
As personal injury lawyers, we have seen firsthand how exposure to harmful chemicals and substances can leave people fighting for their lives. Cancer treatments are often invasive, exhausting, and painful. You may require an organ transplant or develop secondary issues or injuries, like infections. Additionally, cancer and other serious respiratory conditions can be incredibly disruptive to your finances as well as your physical health. With the help of an experienced burn pit cancer lawyer, you may be able to recover the value of your damages in a burn pit injury claim.

What Damages Can I Recover in a VA Claim for Burn Pit Injuries?

The PACT Act has provided 280 billion dollars towards healthcare benefits for veterans harmed by toxic substances. As a burn pit veteran, you may be entitled to receive a portion of this funding. Serious illnesses like cancer can be expensive to treat and cause significant logistical and financial strain for burn pit veterans and their families. You may be able to recover a variety of healthcare and disability benefits related to your burn pit injuries or illness.

Examples of damages in a burn pit claim:

  • Medical bills
    • Chemotherapy treatments
    • Medication
    • Surgery
    • Lab tests
    • Nursing home care
  • Job-related losses
  • Wrongful death
    • Funeral and burial costs
Cancer and other serious respiratory conditions can negatively impact every facet of your life, especially physically and financially. Some burn pit veterans have already likely succumbed to illnesses induced by exposure to toxic fumes and smoke released by burn pits, leaving their families to take on the burden of the costs associated with their care.  You should not try to navigate the process of filing a burn pit claim alone. Not only can a personal injury lawyer reduce the stress of paperwork and deadlines, but they will protect you from making simple mistakes that could drastically reduce the value of your claim.

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Burn Pit Claim?

If you or a loved one have potentially been exposed to airborne hazards from a burn pit while serving in the military, you need an experienced personal injury attorney you can depend on to get results. Dolman Law Group will calculate the value of your past, present, and future damages, as well as collect evidence to support your claim of exposure. Through this process, your needs will be our priority. Additionally, our personal injury lawyers have the expertise required to go up against the government and succeed. For example, Dolman Law Group is assisting many military members and their families who have been harmed by exposure to toxic chemicals or substances, such as Camp Lejeune families who suffered after unknowingly using highly contaminated water. Dolman Law Group's personal injury attorneys are award-winning professionals who are dedicated to protecting our clients' rights. We know that the process of seeking damages can feel overwhelming, which is why we make it a practice to keep in close contact with you throughout the decision-making process. For further evidence of our commitment to our clients, we encourage you to check out what former Dolman Law Group clients have to say about our services.

Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Burn Pit VA Claim

Dolman Law Group is proud to represent veterans who have served our country with courage. We believe that you should not shoulder the burden of medical bills, lost wages, and the other costs of a disability or serious illness. Our team will relentlessly pursue compensation for the costs you have incurred as a burn pit veteran. While we are hopeful that veterans and their families will be offered fair compensation offers at the outset, we are prepared to go to trial to obtain the maximum damages or benefits available. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers will proudly represent you in every room we walk into. If you are a veteran or active duty service member who may have been exposed to toxic substances from burn pits, we strongly encourage you to sign up for the VA's burn pit registry and consider contacting Dolman Law about filing a VA claim. Our burn pit attorneys have the expertise and resources to guide you through the process of filing a claim with the VA and ensuring you get the help you need. Reach out to our team today by phone at (727) 451-6900 or through our website's contact page.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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