Adjusting to life as a civilian after serving in the military often comes with many challenges, but these changes can be even more difficult if you suffered some kind of injury due to negligence during your time of service. Many veterans are joining a lawsuit against 3M, a company that manufactured military earplugs that may have failed during use and caused hearing loss for many of them. If you believe you were injured in this manner, there are several questions you can ask an attorney before you take legal action.
1. What Is the Cause of This Lawsuit?
Some veterans who served in combat between 2003-2015 have experienced hearing loss and tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears, due to what they say are faulty dual-combat earplugs. The devices, which were manufactured by the 3M company, allegedly failed to protect soldiers’ hearing. Some veterans claim one side of the earplug was not long enough to protect the inner ear, resulting in tinnitus and partial hearing loss. Bloomberg Government reports that to date, there are over 10,000 veterans involved in the case.
2. Do I Qualify?
Speaking with an attorney can help you understand whether you qualify to join the 3M lawsuit, as there are a few limitations. You may have to provide proof of your hearing issues, such as a recent doctor’s report and how he or she believes the earplugs failed to protect your ears. Other restrictions may apply depending on your service details, so you may want to submit these documents to your lawyer upon your first visit.
3. How Long Do I Have to File?
While 3M has already paid out millions in 2018 to settle a previous lawsuit connected with these defective earplugs, the alleged charges were brought to 3M by another company that manufactures protective gear for the military. This new lawsuit is set to go to trial by 2021, so you may want to bring your proof of service and hearing damage to an attorney as soon as you can.
4. Will a Lawsuit Affect My Veteran’s Benefits?
You may want to join this lawsuit but fear a loss of your veteran’s benefits. However, since this is not a legal action against the military, your veteran’s compensation will likely be unaffected. You may want to speak to your local veteran’s affairs office for more information about the case and how you can protect your rights if you decide to join the lawsuit.If you suffered from hearing loss while serving in the military before 2015 but after 2003, you may be able to gain compensation for your injuries. Speak to a personal injury attorney, like from GP Attorneys today for further information.