Vaccines protect us from life-threatening diseases that drastically hurt humans in the past. Immunizations have helped us stay healthier and live longer.
Typically, people are supposed to get vaccines as children. States require vaccinations for children attending daycare, public, and private schools. For the most part, these laws help keep away disease and increase our overall health.
But sometimes, vaccines have negative side effects because people react differently to vaccines.
Some effects could be:
- Symptoms include fainting and lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, or swelling.
- Paralytic Polio. There have been a few rare cases of the polio vaccine causing paralysis.
- This disease affects the brain. It causes issues with concentration and memory. It could also cause memory loss and seizures.
But there are more kinds of side effects that a person could get.
If you or a loved one has been harmed, injured, or is suffering from a serious medical condition that resulted after having a routine vaccine, you deserve to know that you aren’t alone. Even though vaccinations are advertised as being safe 100% of the time, there is never that guarantee. Under rare circumstances, vaccines can cause complications and debilitating conditions. Sometimes death even occurs have having a vaccine.
When someone suffers after having a vaccine that was supposed to keep them healthy, they are legally entitled to receive compensation on behalf of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). This program is available federally—to residents of every U.S. state—without forcing the resident to file a claim in their state’s court. The financial compensation granted can help your family recover from a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
How Vaccine Injury Claims Hold Drug Manufacturers Responsible
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created in 1988 as a quicker, inexpensive alternative to civil court lawsuits. Vaccine injury lawsuits that are filed under this program go to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. This means they are not limited to any state, are not governed by individual state laws, and do not have to filed at state courthouses at all.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program became the only vaccine injury claim option when vaccine manufacturers threatened to withhold their vaccinations from hospitals and physicians unless the government put a stop to civil litigation. The program is entirely funded through federal funds. As a result, vaccine manufacturers do not provide any compensation toward the victims.
This effectively means that vaccine manufacturers are legally blameless for vaccines that cause injury or serious, long-lasting conditions. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is both good and bad, as you can begin to see.
It’s good for victims of vaccine injuries since they can file for compensation in a timelier manner, but it’s also bad. When vaccine manufacturers feel no pressure to continually perfect their drug formulas and work towards creating vaccines that cause as little harm as possible, they may make few changes to the vaccine formulas and instead focus on prioritizing profit margins over the safety of U.S. citizens and their families.
As personal injury lawyers, it’s our hope that as we continue to help victims of vaccine injuries recover under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, we can send a message to the federal government that cannot be ignored. When the number of claims reaches a certain point, the government will be forced to keep a closer eye on vaccine manufacturers and make sure they prioritize the safety of patients over anything else.
About the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
Every year, the dangerous side effects of vaccinations harm individuals. These side effects include allergic reactions, stroke, heart attack, encephalopathy, brain damage, seizures, and more. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program exists to compensate and care for those who have suffered a serious vaccine injury or condition.
Here are some basic facts about the program and how it works:
- To file a claim, you must file a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will then review your petition and decide the next course of action.
- To be eligible to file a claim, your injury or condition must have lasted for more than six months or resulted in a surgical intervention with inpatient hospitalization or resulted in death. These requirements are very strict.
- You may be asked to come in for a hearing in which you can provide evidence to support your case.
- Filing a claim for a vaccine injury is complicated. You can file by yourself, but it’s far easier with the help of a Milwaukee, WI vaccine injury lawyer. To get the best help possible, you need to hire a law firm that knows the details of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and has a proven record of success.
- There is no cost to you to file a claim. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program pays all attorney’s fees and costs at the conclusion of the case.
- Filing a claim is a lengthy process. Under current standards, it may take the U.S. Court of Federal Claims 2-3 years to reach a decision.
For more information, please see our vaccine injury lawsuit FAQ [link] that includes additional information about the program and the claim process.
Which Vaccines Does This Program Cover?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program covers many vaccines that children are required to get before going to daycare or school. Unfortunately, some people have rare, negative reactions to the vaccines. There are a few possible side effects for each one.
If you or a loved one received one of these vaccines and suffered medical complications or death, then you can file for compensation.
- Hepatitis B
- Pneumococcal conjugate
As more vaccines are released, they can be added for coverage. There’s an automatic addition to vaccines that the CDC administer to children. But Congress has to agree on a tax for the vaccines before they’re covered.
Two vaccines that aren’t covered are smallpox and anthrax. If you want more information on these vaccines, you can contact the National Immunization Program at the CDC.
What Determines Eligibility?
There are three factors that may qualify you for compensation:
- You show that your injury is on the Vaccine Injury Table. Vaccine injuries have specific ways of manifesting, and this table lists the different ways each vaccine can affect a person. The table clearly details the vaccines, the injuries that they could cause, and the time frame for the first signs of those injuries.
- You show that the vaccine caused your injury or condition.
- OR you show how the vaccine made a pre-existing condition much worse.
Medical documentation will help prove your eligibility. Ask for copies of medical records, including your vaccine records, test results if you have them, and testimony from medical professionals. If your doctor administered the vaccine and witnessed your side effects, they could provide useful insight that strengthens your claim.
It’s important to note that these claims can be very complicated and your eligibility may vary significantly based on the nature of your condition/injury. To know for sure if you’re eligible to file a claim, you’ll need to speak to an experienced vaccine injury lawyer.
How Does the Process Work?
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice work together to run the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
The process has four steps:
- You file a petition for compensation because of a vaccine injury or death with the Court of Federal Claims.
- A medical professional with the Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation in the HHS will review the petition. They will check if it meets requirements for compensation. The DOJ will file a report on this recommendation and send it to the Court. This recommendation is helpful, but not binding.
- The Court appoints an attorney as a “special master.” This individual will hear from a DOJ attorney who will represent the HHS recommendation. Then, the special master makes the decision if your claim can get compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
- You can appeal the final decision to the Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
What Can You Get Compensation For?
You might wonder what your approved claim could cover. When a vaccine injures you, it can disrupt your life until you get things back on track. This situation can cause financial and emotional stress. If your claim is approved, you could get compensation for:
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Wages
- Attorney’s Fees
You won’t have to worry about paying for hospital bills or what it takes to recover from your injury. You can also take time to heal and not worry about missing work. If you’re worried about affording a lawyer, your compensation would cover their fees so you can proceed to have legal representation and fight for your rights.
Do You Need Help Filing a Claim?
The committed lawyers at Urban & Taylor focus on personal injury cases. We understand how exhausting and stressful this process can be. But you don’t have to do it alone. We value giving each case the unique approach it deserves and we will help you make your claim as strong as possible. Our lawyers will clarify and explain any of your questions or concerns, and have multiple lines of communication so you can easily get a hold of us.
You are also free to contact Urban & Taylor, S.C. at any time regarding the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Since it’s a nationwide program, remember that you don’t have to be located near our Milwaukee, Wisconsin office to receive the help of our law firm. We will be more than happy to help you wherever you are located and can even fly out to you if a hearing is required as part of your case.