While vaccinations are perfectly safe for most people and carry many more benefits than risks, as with any medical procedure, treatment, or medication, there is always a small degree of risk associated with vaccination. In most cases, the side effects associated with receiving a vaccine are mild and brief and involve symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and soreness or irritation at the injection site.
In some rare cases, however, vaccinations can lead to much more serious consequences. Some vaccines have been linked with neurological disorders such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Transverse Myelitis, and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Other vaccines have been linked to injuries such as: allergic reactions, shoulder injuries, seizures, inflammation of the brain, or even death.
What Is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and How Does It Work?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), resulted from passage of a law called the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which was passed by Congress in 1986. The program was created to ensure vaccines remained available to the public, while allowing an efficient and less adversarial way for people hurt by vaccines to recover for their injuries.
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system and resolves vaccine injury claims through providing appropriate compensation to injured parties. Although the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Health and Human Services both play important roles in the VICP, it is the United States Court of Federal Claims that ultimately decides which individuals will be compensated for their injuries.
The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, Answers Victims’ Questions and Represents Them in Court
For individuals who believe they have suffered an injury resulting from vaccination, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program includes a fund that allows clients to recover for their injuries. This fund, is supported by an excise tax on most major vaccinations, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In order for individuals to recover damages for a vaccine injury, they must first file a claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. A Department of Justice attorney will be assigned to represent the government’s interest against your claim. Although the filing process does not require you to hire a vaccine lawyer to recover, it is highly recommended that you retain a vaccine attorney who is capable of representing your interests.
Eligibility to File a Vaccine Injury Claim
Generally, there are three types of people who may file a claim for compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
- An individual who received a vaccination covered by the Vaccine Program and believe they have suffered an injury as a result of vaccination;
- Individuals who are the parents or legal guardians of a child or disabled adult who received and suffered injury resulting from a vaccination covered by the Program;
- An individual who is acting as the legal representative of the estate of a deceased person whose death is thought to be linked to receipt of a covered vaccine.
In order for the claim to be valid, the injury in question must have lasted for six months or longer or must have resulted in hospitalization and surgery. Injuries that result in death are also eligible for a claim.
How Does Filing a Claim Work?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration provides detailed information how vaccine claims can be filed. It is important to remember that there are statute of limitations associated with when a vaccine injury claim may be filed. In order to be eligible for compensation, a vaccine injury claim must be filed within three years after the first symptom that the vaccine injury occurred. If the injury resulted in a death, the deadline is no later than two years after the death, and no later than four years after the beginning of the first symptom of the injury that ultimately resulted in the death.
All vaccine claims filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims and are decided by a Special Master from the Court. Due to the complicated nature of vaccine litigation cases, representation by an attorney is highly recommended.
Wondering what to do if diagnosed with a vaccine injury? Contact the vaccine lawyer at the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC today. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is equipped to process and represent your claim – all at little or no cost to you. To request additional information about your claim, contact The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC today at 202-775-9200 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.