For adults and parents of children who are diagnosed with vaccine injuries, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides a source of financial recovery. Under the VICP, successful claimants are entitled to compensation for the medical bills and loss of income they incur as a result of their (or their children’s) injuries, and they are also entitled to financial compensation for their “pain and suffering.”
What Constitutes Pain and Suffering?
While many people are familiar with the term “pain and suffering” from movies, TV shows and law firm advertisements, few have a clear understanding of what the term actually means. However, if you are entitled to financial compensation under the VICP, it will be important for you know what constitutes pain and suffering so that you can present a case for maximum compensation under federal law.
So, what is “pain and suffering”?
“Pain and suffering” is a general term that refers to the various types of emotional and psychological harm that can result from a vaccine illness or injury. While the compensation paid for VICP claimants’ medical bills and lost earnings provides coverage for the financial costs of their injuries, pain and suffering damages provide compensation for claimants’ non-financial losses.
Pain and suffering can be physical or mental. For example, a vaccine recipient who is diagnosed with a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) could experience months or years of chronic shoulder pain, and this pain could make it uncomfortable or impossible to perform certain tasks. This is physical pain and suffering. The stress of dealing with constant pain and the emotional strain that comes with being unable to do the things you used to take for granted would be examples of the mental effects of your injury.
How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?
Unlike proving your medical expenses or the amount of earnings that you lost as a result of your injury, you cannot simply present your medical bills or pay stubs as evidence of your pain and suffering. In order to prove these non-financial losses, you will need to present evidence of all of the various ways your injuries impact your life.
To be clear, your medical records are not irrelevant. In fact, your doctor’s opinion could be crucial to demonstrating the severity and debilitating effects of your pain. However, proving pain and suffering generally requires other evidence as well. A daily “pain journal,” a calendar showing events you have been forced to miss, and testimony from friends and family members are just a few examples of the types of evidence that can be used to prove pain and suffering damages.
Discuss Your VICP Claim with Vaccine Attorney Leah V. Durant
If you would like more information about the financial compensation that is available to vaccine recipients under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, we encourage you to get in touch. To request a free initial consultation with vaccine attorney Leah V. Durant, please call 202-800-1711 or tell us how we can contact you online today.
Leah Durant Bio
Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.