For individuals and families who are struggling to cope with the effects of vaccine-related injuries, financial relief is available through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP is funded by an excise tax on vaccines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it has paid more than $4 billion to just under 7,500 claimants over the past 32 years.
While the VICP is a federal government program, securing compensation under the program is not as easy as filing an application. Rather, you must file a petition in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and you must convince the government’s attorneys or a Special Master (essentially, a special type of judge) that you qualify for coverage. You must also prove how much you are entitled to recover. With this in mind, it is strongly recommended that you hire a vaccine injury lawyer to represent you. The VICP will pay your attorney’s fees separately from your award of compensation, so hiring a lawyer can only increase the amount of your award.
What Happens When You File a Vaccine Injury Claim Under the VICP?
Even if you hire a vaccine injury lawyer to represent you, it can still be helpful to have a basic understanding of the steps involved in filing a claim under the VICP. Here is a general overview of the process:
1. Filing a Petition in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
In order to seek compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, you must file a petition in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (also known as the “Vaccine Court”). When you file your petition, you must also send a copy to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
2. Proving that You are Eligible for Compensation
Once you file your petition, you must be prepared to prove that you are eligible to receive compensation under the VICP. This means proving that you (or your loved one) received a covered vaccine and experienced a covered injury, and that you have met the relevant filing deadline.
3. Proving the Amount You are Entitled to Receive
When seeking compensation under the VICP, it is up to you to prove how much you are entitled to recover. The types of compensation that are available include coverage for your injury-related medical expenses, your loss of income, and your (or your loved one’s) pain and suffering.
4. Negotiating with the Government’s Attorneys
If you have a valid claim, then the government’s attorneys may be willing to entertain settlement negotiations. If your attorney is able to negotiate a settlement, then you will not need to take your claim to court.
5. Taking Your Vaccine Injury Claim to Court
Finally, if you do not receive an acceptable settlement offer, then your attorney will need to argue for just compensation in the Vaccine Court. In court, your attorney will present your claim for coverage, and a Special Master (essentially, a special type of judge) will decide if you are entitled to VICP compensation.
Do You Have a Vaccine Injury Claim? Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you believe that you may be entitled to financial compensation for a vaccine injury, we encourage you to contact us about your VICP claim. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with vaccine injury lawyer Leah V. Durant, please call 202-800-1711 or inquire 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.