The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides a source of financial recovery for individuals and families who are coping with the effects of vaccine-related injuries and illnesses. While the VICP is a federal government program, the process of filing a vaccine injury claim is very different from the process of filing under other government programs. In this article, national vaccine attorney Leah V. Durant provides an overview of the vaccine injury claim process.
1. Determining Your Eligibility
The first step is to determine your eligibility. While the VICP covers common injuries from most CDC-recommended vaccines, not all injuries and vaccines are covered. Additionally, there are timelines and deadlines that apply, and you need to be able to prove that you qualify to file a claim.
2. Prepare Your Petition
The document used to file a vaccine injury claim is called a “Petition”. This is a formal legal document that states why you are entitled to financial compensation. All Petitions filed under the VICP must include certain information, and you must be able to certify that all of the information contained in your Petition is true to the best of your knowledge.
In addition to preparing your petition, you will also need to collect and present evidence. This includes both (i) evidence that you are entitled to compensation under the VICP and (ii) evidence of how much you are entitled to recover.
3. File Your Petition
To initiate your claim, you will need to file your Petition in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, also known as the Vaccine Court. You must also serve a copy of your Petition on the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
4. Negotiate with the Government’s Lawyers
In most cases, when you hire a vaccine attorney to file your petition, your attorney will negotiate with the government’s lawyers regarding a settlement. If your Petition contains all of the necessary information, and if you are able to clearly establish how much you are entitled to recover, then it is possible that your attorney will be able to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Most (but not all) successful VICP claims settle before going to a hearing in the Vaccine Court.
5. Take Your Claim to the Vaccine Court
If your attorney is able to negotiate a settlement, then your attorney and the government’s lawyers will prepare a stipulation for the Vaccine Court’s approval. Once a Special Master at the Vaccine Court approves, you will receive payment and your claim will be over. If you do not receive a settlement offer you are willing to accept, your attorney will need to present your case to the Special Master at a hearing in the Vaccine Court in Washington D.C. Many claimants receive compensation through this process as well.
Discuss Your VICP Claim with Vaccine Attorney Leah V. Durant
If you have questions about filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), you can contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To schedule an appointment with vaccine attorney Leah V. Durant, call us at 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.