When a family tragically loses a loved one to a vaccine-related injury or illness, filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides a source of financial recovery. While no amount of money will ever truly be enough, securing financial compensation can assist with the coping process, and it can provide much-needed closure. In this article, vaccine injury attorney Leah V. Durant explains the process of seeking compensation for a fatal vaccine injury or illness under the VICP.
Who Can File a Claim Under the VICP?
Under the terms of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a claim for a fatal vaccine injury or illness must be filed by the legal representative of the deceased person’s estate. The legal representative files a claim on behalf of the estate, and any compensation awarded through the VICP is paid to the estate directly.
The VICP covers fatal injuries and illnesses resulting from most vaccines that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend for routine administration to adults and children. This includes the annual flu shot as well as the vaccines for hepatitis A and B; tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; pneumonia, meningitis and various other diseases.
Who is Eligible to Receive Compensation?
Since the VICP makes payment to the vaccine recipient’s estate, the family members who are eligible to receive compensation are determined by the vaccine recipient’s estate plan. If the vaccine recipient did not leave behind an estate plan, the distribution of his or her estate will be governed by the law of intestate succession (the law governing the distribution of an estate in the absence of a will).
What Compensation is Available?
In fatal vaccine injury cases, the VICP pays, “up to $250,000 as a death benefit for the estate of the deceased.” The VICP also separately pays claimants’ legal fees and costs. As a result, unlike a traditional wrongful death lawsuit where contingency fees can be a third (or more) of the amount recovered, 100 percent of the amount recovered in a VICP claim goes to the deceased person’s estate.
How Do You File a VICP Claim?
Filing a VICP claim begins with preparing a petition to submit to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (also known as the Vaccine Court). This is a legal document, and preparing it correctly is essential to securing compensation under the program. Claimants need to be prepared to submit various other forms of documentation as well, and working with an experienced vaccine injury attorney is the best way to avoid mistakes that can lead to a denial of compensation.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Vaccine Injury Attorney Leah V. Durant
If you have lost a loved one to a vaccine-related injury or illness, we offer our sincere condolences, and we encourage you to contact us for more information about your family’s legal rights. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with vaccine injury attorney 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.