The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides a source of financial recovery for many individuals and families who are coping with the effects of vaccine-related injuries and illnesses. But, filing a successful VICP claim is not easy, and one of the most challenging aspects of filing a successful claim is determining how much you are entitled to recover. In this article, vaccine injury attorney Leah V. Durant provides an overview of the process for calculating the value of a VICP claim.
When You Have a VICP Claim, It Is Up To You To Calculate Your Losses
Unlike other types of federal government programs, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program does not have a schedule of benefits or cover individuals’ medical expenses on an as-needed basis. Instead, filing a VICP claim is a one-time event, and it is up to claimants to determine how much they are entitled to recover. Claimants seek financial compensation through the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (also known as the Vaccine Court), and a successful claim results in either a settlement or an award of compensation.
Settlements and awards under the VICP can cover four types of losses. In a typical case, a VICP claimant will seek financial compensation for short-term and long-term:
- Medical bills
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
Calculating Compensation for Vaccine Injuries
Since the VICP will not calculate your compensation for you, how do you make sure you are seeking the full compensation to which you are legally entitled? As mentioned above, this is not an easy process. There are several steps involved, and it takes time and effort with the help of an experienced vaccine injury attorney to make sure you know the full extent of your vaccine-related losses.
The major steps involved in calculating the value of a VICP claim include:
- Understanding your medical diagnosis. One of the first steps toward calculating the costs of a vaccine injury or illness is to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your medical diagnosis.
- Understanding the costs of long-term care for your injury or illness. Understanding your long-term care costs will allow you to accurately calculate the amount you will need to cover your medical bills in the future.
- Understanding your prognosis. Will you eventually be able to return to work? If so, will you need to work in a limited capacity? Understanding your prognosis will allow for an accurate calculation of your long-term loss of earnings.
- Working with experts who understand the health and financial consequences of your condition. Oftentimes, it will be necessary to work with medical and financial experts to place an appropriate dollar value on the costs of a vaccine-related injury or illness.
- Placing a dollar value on your pain and suffering. Unlike out-of-pocket expenses and loss of income, there is no specific formula for calculating the value of pain and suffering. Instead, VICP claimants must work with their attorneys to determine an appropriate amount based on the severity of their condition, their condition’s day-to-day effects, and various other factors.
Request a Free Initial Consultation with Vaccine Injury Attorney Leah V. Durant
If you believe you may have a VICP claim, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To discuss your legal rights with vaccine injury attorney Leah V. Durant in confidence, call 202-800-1711 or request an appointment online now.
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.