While vaccines do help millions of individuals and are typically given to prevent disease, vaccines can also trigger reactions that can be serious and sometimes, in the worst cases, fatal. When a vaccine triggers a serious reaction, help may be available through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). If your vaccine injury is eligible for compensation in the NVICP, our firm can handle it through our specially trained attorney who is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Federal Claims.
The NVICP was created by the United States Congress in 1986 to aid victims of adverse reactions to certain vaccinations. The NVICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injuries. As of today, this program has paid out billions of dollars in damages to individuals who have suffered injury and to estates, in death cases.
In order to represent a victim, an attorney must be admitted to practice in the United States Court of Federal Claims. The attorney will file your vaccine claim in the Federal Claims court, where it will be heard by a “special master.” The special master is the decision-maker and acts as a judge would in a civil or criminal case. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services staff will review your submitted claim, determine if it meets the medical criteria for compensation and make a preliminary recommendation. Thereafter, the special master will decide whether the victim should be compensated. In some cases, the special master will hold a hearing where both parties can present evidence.
If compensation is awarded, the special master determines the amount and type of compensation. Compensation can include an award for the injured person’s past and future medical needs, past and future lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering. So long as certain “good faith” requirements are met, the Court may order the Department to pay attorneys' fees and costs. In other words, the attorneys’ fees and costs are separate and do not come out of the victim’s award.
The NVICP time limit to file a claim is 3 years. While this may seem like a generous time limit, complications can arise when a state civil action, such as a medical malpractice case, must be filed sooner than the 3 years. If you or someone that you know has been injured or has died from an adverse reaction to a vaccination, you should act immediately to preserve any rights than may be lost by delay.
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