December 16, 2014 — The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a concerning report (PDF) on the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
The report raises concern that legitimate vaccine injury claims are not being filed due to a lack of awareness, and when they are filed, the government fights tooth-and-nail to deny or delay the claims.
The GAO found that most of the 9,800 claims submitted to the VICP since 1999 took several years to adjudicate. The court is supposed to make a decision within 240 days.
Last month, an investigation by the Associated Press found that only 7% of claims met the 240-day deadline, and the average claim took 3 years to adjudicate. They warned:
“Lawmakers designed vaccine court to favor payouts, but the government fights legitimate claims and fails its obligation to publicize the court, worried that if they concede a vaccine caused harm, the public will react by skipping shots.”
Another problem is that many Americans are still unaware that the program exists. According to the GAO, administrators have “acknowledged being criticized for years for nor adequately promoting public awareness.”
Without adequate awareness of the program, it is likely that many legitimate claims are not filed until after statutory deadlines have passed. In most cases, injury claims must be filed within two years.
The Associated Press highlighted one case in which a family had a relatively clear-cut case involving a child who developed seizures within 48 hours of receiving a vaccine. Although his family was ultimately paid $7 million, it took 11 years for the family to receive their first check, and only after the government took the case to trial.
Do I have a Vaccine Injury Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting vaccine induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or your child has been injured by a vaccine, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Vaccine Injury Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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