Every year, millions of people in the United States are vaccinated against serious illnesses. Sometimes, the vaccines themselves cause severe illnesses, injury, permanent disability, or death. To compensate victims and avoid lawsuits against doctors or vaccine manufacturers, the government has established the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which has paid more than $3.2 billion to compensate victims.
What You Can Do & How a Vaccine Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting vaccine induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know 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 Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
UPDATE: Report Raises Concern About Vaccine Injury Claims
December 16, 2014 — The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a concerning report (PDF) on the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Click here to read more.
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.
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.”
In 1989, the federal government established the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To date, more than $2.4 billion has been paid to compensate injured people, with a maximum of $250,000 paid per case.
Vaccine injury lawsuits are filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, instead of regular state or federal courts like other drug injury claims. Another difference is that the VICP is a no-fault compensation program. This means that you do not need to prove that your injury was caused by a doctor or the vaccine company’s mistake. You only need to establish that there is a high likelihood that your injury was caused by the vaccine.
Vaccine Injury Lawsuit
Certain criteria must be met before you are eligible to file a vaccine lawsuit. The injury must have been caused by a VICP-covered vaccine, including the following:
- Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP, DTaP, Tdap, DT, Td, or TT)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Hepatitis A (HAV)
- Hepatitis B (HBV)
- Influenza (TIV, LAIV) [given each year during the flu season]
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR, MR, M, R)
- Meningococcal (MCV4, MPSV4)
- Polio (OPV or IPV)
- Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV)
- Rotavirus (RV)
- Varicella (VZV)
The injury also must have occurred within a specific time-frame. For some vaccines, only specific injuries are allowed. For other vaccines, the court determines whether to compensate the injury on a case-by-case basis. You can review the official Vaccine Injury Table by clicking here.
An example of an eligible injury would be a tetanus shot that caused anaphylaxis within 4 hours. Furthermore, the injury must have lasted for at least 6 months after the vaccine was given, or required hospitalization, or needed surgery, or caused death.
You must file the claim within a certain amount of time. The statute of limitations is within 2 years of a sudden death, 3 years of an injury, or within 4 years of an injury which caused death. If you or a loved one was injured, contact a vaccine injury lawyer immediately for more information about your legal rights.
Vaccine Injury Lawyer
You are not required to hire a vaccine injury lawyer, but there are several benefits to doing so. Not all claims receive compensation. An experienced vaccine injury lawyer can help you make the best case possible. Furthermore, filing a vaccine injury lawsuit is a legal process that can take 2-3 years to adjudicate. A lawyer can help you submit the right information to receive all due compensation.
So long as certain minimal requirements are met, the VICP will pay your attorney’s fees and other legal costs, whether or not the court decides to compensate the injury. However, the VICP will not pay the fees of people who are representing themselves. Only lawyers who are specially certified are allowed to file a vaccine injury lawsuit.
Do I have a Vaccine Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting vaccine induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know 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.
Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.