Every year, a small percentage of the population – adults as well as children – suffer adverse reactions to vaccinations which range from shoulder and arm pain to severe neurological conditions such as seizures and paralysis, and in some instances death. This is absolutely heartbreaking and devastating for those who think they are protecting their child or themselves by getting the recommended (and sometimes mandated) vaccine, to then instead find their perfectly healthy self or child injured, often permanently, due to an adverse reaction to that vaccine.
The vaccine-injured person and his or her family not only suffer the emotional distress and pain from the result of such an injury, but also incur large medical expenses, and often have to change their entire lives (i.e., housing, school, transportation, permanent caretaker, etc.) to take care of a now disabled child or adult.
Compensation for Vaccine Injury Victims
In 1986, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (“NCVIA”) and established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (“the Program”), a federal compensation program for persons injured by vaccines. The NCVIA was passed as a response to a considerable amount of vaccine-related injuries and deaths that resulted in litigation in the early to mid-1980’s.
The NCVIA acknowledges that vaccine injuries and deaths are real and that the vaccine-injured and their families should be financially compensated. However, the Act also takes the position that protections are needed for the manufacturers of these vaccines to prevent them from leaving the market, resulting in vaccine shortages and reduction of U.S. vaccination rates, from a fear of a resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases.
Despite abundant science published in mainstream medical and scientific journals suggesting cause for concern about the safety of vaccines, our government has decided – right or wrong – that it is fine for a few to be sacrificed for the greater good of the country. Congress’s rationale recognizes society’s interest in ensuring that this country’s children are vaccinated.
Pursuing Your Vaccine-Related Injury Claim
In a nutshell, the purpose of the NCVIA is to protect vaccine manufacturers from civil suits for claims arising from vaccine-related injuries. As a result of the Act, an injured party or his/her legal representative can no longer sue the manufacturer of the vaccine. Instead, a claim requesting financial compensation due to a vaccine-related injury must be brought through the Vaccine Program and filed against the federal government – specifically the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The validity of the claim and the amount of compensation warranted is determined by a special court established within the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, commonly referred to as the “Vaccine Court.”, commonly referred to as the “Vaccine Court.” These cases by “Special Masters” make decisions as to the claimant’s eligibility for compensation and the amount of any compensation.
It is important to note that you must file the claim for a vaccine-related injury with the Vaccine Court within three years from the onset of the first symptoms. In the event of a vaccine-related death, a claim must be filed within two years from the date of the death.
Talk to an Experienced Vaccine Injury Lawyer
If you, your child, or someone else in your family has been harmed as the result of a vaccine, you need to speak with an attorney who has not only been admitted to appear in the Vaccine Court, but who also has experience handling those cases – with successful results. There’s a lot at stake, so please contact the Lamothe Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.