What happens if my child or I get injured from a vaccine?
Although they are a rare occurrence, there is the potential to develop a severe vaccine injury. When people are injured by an adverse reaction to an immunization, they can file a claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Established by Congress in 1986 under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, the VCIP is a no-fault, administrative alternative to bringing a lawsuit against the vaccine manufacturer in civil court.
The federal vaccine injury compensation program provides compensation for injuries and deaths that occurred before October 1, 1988, and injuries or deaths occurring after October 1, 1988. If the injury occurred after October 1, 1988, the injured person would apply for federal compensation. If the U.S. Court of Claims awards compensation to the person who was injured by a vaccine:
- The VCIP pays up to $250,000 for death associated with a vaccine
- The VCIP pays all past and future unreimbursed medical expenses, nursing home care, up to $250,000 for pain and suffering, and loss of earned income
- If the injured individual reflects the award, or is denied compensation, they may file a lawsuit in court but only under certain restrictions
- A claim must be files within 24 months of a death and 36 months of an injury.
The VCIP gets its funding from a surcharge on all doses of vaccines recommended by the CDC.
Filing a petition with the U. S. Court of Federal Claims is not a lawsuit. The VCIP pays for attorney’s fees and associated costs. The federal court rules on who will be paid.
If you or your child has had an adverse reaction following an immunization here are the steps you should follow:
- Contact your doctor right away
- Report the reaction to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
- Submit follow up records
- Visit the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (If appropriate)
If you or your child has suffered a serious vaccine injury, a personal injury attorney will represent you in your petition to the federal Court. Your attorney’s fees and costs are paid by the program, and they do not come out of any settlement you receive. These fees will be paid whether you win the case or not as long as the case was filed in good faith.
For more information about contributory fault laws, we invite you to contact Paulson & Nace, PLLC. We proudly serve personal injury and medical malpractice victims in and around Washington, D.C.