Has a Vaccine-Related Injury Changed Your Life?
Our Vaccine Injury Attorneys Have Experience Helping Families Get Compensation
Vaccines are an important part of maintaining public health in the United States. These medications prevent a host of diseases that can cause a range of illnesses, disabilities and even fatalities. However, just like any medication, there is a risk of side effects. Though the majority of these side effects are minor, some vaccine-related injuries can be catastrophic or even fatal.
Families who suffer damages and losses due to vaccine-related injury may have options for compensation. At Walsh Woodard LLC, our attorneys have the experience to help you get the compensation you deserve. We help families navigate the legal system while they recover from serious injury.
What Is a Vaccine Injury?
Most individuals who receive a vaccine only experience minor effects such as a sore arm. But in some rare cases, a patient may experience a side effect that fails to go away, requires medical attention or worse. You can call these adverse events vaccine injuries or vaccine adverse events. These injuries can range from a sore arm to a limited range of motion in the shoulder. In very extreme cases, death can occur.
What Are Common Vaccine-Related Injuries?
Though vaccine injuries are rare, some injuries occur more often than others. These conditions can include but are not limited to:
These injuries often result from an error during the vaccination process. Examples of shoulder injuries:
- Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccination Administration (SIRVA). Pain and stiffness in the shoulder.
- Brachial Neuritis. This nerve damage can lead to pain, numbness, weakness in the affected limb or side of the body.
An injection can sometimes elicit mild to severe itching, soreness or other reactions.
- Anaphylaxis. Also called anaphylactic shock. This condition causes severe itching and swelling that can lead to trouble breathing.
This happens when your body’s immune response goes haywire and attacks healthy cells. This can cause various disorders and diseases such as:
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome. When the immune system attacks the protective sheath that covers nerves, it can lead to pin-and-needle sensations, difficulty moving, loss of bladder or bowel control, paralysis and other symptoms.
- Encephalopathy. This term encompasses a variety of conditions that affect the functions of the brain. It can cause memory loss, personality changes, weakness, difficulty speaking, seizures and other symptoms.
- Transverse Myelitis. This condition occurs when the spinal cord becomes inflamed. Nerve damage and pain can happen throughout the entire body. Including weakness and loss of control in the limbs.
This is not an exhaustive list of conditions that can result from a vaccination injury. To fully understand any ailment that affects you or your loved one, consult a physician. Doctors are experts when it comes to finding and treating diseases. The records they create are often powerful evidence when dealing with the legal process.
If you are to move forward with pursuing compensation, you will need medical records documenting your illness. This is true whether you decide to pursue a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical manufacturer or if you file a claim with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
What Is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 took strain off the vaccine supply system. It helped prevent vaccine shortages and stabilize vaccine costs, which keeps vaccination rates up. It does this by establishing a “no-fault” claims system for vaccine injuries. An integral part of this act is the VICP.
The VICP provides compensation to individuals who sustain a significant injury due to vaccination. It does not matter what age you are, or your citizenship status. As long as your injury:
- Lasted for over six months,
- Required in hospitalization and surgical intervention, or
- Resulted in death.
VICP compensation only covers certain vaccines. It also covers specific injuries but is not limited to just those specific injuries. The VICP provides a table outlining these vaccines and injuries. If you wish to pursue compensation for these “non-table injuries”, it is important to consult a vaccine injury attorney for help.
The injury must also have occurred within a reasonable period of time after vaccination. This timeframe varies based on the type of vaccination.
How Common Are Vaccine Injuries?
From 2006 to 2018, the CDC says that medical facilities distributed over 3.7 billion doses of vaccines covered by the VICP. Of those vaccinations, only 7,662 people filed petitions for vaccination injury compensation. (HRSA) That is .0002 percent of the entire vaccinated population. However, when such an injury occurs, it is important that your family gets the compensation they deserve.
If I Have a Vaccine Injury, How Can an Attorney Help?
When it comes to filing a claim with the VICP, there is a five-step process to getting compensation.
- You must petition the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must review the petition and make preliminary recommendations.
- The U.S. Department of Justice reports medical and legal analysis to the court.
- The Court appoints a special master to review the report and decide on compensation.
- The Court orders the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to distribute compensation according to the final determination.
This process can be long and complex. And though having an attorney is not a requirement to file a VICP petition, it is recommended. Trying to recover from an injury while handling paperwork and evidence can be very difficult. Let an experienced attorney from Walsh Woodard LLC help relieve the burden.
We can look into your case, help you collect strong evidence and guide you. The initial consultation is free, and the VICP will handle your attorney’s fees separate from your compensation. Call us now at (860) 549-8440 or send us an online message to schedule a no-risk consultation.