In our commitment towards informing on issues of medical and public safety importance, we provide Part II of a two-part article focusing on vaccinations and vaccine injuries. Please note that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) represents a federal system designed to compensate persons, or their family members, who have been injured by vaccinations The VICP was created as a result of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. It is located within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
An Alternative to Litigation
The VICP was developed after Congress recognized a need to protect vaccine manufacturers from lawsuits brought by patients injured because of one of their vaccines. The program represents a “no-fault” alternative to the traditional legal system and lawsuit route for resolving vaccine injury claims. Under the VICP, persons that experience a vaccine related injury must file a claim with the Vaccine Program prior to filing a civil lawsuit. In particular, a claim gets filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (located in Washington, D.C.).
How the Process Works
Filing a vaccine injury claim with the VICP, and its processing, is relatively straight-forward and includes the following steps:
- A party who suffers a vaccine injury files a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims;
- The medical staff of the HHS reviews the petition and makes a preliminary recommendation regarding compensation;
- The U.S. Department of Justice generates a report which includes this recommendation and a legal analysis of the claim (which is submitted to the Court);
- The report is given to a court official who decides whether the petitioner should be compensated for his/her injuries, and if so, how much should be paid.
- If applicable, the Court orders HHS to award compensation.
Compensation that may be Awarded
Under the VICP, the compensation that may be awarded for a vaccine-related injury includes:
- Reasonable compensation for past and future medical care;
- Costs for custodial care and rehabilitation;
- Past and future earnings; and,
- Up to $250,000 for pain and suffering and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
Vaccines Covered Under VICP
Some of the more common vaccines covered under the VICP include:
- Diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DTP, DtaP, Tdap, DT, Td, or TT);
- Haemophillis influenza type b (Hib);
- Hepatitis A (HAV);
- Hepatitis B (HBV);
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR, MR, M, R);
- Polio (IPV, OPV); and,
- Varicella (VZV)(chickenpox).
The firm of Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC is one of only a few Washington law firms that is admitted to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to handle vaccine injury cases. This means that if you believe you have suffered a vaccine related injury, please contact us now. We can file a claim with the VICP on your behalf and work to get you the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has any questions concerning a vaccine or a vaccine injury, please contact us today so that we can help.