Filing a lawsuit may seem like the most obvious recourse when unexpected death, paralysis or other complications arise after a vaccination. Many injured victims and their families have obtained compensation in an entirely different way, however.
Severe vaccine adverse reactions are rare, and they’re often no one’s fault. When a vaccine injury does occur, victims and their families are likely facing a pile of long-term bills. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was established to provide patients with compensation without going through the traditional tort process.
Obtaining Compensation Through the VICP
Many people began questioning the safety of the diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP) vaccine in the early 1980s when news groups began reporting serious side effects. Parents began filing lawsuits against doctors and nurses as well as the vaccine manufacturers, some of which decided to stop making vaccines. These issues led a group of health care professionals, vaccine companies and citizens to encourage Congress to enact a new law to help those injured by vaccines. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established the VICP, which began in 1988.
The Vaccine Injury Claim Process
To begin a claim, a legal document called a petition must be filed by or on the behalf of the person injured by a vaccine.
Claims should address the following information:
- Who was injured by the vaccine
- Which vaccine caused the injury
- What injury occurred
- When the vaccine was given
- When the first symptom of the injury appeared
- Where the vaccine was given
- How long the effects of the injury lasted
Claims must also include certain medical records and other documents to prove a persons case, which may include: prenatal and birth records, medical records prior to vaccination, vaccination record, post-injury hospital/emergency treatment records, and much more.
Getting Help from a Vaccine Lawyer at No Cost to the Claimant
The documents a petitioner needs to send to vaccine court can be difficult to obtain, and there are a lot of them in most cases. A qualified vaccine injury lawyer knows exactly how to get the crucial documentation that can make or break a person’s case.
Getting legal representation doesn’t cost anything for the claimant. The VICP will pay a lawyer’s fees and other legal costs related to a vaccine injury claim if certain minimal requirements are met, regardless or not a person obtains compensation.
Even though victims and their families can obtain legal representation at no cost to them, it’s still important to select an experienced lawyer who has obtained compensation on behalf of others in vaccine court. Attorney Larry Cohan, for example, has obtained multimillion-dollar settlements for people who suffered a variety of vaccine adverse reactions. In 2013, he and his associate David Carney obtained $9 million with a lifetime payout of $40 million on behalf of a young boy who suffered from encephalitis after receiving a chicken pox vaccine. He also obtained a $4.5 million settlement with an expected lifetime payout of $11.6 million on behalf of a woman who developed Guillain-Barre syndrome after a flu shot.
Larry provides free consultations to people who suspect they suffered an adverse reaction to a vaccination, and he has represented people from across the country.