Legal Help for Victims of Serious Vaccine Reaction
Vaccines are usually a source of reassurance and peace of mind, but it may be shocking to find out that that they can possibly lead to catastrophic or permanent injuries and even death. Victims of serious vaccine reactions and their families have to face many life-changing challenges in these tragic consequences.
Did you know that you can seek compensation if you or your loved one is a victim of vaccine injury or death? In fact, many vaccine injuries have their own specialized legal process in order to file a claim.
At The Law Offices of Michael Lawson Neff, P.C., we have the expertise to represent victims of serious vaccine reaction to successfully claim compensation. We understand the difficulties that our clients have to go through and the resulting financial obligations that need to be met due to injury or death.
What is the NVICP?
In 1988, the U.S. federal government established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). The NVICP is an alternative to the traditional system of bringing a lawsuit. Instead of a jury deciding the lawsuit, the U. S. Court of Federal Claims decides who will be paid.
Examples of Vaccine Injuries That Could be Covered Under the NVICP
Many, but NOT ALL vaccines and reactions, are covered by the NVICP.
- For example, seasonal influenza vaccine has been reported to be associated with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) on rare occasions. GBS is an immune-mediated nerve disorder causing muscle weakness, unsteady gait, numbness, tingling, pain, respiratory failure and sometimes, paralysis or death. Recovery takes several months and can result in lasting disability.
Influenza vaccines, and many other vaccines, have been associated with allergic type reactions such as potentially fatal anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock with severe, rapid airway swelling which cuts off breathing) or serious, widespread and disfiguring rashes, such as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (where the top layer of skin (the epidermis) detaches from the lower layers of skin (the dermis). It can occur all over the body and can be fatal.) These can be compensable vaccine claims.
- Childhood vaccines including MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and vaccines containing pertussis (DTP, DTaP, P, and DTP-Hib) have been associated with encephalopathy (brain injury), which may cause seizures and other neurologic symptoms.
When to File a Claim
To support a compensable claim, the time period for first symptom or manifestation of onset after vaccine administration varies based on the type of vaccine.
- DTP, DTaP: within 72 hours of vaccine administration
- MMR: 5-15 days of vaccine administration (not less than 5 days and not more than 15 days)
If your child develops seizures or other signs of brain injury (such as serious lethargy or coma) within these time frames, you may be able to prove a compensable vaccine brain injury claim. If in addition to seizures and/or other signs of brain injury, your child later is diagnosed with autism in addition to the earlier seizure disorder/brain injury, the autism may be part of the compensable brain injury claim.
For certain vaccines and certain reactions, the NVICP may pay the following:
- A reasonable amount for past and future non-reimbursable medical care, custodial care, rehabilitation costs and related expenses for the vaccine injury
- Lost earnings
- Up to $250,000 for actual and projected pain and suffering.
- Up to $250,000 damages for death
- Reasonable attorney's fees and legal costs
It is important to note that the NVICP provides that a claim must be brought within 3 years of onset of symptoms OR within 3 years of "manifestation of onset" as explained by the vaccine court decisions; or, in the case of death, within 2 years of the vaccine-related death and not more than 4 years after the start of the first symptom of the vaccine-related injury from which the death occurred.
Bear in mind that these vaccine injuries are very different from a situation where a vaccine needle (or other injection) can damage a nerve and cause Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. For more on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, click here.
Call Us for a Free Consultation
If you cannot resolve your claim under the NVICP, you may or may not be able to file a lawsuit based on a vaccine claim. This is a complex question that can be addressed by one of our attorneys at The Law Offices of Michael Lawson Neff, P.C.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious, permanent injury like brain damage, GBS, disfiguring drug rash, toxic epidermal necrolysis, or death from anaphylactic shock, call (404) 531-9700 to be connected with an attorney to discuss your legal options.