If you suffered a vaccine-related injury, you’ve already been through a lot of stress and trauma. You likely only want to take action for your injury if it will be worth your time. Understanding the types of vaccine injury compensation available to victims like you can help you determine how to proceed with your case.
According to Health Resources & Services Administration data, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program awarded compensation to 939 victims of 1,209 total in 2022, denying 270 vaccine injury claims under the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Of the compensable claims, victims received $195,693,889.57 in the aggregate.
To understand how you can fall into the compensable category, you must learn your support options, the vaccines covered, the compensation timeline, and any recent program changes.
Understanding Support Options for Vaccine Injury Victims
You have three primary options for seeking compensation for your vaccine injury:
- File a claim with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: In many vaccine injury cases, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is the preferred choice. The no-fault federal program acts as a trust fund, allowing victims to recover funds for economic losses related to their injuries. To qualify for this program, however, you must have received one of the listed vaccines, have a qualifying injury, and not have taken legal action against the manufacturer, the person who administered the dose, or any other involved parties.
- Filing a direct lawsuit: If you do not qualify for the VICP or wish to take a more adversarial route, you may instead file a direct lawsuit to seek compensation for your losses. You could sue the vaccine manufacturer or the person who administered the shot. Traditional tort often has higher risks.
- Seeking another vaccine injury trust fund: If the VICP doesn’t cover your vaccine, you may find additional trust funds that offer compensation for it. If so, you may follow similar no-fault steps to qualify for relief.
Now, let’s discuss the types of vaccine injury compensation available. You can typically seek the following:
If you qualify for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, you can seek monetary compensation for the following:
- Past and future medical costs related to your injury
- Past and future lost wages due to your injury
- Pain and suffering (at a maximum of $250,000)
Quantifying things like pain and suffering requires advanced litigation knowledge, so you must hire an attorney with experience in vaccine injury cases to help you through this process. You should also maintain all medical records to ensure you can seek compensation for all expenses relating to your injury.
Medical Care and Rehabilitation Support
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program allows you to seek funds for past and future medical care and rehabilitation costs.
For example, say you suffered a shoulder injury from an adverse reaction to the tetanus shot, causing brachial neuritis. Brachial neuritis can take years of physical therapy to heal properly. In such cases, you can seek funds for future medical and rehabilitation costs relating to your injury.
Vaccine Injury Trust Funds
While the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program may cover many common vaccines, it doesn’t include everything. As we receive new vaccines for the latest illnesses, new vaccine injury trust funds pop up, offering relief to victims suffering injuries from recent injections.
Right now, the up-and-coming vaccine injury trust fund filling the gaps of the VICP is the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). The CICP offers benefits for victims suffering injuries from several “countermeasures,” including the following:
- Pandemic influenza
- Botulinum toxin
- And more
The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program is currently your only option for seeking compensation for injuries relating to COVID-19 vaccines.
Which Vaccines Qualify for Compensation?
Now that you know the types of vaccine injury compensation available for victims, let’s discuss which vaccines qualify for compensation. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program covers the following vaccines:
- Influenza / flu (trivalent influenza vaccine – TIV)
- Chickenpox (varicella vaccine – VZV)
- Hepatitis A (HAV)
- Hepatitis B (HBV)
- Rotavirus (RV)
- Tetanus (DTaP, DTP, DT, Td, Tdap, and TT)
- Whooping Cough (pertussis – DTaP, DTP, Tdap, P, and DTP)
- Hemophilus influenzae type B (HiB)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR, MR, M, R)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) (Gardasil and Cervarix)
- Meningococcal (MCV4, MPSV4)
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV)
- Polio (IPV, OPV)
The VICP also covers combinations of the above for those suffering an injury after receiving multiple vaccines at once. Vaccines may be added to the list, so be sure to check the program’s website for the most updated information.
The Timeline To Qualify for Compensation
To qualify for the National Vaccine Injury Program, you must file your claim within the statute of limitations. You have three years to file from the onset of your symptoms. For cases involving a death, loved ones must file within two years of the date of death.
Continued Support for Long-Term Disabilities
If you suffer a long-term injury from your vaccine, you will likely want long-term support to cover associated costs. Associated costs could include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, childcare costs, transportation expenses, and more.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program offers continued support for long-term disabilities by covering future medical and rehabilitation costs. To qualify for such diagnosis, you will likely need an accurate diagnosis outlining your potential future expenses. Your vaccine injury attorney can help you ensure you have the correct documents for seeking maximum compensation.
Program Changes and Reforms
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program frequently reviews and updates its policies, so you must check back regularly to understand the current qualifications.
Recent Changes, Reforms, and Amendments to Government-Sponsored Vaccine Injury Compensation Programs
In 2015, the medical staff from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered to review the Institute of Medicine’s report, “Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality,” showing 158 vaccine-adverse events, with the vast majority concluding with inadequate causal relationships. Based on this research, the medical staff amended the VICP regulations, revising the Vaccine Injury Table in numerous ways to streamline it and add different injuries, like Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), with the amendments going into place in 2017.
Another revision occurred in 2021. In this amendment, the Department of Health and Human Services and the HRSA removed Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA), vasovagal syncope, and Item XVII (an injury-related clause) from the Vaccine Injury Table.
Reasons Behind These Modifications
The primary reason behind any modification to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is new scientific research. As science progresses, new vaccines become available and new research offers more clarity regarding what these vaccines may cause. With this information, the program continues refining its adult and childhood vaccine amendments and qualifications.
How Lawyers Can Help With Vaccine Injuries
You can apply for the VICP without legal support, though an attorney can streamline the process while protecting your financial interests.
Now that you know the types of vaccine injury compensation available, contact Sadaka Law to speak with our experienced vaccine injury attorneys about your options. We can help you gather all the necessary documents, understand qualification requirements, seek maximum compensation, and elevate the case if necessary.
If you received a vaccine and suffered an injury, call Sadaka Law today at (800) 810-3457 to speak with our team.