What is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
The great majority of Americans have been vaccinated at one time or another. The purpose of vaccines are to boost immunity and to protect against disease. Although vaccines have been proven safe, in rare instances some people may suffer adverse effects. Although rare, vaccine injuries do occur, and when they do it is important to know that you have rights.
If you or a loved one has suffered an adverse reaction following vaccination you may be entitled to file a lawsuit in the United States court of Federal Claims. This Court oversees a federal program called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The vaccine program was established to compensate individuals who suffered injury as a result of receiving routine childhood vaccinations. Now, the vaccine program covers all types of vaccine claims for individuals of all ages.
While approximately 400 claims are filed every year, some believe more people would seek compensation if the program were better publicized. Officials think that certain measures are important including improvements to Internet and print methods of advertising, publicizing in clear and understandable terms as well as in multiple languages and focusing on those who are likely to recommend or utilize the program, such as medical professionals, parents, older adults and attorneys in various practices. Some think that the reason the program is not publicized by the government is that those in charge fear that it will send the message that vaccines are more dangerous than they actually are.
One major issue relating to the lack of publicity that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program receives is that those who are eligible to file claims must do so within a specified period of time. Individuals often miss the deadline because they are unaware that the program exists and/or about the strict statutes of limitations that apply to these cases. Generally, an individual has three years from the time that they suffered the first symptom as a result of the adverse reaction to the vaccine to file a claim with the program. If the adverse reaction to the vaccine resulted in death, the individual’s representatives have only two years from the time of death and four years from the time of the first symptom to file a claim. Therefore, by the time someone that is injured by a vaccine deals with his or her medical issues and starts to contemplate bringing a claim for injuries, it could be too late. If awareness of these time limitations was increased, it may result in more cases being filed with the program.
If you or a loved one has suffered from an adverse side effect of a vaccination and are seeking compensation, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced vaccine injury attorney. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant has assisted many claimants in receiving the compensation they deserve. Contact the firm today at (202)800-1711.