If you are someone who has been injured by a vaccine or by an improperly administered shot, you may be entitled to financial compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Established in 1986, the VICP is a no-fault, federal compensation program that pays monetary awards to individuals who have been the victims of vaccine-related injuries.
Recognizing that risks of vaccination do exist and the need to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines in the United States, Congress created the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to make it easier for individuals with vaccine-related injuries or deaths to obtain compensation. Congress designed the Vaccine Program to supplement state tort law, as a simple, fair and expeditions, means for compensating vaccine-injured persons. To date, the VICP has paid approximately $3.2 billion in compensation, and it currently has over $3.5 billion available to compensate individuals with vaccine-related injuries.
Initiating a Claim Under the VICP
Initiating a claim filed under the Vaccine Program involves filing a petition before the United States Court of Federal Claims (also known as the “Vaccine Court”). The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – the “defendant” in vaccine cases, responds to all petitions filed under the VICP, and is represented by attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice. In the processing of vaccine claims, there are strict filing requirements – and mandatory deadlines. Many people fail to secure compensation simply because they fail to adhere to the statutory deadlines for filing a claim.
Proving Your Claim for Compensation
Proving a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is unlike proving a claim for traditional tort litigation. In order to succeed in a typical injury case, claimants are required prove that someone made a mistake (or was “negligent”), and that this mistake led to the injury the plaintiff sustained. In vaccine cases, the injured party’s burden of proof is what in legal terms is called a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. This means, that petitioners in vaccine claims must only prove that a fact is more likely than not, and proof of medical certainty that a vaccination has caused an individual’s injury is not required. An individual who has satisfied this burden is entitled to compensation is entitled to receive compensation under the Program, unless the government can prove, also by a “preponderance of the evidence” that the individual’s injury was due to factors unrelated to the vaccine.
If, however, the injury you suffered is listed on the government’s Vaccine Injury Table, and corresponds to a vaccine you received, and the symptoms experienced began within the specified timeframe, causation is presumed and compensation will be awarded.
Speak with a Vaccine Attorney About Your VICP Claim
At the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, our vaccine attorney has extensive experience representing individuals in cases filed under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and helping them obtain compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a vaccine-related injury, contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation. To learn more, call the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC today, at (202) 800-1711 or contact us online today.