What is Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)?
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is a rare neurological disorder where a person’s immune system — which usually attacks only foreign material and invading organisms — attacks and damages myelin, the protective covering of nerve fibers, in the brain and spinal cord.
ADEM typically damages white matter (brain tissue that takes its name from the white color of myelin), leading to neurological symptoms, such as loss of vision, due to inflammation of the optic nerve in one or both eyes, weakness even to the point of paralysis, and difficulty coordinating voluntary muscle movements (such as those used in walking). While some people have fully recovered after contracting ADEM, many have permanent nerve damage or experience lingering effects. In very rare cases, people have died of ADEM.
Is ADEM Caused by Vaccines?
ADEM usually follows an infection of some kind, but can also occur after a vaccination. This is rare overall, but when it happens, it usually occurs after the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination. In these cases, ADEM may occur up to three months after the vaccination.
If you were diagnosed with this disorder, and you believe it was caused by a vaccine, you may be eligible for compensation from the federal government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP is a government-run program that compensates people who have been injured by certain vaccines. Sometimes compensation is automatic, but there is usually a good chance that the vaccine injured person will be required to submit evidence demonstrating a causal connection between the vaccine and the injury. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program can also deny compensation depending on the specific facts of the situation at hand. Ultimately, the US Court of Federal Claims determines which vaccine claims will be paid and how much compensation each petitioner will receive.
While young children are much more likely to be diagnosed with ADEM than adults, there is no age limit when it comes to recovery through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Vaccine claims may be filed on behalf of infants, children and adolescents, or by adults whose ADEM is linked to a vaccination. Wrongful death claims may also be filed by the decedent’s estate or by surviving family members.
Seeking Compensation for ADEM after a Vaccine Injury
If you believe you or someone you know suffered from ADEM as a result of being vaccinated, the time to seek compensation is now. To be eligible for compensation, vaccine injury claims must be filed within the following periods:
•For injury claims, within 3 years after the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of the injury.
•For death claims, within 2 years of the death and within 4 years of the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of the injury from which the death resulted.
The Courts may extend these deadlines in rare circumstances, but filing your claim as soon as possible can help safeguard your claim and allow you the best possible chance for full monetary recovery.
You do not need a lawyer to file a claim with the VICP. However, since this is a legal process, most people choose to have a vaccine lawyer assist them. If certain minimal requirements are met, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program will pay your vaccine lawyer’s fees and other legal costs related to your claim, whether or not your claim is paid. The VICP will not pay the fees of vaccine petitioners representing themselves, but may compensate for other legal costs, regardless of whether the claim is paid - all depending on certain requirements.
Hiring an Experienced Vaccine Attorney for Your ADEM Claim
Because the VICP is an alternative to the traditional tort law system, a run-of-the-mill attorney may not be as well-equipped to handle claims related to vaccines, such as ADEM, as a lawyer who is familiar with the unique Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is a Washington, DC-based vaccine law specialist who has dedicated her legal career to helping people across the country who have been injured by vaccines get the compensation they deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, today for a free consultation regarding your vaccine injury claim.