What is Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS)?
Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS) is a serious disease that 3,000 to 6,000 Americans contract each year. GBS causes a person’s immune system — which usually attacks only foreign material and invading organisms — to attack and damage nerve cells, which causes muscle weakness, and in some cases paralysis. While most people fully recover from the disease, some people have permanent nerve damage or experience lingering effects. In very rare cases, people have died of GBS, usually from difficulty breathing. The chronic version of GBS is known as Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy or CIDP.
Is Guillain Barre Syndrome Caused by the Flu Shot?
While the exact cause of GBS and CIDP is unknown, GBS and CIDP have been linked to vaccines such as the annual flu shot. If you were diagnosed with GBS or CIDP, and your symptoms (muscle weakness, numbness, and/or a tingling sensation) initially occurred within two weeks of getting a vaccination, you may be eligible for compensation from the federal government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which compensates people who have been injured by certain vaccines.
Hiring an Experienced Vaccine Attorney
Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is a vaccine law specialist based in Washington, DC, where the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and vaccine court are also located. Leah Durant has dedicated her legal career to helping people across the country who have been injured by vaccines get the compensation they deserve. In addition to providing her clients with an unmatched level of personalized attention, guidance, and legal know-how, Leah Durant can ensure that all deadlines are met and all required paperwork is accurately completed so your vaccine injury claim begins and ends on solid legal ground.
Although it is not required that you retain a lawyer when filing your vaccine claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, hiring a vaccine attorney is usually advisable since compensation for your vaccine injury claim can depend on a variety of factors, and you want to make sure your vaccine injury claim complies with all legal requirements from the start. It is important to have a vaccine lawyer who is well-versed in GBS or CIDP-related claims as well as the VICP system as a whole, as the vaccine program differs the traditional tort law system.
If certain minimal requirements are met, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program will pay your vaccine attorney’s fees and other legal costs related to your vaccine injury claim, whether or not you recover compensation for a vaccine injury or death. However, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program will not pay the legal fees of vaccine petitioners who represent themselves, but may pay other legal costs, regardless of whether the claim is paid as long as certain minimal requirements are met.
In many cases, the vaccine injured victim will have to present evidence that the injury was caused by the vaccination in order to receive compensation. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program can deny compensation depending on the circumstances of each individual situation. Ultimately, it is the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, sometimes known as Vaccine Court, that determines the amount of compensation claimants receive.
If you believe you or someone you know suffered from GBS or CIDP as a result of being vaccinated, the time to seek compensation is now, as there are time limits on recovery. To be eligible for compensation, claims must be filed within the following periods:
- For vaccine 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.
In very limited circumstances, the Courts may extend these deadlines, but the sooner you file a claim, the better your chances of recovery.
Pursuing Your Claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
While young children and older adults are at a higher risk of contracting GBS and CIDP, there is no age limit when it comes to recovery through the VICP. Claims may be filed on behalf of infants, children and adolescents, or by adults whose GBS or CIDP is linked to a vaccination. Wrongful death claims may also be filed by the decedent’s estate or by surviving family members.
To discuss the specifics of your matter with a skilled and compassionate vaccine injury law attorney, contact the Washington, DC Law Office of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, today for a free, no obligation consultation.