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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

10 Questions to Determine if You Have a Vaccine Injury Claim

While vaccine injuries are relatively rare, they do happen. Each year, the federal government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) receives approximately 5,000 reports of serious vaccine injuries, and hundreds of individuals and families receive compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

The VICP is an important federal program that provides a source of financial recovery to individuals and families who are coping with the effects of vaccine injuries. In this article, vaccine injury lawyer Leah V. Durant discusses 10 questions you can answer to determine if you may have a claim.

1. Did You Receive a Covered Vaccine?

Compensation under the VICP is only available to individuals (and families of individuals) who received vaccines listed on the program’s Vaccine Injury Table. These “covered vaccines” currently include those that provide protection against the following viruses and diseases:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP, DTP, DT and Td)

  • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)

  • Hepatitis A and B

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Seasonal influenza

  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

  • Meningococcal disease

  • Pneumococcal disease

  • Polio

  • Rotavirus

  • Varicella (chickenpox)

The COVID-19 vaccine is not currently covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Instead, individuals who are diagnosed with injuries linked to COVID-19 immunizations must file claims under the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).

2. Have You Been Diagnosed with a Vaccine-Related Injury or Illness?

To file a successful claim under the VICP, you must have proof of your vaccine-related injury or illness. This means that you will need medical records that confirm your diagnosis. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of a vaccine-related injury or illness should seek treatment promptly—most importantly to protect their health, but also to ensure that they will have the opportunity to file a VICP claim.

3. Has It Been Less Than Three Years Since the First Onset of Symptoms?

The VICP has a three-year statute of limitations for non-fatal vaccine injury claims. The three-year “limitations period” runs from the date that you first experience the onset of symptoms. Once the statute of limitations expires, you can no longer file a claim even if you are otherwise eligible to receive vaccine injury compensation.

4. Do You Have Proof of Your Vaccination?

Filing a vaccine injury claim requires proof of your vaccination. This proof could be in the form of medical records from a visit to the doctor’s office, a receipt from a clinic or pharmacy, or any other paper or electronic documentation showing the date of your immunization and the specific vaccine you received.

5. Do You Have Documentation of Your Diagnosis and Treatment?

As noted above, you will need evidence of your diagnosis to file a claim under the VICP. You will also need documentation of the treatment you have received to date as well as the treatment you will need in the future. This is because the VICP provides compensation for the past, current and future costs of eligible vaccine injuries and illnesses.

But, while the VICP makes this compensation available, it is up to you to prove how much you are entitled to recover. Your medical bills will help with proving your treatment costs to date, while your vaccine injury lawyer will need to work with your doctor to assess the future costs of your condition.

6. Do You Have Records of Your Lost Earnings?

The VICP also provides compensation for successful claimants’ lost earnings. If you have been unable to work due to your vaccine-related injury or illness, you can seek compensation for your lost wages, salary and/or other income. If it appears that you will be unable to work in the future, you can seek compensation for your loss of future income as well. This “loss of earning capacity” will be calculated based on your current income level, the amount of time you are unlikely to be able to work and other factors.

7. Can You Document Your Pain and Suffering?

In addition to providing compensation for medical bills and lost earnings, the VICP also provides compensation for injured vaccine recipients’ pain and suffering. Here too, however, you must be able to prove your losses in order to recover the compensation you deserve.

There are several ways to document the pain and suffering caused by a vaccine injury. For now, one of the best things you can do is keep a daily log or “pain journal” where you write down your daily pain levels and the other day-to-day effects of your condition.

8. Are You Familiar with the Terms of the VICP?

For anyone who thinks they may have a vaccine injury claim, it is a good idea to learn more about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Our article, Who Can File a Vaccine Injury Claim?, is a good place to start, and you will find a wealth of additional information about filing a VICP claim on our website.

9. Have You Already Filed a Claim?

It is worth noting that you only get one chance to assert your legal rights under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. If you have already filed a VICP claim and had your claim denied, you may not be able to hire a vaccine injury lawyer to file a claim on your behalf. A lawyer may, however, be able to help you file an appeal.

10. Have You Consulted with a Vaccine Injury Lawyer?

Before making any decisions that could impact your legal rights, it is important to consult with a vaccine injury lawyer. You can get a free consultation, and the VICP pays claimants’ legal fees separately from their compensation awards. If you have questions about filing a claim under the VICP, we encourage you to contact us for more information.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Vaccine Injury Lawyer

To discuss filing a VICP claim with national vaccine injury lawyer Leah V. Durant, please call 202-800-1711 or contact us online. We will schedule your free, no-obligation consultation in person or over the phone as soon as possible.

 

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.


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