Vaccine Injury Claims
The majority of vaccinations are administered with minimal incident and few complications. In some cases, however, those who receive vaccines suffer adverse events.
The Whitley Law Firm represents clients nationwide in claims through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). We serve children and adults who suffered vaccine injury in all 50 states.
What Vaccines Are Covered by the VICP?
The VICP currently covers injuries and side effects from the following vaccines:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B) Polysaccharide Conjugate
- Human Papillomavirus
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
- Pneumococcal Conjugate
- NOTE: PPV and PPSV (pneumococcal polysaccharide) vaccines are not covered by VICP
- Rubella (German Measles)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
Two notable exceptions to VICP are the Herpes Zoster vaccine (also known as the shingles vaccine) as well as the vaccines for COVID-19.
What Adverse Effects Are Covered by VICP?
Many different side effects may arise as a result of vaccine administration. Two of the most common issues cited in Vaccine Injury Compensation Program claims are shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration and Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration
Errors on the part of the administrator of a vaccine can damage a patient’s shoulder. Potential injuries may include:
- Tearing of the rotator cuff
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- Frozen shoulder syndrome
All of these issues can lead to weeks or even months of limited mobility in the shoulder. Symptoms typically get better over time with rest, medication, and physical therapy, but surgery to repair the damage may be necessary in some cases.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks and damages the nerves. It is a rare complication that arises in some patients after the administration of a vaccine.
Symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome include:
- Numbness, tingling, and/or pinprick sensation in the extremities
- Muscle weakness
- Pain in the lower back
- Loss of balance when walking
- Elevated heart rate
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
- Blood pressure that is too high or too low
- Loss of mobility in the face
- Nerve pain
- Blood clots
- Paralysis (in extreme cases)
Unfortunately, Guillain-Barre syndrome has no cure. However, the condition is treatable with medication, physical therapy, immunotherapy, and blood plasma exchange.
What Compensation Can I Get for an Adverse Vaccine Event?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a no-fault system. Although you do not have to prove negligence on the part of a vaccine manufacturer to qualify for compensation, the damages you can recover are limited to the following:
- Medical expenses related to a vaccine injury or adverse event
- Lost wages, if the injury or event caused you to miss work
- Loss of earning capacity, if your ability to work is permanently impacted
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering (limited to $250,000)
- Death benefit (capped at $250,000)
To recover compensation, you must file a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. It is in your best interest to have a knowledgeable lawyer handle the petition on your behalf.
Claims are first reviewed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Next, the U.S. Department of Justice reviews recommendations from the DHHS and presents a report to the court on the suggested legal remedy. This report is reviewed by a court official known as a special master, who reviews the facts, (potentially) convenes a hearing where both parties appear, and determines what compensation (if any) should be awarded.
Adverse events from vaccines are relatively rare. Unfortunately, this also means that they are frequently overlooked.
You have rights if you suffered an injury or illness or a member of your family died as a result of a vaccine. The Whitley Law Firm has the experience you need to navigate the VICP claims process. Our team will collect all relevant evidence, handle the petition, and provide you with hands-on guidance and support.
Please call the Whitley Law Firm at (919) 785-5000 today for a free review of your case. Our law firm has multiple offices in North Carolina serving clients nationwide.