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How Does Vaccine Court Work?

By: Anapol Weiss

Severe vaccine injuries are rare and are often no one’s fault, but victims and their families could have a lifetime of bills resulting from a vaccine reaction. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was established as an accessible and efficient forum for those people to seek compensation for their injuries.

Hiring a Vaccine Injury Lawyer

Victims are not required to have attorney representation, but a qualified vaccine injury lawyer will navigate the complex legal process on their behalf at no cost to the claimant. If certain minimal requirements are met, the VICP will pay lawyer fees and legal costs related to the claim, regardless of whether a claimant is paid for a vaccine injury or death.

Filing a Claim in Vaccine Court

The VICP has created a vaccine injury table that lists the vaccines covered by the program. Individuals may file a claim in vaccine court if they received a vaccine covered by the VICP and believe they were injured as a result. Parents or legal guardians of a child or disabled adult injured by a covered vaccine are also eligible to file, as well as the legal representative of the estate of a person who died after being vaccinated.

Anapol Weiss has also successfully represented victims who suffered an injury that was not covered on the vaccine injury table.

Deadlines to File a Claim

There are strict time limits to filing a vaccine injury claim with the VICP. For example, injury claims must be filed within three years after the first symptom, manifestation of onset, or significant aggravation of the injury. Death claims must be filed within two years of the person’s death and within four years of the onset of the injury that resulted in death. Changes are sometimes made to the vaccine injury table, and there are specific deadlines for some claimants affected by those changes.

These deadlines can forever bar a person from obtaining compensation for resulting vaccine complications. It’s important that injured victims and their families speak with a vaccine lawyer as soon as possible to protect their rights.

David Carney is a member of the Medical Malpractice and Toxic Tort teams at Anapol Weiss. Named a Rising Star in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and as a member of National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40, David has been instrumental in securing a number of six and seven-figure verdicts and settlements for victims of medical negligence and those who have suffered adverse events after receiving vaccines.