Did you know that there is a court in Washington D.C. that devotes part of its resources to litigating cases filed on behalf of individuals injured by certain vaccines? The United States Court of Federal Claims (Court of Federal Claims) does just that.
In October 1988, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was created as part of the Court of Federal Claims. The VICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims to provide compensation to individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines.
In 2022, 1029 cases were filed in the VICP. Of those cases, more than half, 655 to be exact, involved the influenza (flu) vaccine. In addition to the flu vaccine, there are a number of other vaccines that are covered by the VICP, including but not limited to tDap, Hepatitis B and MMR. The full list of covered vaccines can be accessed here.
The two most common injuries pursued under the VICP are shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) and the neurological condition, Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). There are a number of other injuries pursued, including but not limited to transverse myelitis (TM), branchial neuritis and immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). A more complete of injuries can be reviewed at the link above.
A case in the VICP is commenced by the filing of the necessary pleading, a Petition for Compensation. Thereafter, the cases often resolve informally by way of settlement or proffer. In some circumstances, trials are required.
There are important time limitations to be aware of when pursing a case in the VICP. For those who were injured, claims must be filed within three (3) years after the first symptom, manifestation of onset, or significant aggravation of the injury. For claims involving a person’s death, claims must be filed within two (2) years of the date of death and within four (4) years of the first symptom, manifestation of onset, or significant aggravation of the injury that resulted in death.
Something particularly unique to the VICP is that the program pays attorney’s fees. This means that a client is not responsible to pay their attorney and the any money award under the VICP goes in full to the client.
Anapol Weiss has been representing clients in the VICP since its establishment. If you think you may have a case under the VICP, Anapol Weiss is here and ready to help you get compensation.