The Vaccine Injury Compensation & Payouts Program Explained
Vaccine court payouts were established to compensate the victims of injuries caused by vaccines, relieve the burden on state and federal legal systems, and restore consumer confidence in common childhood vaccines.
Cases are heard by a special division within the United States Court of Federal Claims, and vaccine court cases provide a route for victims to be compensated for the injuries they or a loved one have received. This program is helpful, but only if your claim is successful, which is why working with an attorney who has personal injury experience in vaccine court cases is so important. Professional legal help is the most dependable route to getting the vaccine court settlements you deserve.
The History Behind Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Payouts
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was established by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986. Passed in response to concerns over the ingredients in the childhood DPT vaccine in the 80s, the program was designed to fulfill three purposes:
- Relieve The Burden On Other Courts: With the establishment of the NVICP, manufacturers of vaccines could no longer be sued in state or other federal courts under most circumstances. This frees those courts up for other civil litigations.
- Give Injured Parties A Single, Defined Claims Process: The establishment of a single vaccine court payout system with a set process meant that there was a well-established road map for seeking compensation. This helps claimants understand the process better and can provide a better chance of success.
- Restore Confidence In Childhood Vaccines: Spurred on by concerns about vaccine safety, some parents were forgoing vaccines, worrying health officials that herd immunity could not be maintained. The program helped restore confidence that vaccines would be safer, and in the unlikely event of an injury, families could be compensated for resulting expenses.
DPT And The NVICP
In the 1970s and 80s, there was a national conversation about the safety of vaccines and vaccine ingredients. Prompted by the belief that the whole-cell pertussis in the DPT vaccine caused a serious and permanent brain injury, lawsuits were filed against major vaccine manufacturers. In response, more and more manufacturers stopped producing the DPT vaccine as legal bills mounted.
As vaccine compliance dropped and the low supplies threatened to eliminate it from the market, Congress stepped in. The NCVIA created a new reporting system for adverse events, the NVCIP for all vaccine court payouts, and required the distribution of vaccine information (which you may remember getting with your last flu vaccine) statements to educate patients and their caregivers.
What Goes Into An NVICP Claim?
Vaccine court cases follow civil tort rules closely, requiring only a preponderance of evidence, meaning that you must prove that the vaccine is more likely to be the cause of injury than not in order to be awarded a vaccine court settlement. To prove this, there are three questions that need to be answered:
- Is there a plausible biological theory of harm? – You must establish what the injury is and why you believe it was caused by the vaccine.
- Is the vaccine connected to the injury by a logical sequence of events? – You have to identify a reasonable series of steps that lead from the vaccine to the injury that does not allow for another cause.
- Did the injury occur in the appropriate time frame? – Different injuries develop at different rates after a negative reaction to a vaccine. You must establish your specific claim is within the right time frame for the injury suffered. You also must have filed your claim within 3-years of the initial medical problem’s manifestation.
To support your case, it’s best to have a complete medical history available. This can include medical records from both pre- and post-vaccine periods, immunization records, and even birth and prenatal records if possible.
Typical Vaccine Court Payouts
Vaccine Injury Program Compensation payouts are structured to allow for real damages, but compensatory damages beyond that are generally limited. Real damages may include medical bills, insurance costs, lost wages, and all attorneys fees for successful claimants.
In addition, it allows for up to $250,000 as compensation for pain and suffering as well as a potential $250,000 death benefit under certain circumstances.
What To Do If You Or A Loved One Has Been Injured By A Vaccine
Before pursuing any vaccine court payouts, speak with your physician about your concerns. It can also be beneficial to get a second opinion, as some doctors are hesitant to voice concerns related to vaccines. Once you’ve done so, contact the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Anapol Weiss.
One of our personal injury lawyers will review your claim and talk to you about your options for pursuing a vaccine injury claim, whether that’s to pursue vaccine court settlement immediately or if more information is needed to increase your chance of success.
With decades of personal injury experience. We’ll help you file your claim, navigate the system, and fight for you in court to see that you get the compensation you deserve. Get the help you need to recover from the hardship of a vaccine injury by calling Anapol Weiss today.