The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: How It Works

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Jul 5, 2016 9:35:29 AM

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was established in the 1980s as a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions. The creation of the VICP was in response to a number of lawsuits against vaccine companies and health care providers, which threatened to reduce U.S. vaccination rates. That reduction, in turn, could have caused a resurgence of diseases that would normally be prevented by vaccinations.

A petition may be filed on behalf of any adult or child who believes he or she was injured as a result of receiving a covered vaccination. Parents, legal guardians and legal representatives can file on behalf of children as well as disabled adults and deceased individuals.

Below is a brief description of the vaccine claims process through the VICP.

  • The report is presented to a court-appointed special master, who decides whether the petitioner should be compensated and, if so, for how much. This decision often follows a hearing in which both parties can present evidence.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services medical staff reviews the petition, determines if it meets the medical criteria for compensation, and makes a preliminary recommendation.
  • An individual files a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, possibly with the assistance of a vaccine injury lawyer.
  • In a report submitted to the Court, the U.S. Department of Justice provides medical recommendations and legal analysis.
  • If the Court makes a decision in the petitioner’s favor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award compensation. If certain requirements are met, the Department will pay vaccine lawyer fees and costs (even if the petition is dismissed).

Filing a claim is likely the last thing on a person’s mind after developing a serious adverse reaction. However, 326_AnapolWeiss_Lawfirm.jpgcontacting a qualified vaccine injury lawyer is crucial to protecting a patient’s legal rights and seeking compensation for the unexpected medical bills and other resulting expenses.

Contact Anapol Weiss if you or a family member developed an adverse reaction to a vaccine. We can answer your legal questions and begin the claim process at no cost to you. 

Topics: Vaccine Injury

Transverse Myelitis: A Rare but Serious Vaccine Injury

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Jun 2, 2016 11:33:54 AM

Transverse myelitis is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. People with the condition can suffer lifelong, debilitating and complications.

As a rare vaccine side effect, transverse myelitis develops unexpectedly, often beginning as an onset of lower back pain or muscle weakness. Symptoms can quickly progress to paralysis, urinary retention and loss of bowel control. It’s rare to develop transverse myelitis as an adverse reaction to a vaccine, but the condition can leave a healthy person with permanent disabilities that impair his or her ability to perform everyday tasks.

There’s no known cure for the condition. Corticosteroids and painkillers can alleviate symptoms and decrease inflammation, and plasma exchange is sometimes used to try to regain some neurological function. Caregivers have to manually move patients’ limbs to keep them from weakening or developing pressure sores.

In addition to the physical and emotional trauma of the situation, resulting complications often come with lifelong expenses. A person who becomes wheelchair bound may need accessibility ramps and railings installed in the home. Patients may also undergo physical, occupational or vocational therapy to begin to rebuild independence with everyday tasks such as dressing.

Transverse myelitis that develops after a vaccination is no one’s fault, but victims may be able to seek compensation for the life-altering problems brought on by the condition.

If you or a family member developed transverse myelitis, we can help. Contact our firm to speak with a vaccine injury lawyer and find out if you’re eligible to seek compensation through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Through the VICP, Anapol Weiss has successfully represented numerous people who developed rare vaccine injuries including transverse myelitis. We can investigate your situation and explain the next steps if you or a family member developed an adverse reaction to a vaccine. We can answer your legal questions and begin the claim process at no cost to you.

Topics: Vaccine Injury

5 Things to Know About Working with A Vaccine Lawyer and VICP Claims

Posted by Anapol Weiss on May 31, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Vaccinations save lives and prevent dangerous diseases, but children and adults can suffer severe and permanent adverse reactions in very rare cases. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about working with a vaccine lawyer, obtaining compensation for injuries, and more.

How do I receive compensation for an adverse vaccine reaction?

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program set up to compensate people injured by certain vaccines. A claim can be filed by a qualified vaccine injury lawyer on behalf of the person injured by one of the vaccines covered by the VICP. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims decides who will be compensated.

To be eligible to file a claim, the effects of the vaccine reaction must have lasted for more than six months after vaccination, resulted in a hospital stay and surgery, or resulted in death.

Working with a vaccine injury lawyer

 Learn more about filing VICP claims.

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Why is it important to be represented by a vaccine lawyer?

Most people have a lawyer file a vaccine injury claim, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. Obtaining compensation is much simpler for victims this way, as an experienced attorney knows how to navigate the complex claims process. They can ensure all the necessary legal documentation is submitted for review by the court in a timely manner.

It’s important to remember that the VICP – not the victim – pays all lawyer fees and other related legal costs if certain minimal requirements are met.

Does my vaccine injury lawyer have to work in my state?

No. It’s more important to contact a lawyer with vast experience and success with vaccine reaction claims.

What are the deadlines to file a vaccine injury or death claim?

The general filing deadline for an injury is three years after the first vaccine injury symptom. For vaccine death cases, a claim must be filed within two years of the death and four years after the start of the first symptom of the related injury from which the death occurred.

When a vaccine is newly covered by the VICP or a new vaccine reaction is added to the vaccine injury table, claims that do not meet general filing deadlines must be filed within two years from the date the new item is added to the table for injuries or deaths that occurred up to eight years before the change.

What is the next step if I suspect a vaccine caused me or my child to suffer an adverse reaction?

Filing a claim is likely the last thing on a patient’s mind after he or she has developed a serious adverse reaction. However, contacting a qualified vaccine injury lawyer is crucial to protecting a patient’s legal rights and seeking compensation for the unexpected medical bills and other resulting expenses.

Contact Anapol Weiss if you or a family member developed an adverse reaction to a vaccine. We can answer your legal questions and begin the claim process at no cost to you.

Topics: Vaccine Injury

8 Rare but Severe Vaccine Injuries and Reactions

Posted by Anapol Weiss on May 25, 2016 3:30:00 PM

If you developed an adverse reaction to a vaccine, you may be entitled to compensation that the government has set aside specifically for rare but severe vaccine injuries. Below are some of the rare reactions adults and children have developed after receiving a vaccination.

Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis

Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is a neurological disorder that causes a sudden inflammatory attack on the brain and spinal cord. In some cases, the condition can be life-threatening or cause mild motor deficits, visual problems, or seizures.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires prompt medical treatment. An allergic reaction to a vaccine can start minutes or hours after a person receives an injection.

Brachial Neuritis

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Brachial neuritis, which is also known as neuralgic amyotrophy or Parsonage-Turner syndrome, is an extremely painful condition that can last a few hours up to several weeks. Low-grade pain and weakness of the affected arm may persist for up to a year. Brachial neuritis can develop days or weeks after a person receives a vaccine.

Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) causes weakness, paralysis, and motor function impairment. Victims of CIDP may have a slow steady pattern of symptoms while others may have symptoms that get better and then relapse.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is an incurable condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves and can result in severe pain, difficulty moving, bladder or bowel control issues, and other problems.

Regional Pain Syndrome

Regional pain syndrome is chronic and severe pain that affects one of the limbs. The condition is believed to be caused by damage or malfunction in the peripheral and central nervous systems. On top of the debilitating and potentially permanent pain, victims may experience changes in temperature, skin color and swelling of the affected limb.

Shoulder Injury

Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) is caused by an injury to the shoulder’s tendons, ligaments, bursae or other area. SIRVA begins as shoulder pain and can cause limited range of motion after a person receives a vaccine.

Transverse Myelitis

Transverse myelitis is a spinal cord inflammation involving the nerves that may result in pain, sensory problems, weakness or paralysis of muscles, as well as bladder and bowel dysfunction.

These and other vaccine injuries can be life-altering for victims and their families. Contact the vaccine injury lawyers at Anapol Weiss for assistance if you or a loved one suffered a severe vaccine reaction.

Topics: Vaccine Injury

What is GBS?

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Apr 29, 2016 3:30:00 PM

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

Symptoms of GBS may initially include weakness or tingling sensations in the legs, which may then spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase to the point of immobilizing certain muscles and causing paralysis. Severe GBS cases can be life-threatening, as they may interfere with the heart and/or a person’s ability to breathe.

 Filing_Vaccine_Claims_Infographic.png

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about filing a vaccine injury claim.

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There is no known cure for GBS, but certain treatments can reverse its effects on the body. Some patients recover from the effects of GBS. Others continue to suffer from varying degrees of weakness.

GBS and Vaccinations

GBS sometimes occurs as a very rare adverse reaction to a vaccination. In response to these and other vaccine injuries, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was created to financially compensate individuals found to have been injured by a vaccine. The VICP is an effective, no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system.

Filing a petition with the VICP does not require a lawyer, but the U.S. Court of Federal Claims will generally compensate petitioners for attorney fees and other legal costs – as long as the petition is deemed reasonable and filed in good faith.

Contact Anapol Weiss to speak with a qualified vaccine injury lawyer if you or a family member developed GBS after receiving a vaccine. Our firm can file a petition on your behalf at no cost to you.

 

Topics: Vaccine Injury

Anapol Weiss Vaccine Injury Lawyers Negotiate $2.05 Million for Victim

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Apr 27, 2016 3:30:00 PM

Vaccine injury lawyers Larry Cohan and David Carney successfully negotiated $2.05 million in compensation on behalf of a man who suffered a rare and debilitating reaction to a flu vaccine.

 cohan_and_carney.png
 Anapol Weiss Attorneys Larry Cohan and David Carney

Cohan and Carney's client was a healthy and hardworking man who bred and trained horses with his wife until a rare vaccine reaction suddenly rendered him disabled. Within 24 hours of receiving a flu vaccine, he began to experience mild weakness in his hands, severe pain in his wrists, thumbs, and fingers, and dull sensations of numbness in his upper extremities. His symptoms then began to impair his mobility and motor functions. His condition progressed, and he was diagnosed with overlap syndrome, a combination of symptomatic polyarthritis, polymyositis, inflammatory arthritis, and an immune system disorder called Sjogren’s syndrome.

Their client remains severely disabled with muscle weakness, fatigue and polyarthritis. Even walking small distances causes him extreme pain. In addition to suffering from intense fatigue and intermittent fevers, he has difficulty standing, sitting and lying down on his own. He can no longer work or enjoy athletic hobbies as a result of his diminished endurance.

“This was a very complex case involving an unusually rare injury that the Vaccine Court has never seen before,” Cohan said. He and Carney went to trial on behalf of our client before as part of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in Washington, D.C. After Special Master Thomas L. Gowen ruled in the man's favor in January 2016, Cohan and Carney then negotiated damages to cover his medical care, lost earnings, pain and suffering and other expenses related to the vaccine injury.

Of the case’s success, Larry said, “It is a tremendous victory for our client, and it is our hope that this decision will help other unfortunate people who suffer from similar rare injuries from vaccination.”

Despite this rare reaction, the attorneys at Anapol Weiss remind everyone that vaccines are essential in protecting the public against dangerous diseases.

You can learn more about how the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program works by downloading our free infographic below.

Filing Vaccine Claims

Topics: Vaccine Injury, Vaccine Attorney

Patients Suffering from ADEM after a Vaccine

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Feb 11, 2016 3:16:00 PM

Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own brain tissue.

Less than five percent of ADEM cases develop after a person receives a vaccine, according to the Transverse Myelitis Association. ADEM has been associated with vaccines including:

  • Hepatitis
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Varicella (chicken pox)

Symptoms of ADEM after a vaccine typically appear four to 13 days after a vaccination, but a person can suffer with complications for as long as a year. People with ADEM may need physical and occupational therapy to treat resulting lasting problems such as weakness, muscle control problems, vision issues, and other neurological complications. Patients may have to undergo treatment for seizures or bowel and bladder function problems.

Compensation for Developing ADEM after a Vaccine

Getting vaccinated helps prevent the spread of serious illnesses, but when a vaccine causes a rare adverse reaction, victims deserve compensation for lasting physical, emotional and financial trauma.

We can help if you or a loved one developed a rare vaccine reaction such as ADEM. Our vaccine injury lawyers have successfully advocated for many people who were hurt by vaccines, and they are prepared to investigate your situation.

Contact Anapol Weiss to find out if you’re eligible to seek compensation through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for painful complications you didn’t expect to happen.

 

Topics: Vaccine Injury

How Does Vaccine Court Work?

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Feb 8, 2016 3:30:00 PM

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.

Contact our firm for assistance if you or a loved one suffered from a rare vaccine reaction. We can help. You can also learn more about filing a VICP claim by downloading our free infographic.

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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. 

Topics: Vaccine Injury

The Sudden and Painful Effects of Brachial Neuritis after a Vaccine

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Jan 28, 2016 3:30:00 PM

Brachial neuritis is an extremely painful condition that’s exacerbated by the simplest of movements. A person who develops brachial neuritis after a vaccine can suffer intense pain for a few hours up to several weeks, but low-grade pain and arm weakness may persist for up to a year.

The condition, which is also known as neuralgic amyotrophy or Parsonage-Turner syndrome, can develop days or weeks after a person receives a vaccine such as:

  • Tetanus (such as DTaP, DTP, DT, Td, or TT)
  • Gardasil (HPV)
  • Pertussis (such as DTP, DTaP, P, or DTP-Hib)
  • Diphtheria
  • Influenza (flu) 

Sometimes, it’s so painful to move the affected muscles that a person can suffer atrophy in the area.

Brachial neuritis is an extremely rare reaction to a vaccine, but when it develops, it happens without warning and can change a person’s life. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) allows victims to seek compensation for expenses related to their injuries, and the attorneys at Anapol Weiss have successfully represented many vaccine injury victims through this program. If certain minimal requirements are met, the VICP will pay for lawyers’ fees and other legal costs related to the claim, regardless of whether a victim is paid for vaccine injuries or death.

Contact our attorneys for assistance if you developed brachial neuritis after a vaccine. You can also learn more about filing a VICP claim by downloading our vaccine claim infographic below.

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Topics: Vaccine Injury, Vaccine Attorney

Filing Deadlines for Vaccine Claims

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Jan 26, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration has set time limits for vaccine reaction victims and their families to be eligible for compensation.

It is therefore very important to contact a vaccine lawyer as soon as possible if you or a loved one suffered a rare adverse reaction to a vaccine. The sooner victims file a vaccine injury claim, the sooner they can protect their rights and obtain compensation for an unexpected injury.

vaccine_claim_deadlines2.jpgVaccine Claim Deadline for Injury

Claims must be filed within three years after the first symptom, manifestation of onset, or significant aggravation of the injury.

Vaccine Claim Deadline for Death

Claims must be filed within two years of the person’s death and within four years of the first symptom, manifestation of onset, or significant aggravation of the injury that resulted in death.

Changes to the Compensation Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration sometimes makes changes to the vaccines covered under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) or adds new vaccines or injuries. If the change makes a person eligible to seek compensation or increases the likelihood of obtaining compensation, a claim must be filed within two years from the date of the change for an injury or death that occurred up to eight years before the change.

For example, hepatitis A vaccine injuries were covered by the VICP as of December 1, 2004, and claims for injury or death that occurred on or after December 1, 1996 that did not meet other vaccine claim deadlines had to be filed by December 1, 2006.

Contact the vaccine injury lawyers at Anapol Weiss for assistance if you or a loved one suffered a rare adverse reaction to a vaccine.

 

Topics: Vaccine Injury

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