A Short Legal Guide to Vaccine Court & Injury Claims
Severe vaccine injuries are rare and 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 file vaccine injury claims to seek compensation for their injuries.
Hiring a Vaccine Injury Lawyer
Victims are not required to have attorney representation, but a 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, as well as the legal representative of the estate of a person who died after being vaccinated.
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 much needed compensation for resulting rare complications caused by a vaccination. It’s important that injured victims and their families speak with a vaccine lawyer as soon as possible to protect their rights.