Vaccine Court Compensates Individuals For Vaccine Injuries
On May 14, 2019, James Hamblin from The Atlantic published a lengthy and detailed review of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The article starts with a quote from Dr. Narayan Nair, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services as it pertains to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Dr. Nair is quoted as saying “vaccines are safe … that’s the message we need to get out there.”
From 2013 to 2017, the vaccine program has paid out an average of $229 million a year to injured victims and their families, with the average payment approximating $430,000. As America enters the worst measles outbreak since the disease was declared eradicated two decades ago, it is worth examining this rarely talked about element of vaccination requirements. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has long percolated at the heart of misinformation and misunderstanding. It also raises questions about where large sums of tax money are flowing.
Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Prevents Costly Private Lawsuits
Instead of suing drug companies, people who have suffered a vaccine injury could file claims with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. After a claim is filed, members of a team that currently includes Nair and 10 other doctors from the Department of Health and Human Services review all of the person’s medical records. The team then recommends whether the case should be compensated or defended in the United States Court of Federal Claims, the court that hears all vaccine injuries.
“The creation of the VICP was a quid pro quo,” the Stanford Law School professor Nora Freeman Engstrom is quoted as saying. People who may have been injured by vaccines would give up some ability to sue the manufacturers of vaccines in civil court and in return, they would be assured swift and certain compensation. The program was charged by Congress to address claims “quickly, easily, and with certainty and generosity.”
Faster, Cheaper Alternative to Civil Litigation has Slowed Down
Dr. Nair and HHS estimate that approximately 70% of its payments are the result of a negotiated settlement in which HHS has not concluded, based upon review of the evidence, that the alleged vaccine caused the alleged injury but is willing to compensate the case due to the risk of losing at trial. Despite its claim of compensating 70% by way of settlement, Dr. Nair and HHS are lagging far behind in reviewing claims that are filed. What once was a 30-day process of reviewing medical records when a claim is filed, HHS and its 10-person team routinely take 8-10 months to review a case that has been filed.
Most Common Vaccine-Induced Injuries
Currently, the most common injuries that are compensated in the Vaccine Program include Guillain-Barre Syndrome and shoulder injuries, or SIRVA (shoulder injury related to vaccine administration). Individuals who have experienced Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) after the flu shot (influenza vaccine), or a shoulder injury after receiving the tetanus (Tdap, Dtap, DPT) or flu shot are more likely to have their case compensated in the Vaccine Court.
Vaccine Injury Lawyers
At Green & Schafle LLC, we have skilled vaccine lawyers, licensed in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. who litigate vaccine injuries in all 50 states. Our licensed vaccine attorneys have been representing vaccine-injured clients nationwide for the last decade and they are actively involved in the Vaccine Injured Petitioners Bar Association, the national organization dedicated to the representation of individuals with vaccine injuries.
If you or someone you know needs a vaccine lawyer, please contact the licensed vaccine lawyers at Green & Schafle. Currently, we have a licensed vaccine lawyer to handle your vaccine injury claim whether you live in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, or Wyoming.