Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
Learn about the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
About the VICP
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program or VICP, for short, is a federally sponsored tort free program to help victims receive the compensation they deserve. In order to qualify for compensation, your injury must be listed on the VICP Table. The VICP Table lists and explains injuries and conditions that may be caused by vaccines. It also lists time periods in which symptoms of these injuries occur after receiving the vaccine. If the first symptoms occur within the listed time periods, it is presumed that the vaccine was the cause of the injury or condition unless another cause is found. On March 21, 2017, the vaccine injury table guidelines were amended to include Guillain Barre Sydrome (GBS) from an influenza vaccine, and a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) as table cases, so long as certain criteria are met.
Because these have been added to the vaccine table, there is an eight (8) year look back period instead of a 3 year look back for onset. The impact of this could enable someone diagnosed with GBS following a flu vaccine administration, as far back as March 20, 2009, to have his/her petition for compensation filed, so long as there is medical documentation that the GBS related symptoms occurred within 3 to 42 days of the influenza vaccine administration, or the shoulder injured occurred within a couple of days of vaccine administration.
Again, there is an eight (8) year look back, from the time the vaccine injury table was amended, for this injury from a flu vaccine, so long as it occurred within the 3-42 day time period. Accordingly, you or someone you know, whose injury occurred by March 20, 2009 could have a valid vaccine injury claim now, so long as the claim is filed by March 20, 2019.
PROCESS FOR FILING A VACCINE INJURY CLAIM
First, a claim must be filed by or on behalf of the individual thought to be injured by a vaccine covered by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The claim begins by filing a legal document called a petition that is prepared by you or the lawyer representing you to request compensation under the VICP. Anyone who files a claim is called a petitioner. There is a three (3) year statute of limitations for a vaccine injury claim, and a two (2) year statute of limitations from the date of death for a claim on behalf of a decedent, so TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
A claim can be filed without an attorney (pro se); however, since this is a legal process, most people use a lawyer. If certain jurisdictional requirements are met, you are entitled to file a claim with the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C.
This legal process is streamlined by retaining an attorney skilled in the area of vaccine representation. Carol L. Gallagher, Esquire, is an experienced vaccine injury attorney representing vaccine injured consumers since 1995 and will represent you with no cost to you.
Below are some of the actions you should take if you believe you have a vaccine related injury.
1. Seek immediate medical treatment—Often times, a medical professional or the injured person does not associate symptoms with a vaccine. As soon as you believe that you are experiencing unusual symptoms, seek medical advice, and remember to have the date and name of the last vaccine you had documented in your medical records;
2. Take photographs—With certain injuries, such as Bell’s Palsy, a skin eruption, loss of balance, swelling, bruising, and other visual signs, it is important to take photographs and document the time and date they were taken. If it was a shoulder injury from a vaccine administration, make sure you take a picture of the area where the needle was administered;
3. Retain receipts and keep accurate records—The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) will rely upon these in determining whether these vaccine related expenses are reimbursable to you at the end of the case.