Seattle Vaccine Side Effects Lawyers
Vaccines are one of the clear triumphs of modern medicine. They have successfully reduced the occurrence of many terrible and deadly diseases, while others been essentially eradicated in parts of the world.
When scientists create new vaccines, their goal is to make them as effective and safe as possible. A majority of individuals can receive vaccines with little worry, and most side-effects are temporary and mild. However, some people can have severe reactions to vaccines that can involve life-changing injuries.
If you or your child has suffered severe injuries from a vaccine, contact the experienced attorneys at Menzer Law Firm, PLLC, about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). We can investigate your case and, if necessary, file a petition and pursue compensation on your behalf.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The NVICP is a no-fault system that individuals can use to pursue compensation instead of filing a lawsuit against a medical provider or vaccine manufacturer. The program was formed in the 1980s as part of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
This act and program were initiated in response to many civil lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies and health care providers. Congress feared the lawsuits against vaccine makers and providers might lead to a vaccine shortage or reduce the rate of children and adults receiving appropriate and beneficial vaccines.
If you or your child received a vaccine that is covered by the NVICP and suffered a severe reaction from it, we can file a petition with the NVICP program and seek compensation for your injuries.
Vaccines Covered By The NVICP
You can file a petition for compensation if you or your child suffered a severe reaction to a vaccine that is covered under the act. Most routine vaccines in the U.S. are covered, including those containing:
- Tetanus toxoid (e.g., DTaP, DTP, DT, Td, or TT)
- Whole cell pertussis bacteria, extracted or partial cell pertussis bacteria, or specific pertussis antigen(s) (e.g., DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib)
- Measles, mumps and rubella virus or any of its components (e.g., MMR, MM, MMRV)
- Rubella virus (e.g., MMR, MMRV)
- Measles virus (e.g., MMR, MM, MMRV)
- Polio live virus (OPV)
- Polio inactivated virus (e.g., IPV)
- Hepatitis B
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines A
- Hepatitis A
- Seasonal influenza (not non-seasonal flu vaccines)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Covered Vaccine-Related Injuries
The NVICP publishes a Vaccine Injury Table, which lists common injuries and conditions associated with these vaccines and time frames for the injuries or complications to appear. If your or your child’s case fits within the parameters of the Vaccine Injury Table, then the program assumes the vaccine caused the injury.
If you or your child suffered a different type of reaction or the complication arose outside of the typical time frame, then you must present additional expert evidence that the vaccine caused the injury or condition.
Additionally, the vaccine reaction or injury must have done one of the following:
- Lasted for at least six months
- Resulted in inpatient hospitalization and surgical intervention
- Resulted in death
It is important to work with an experienced vaccine injury lawyer to determine whether your circumstances enable you to file a valid petition and whether you will need an expert’s medical opinion to support your claim.
Common Questions About Filing A Petition
You can file a claim within the NVICP if you suffered a vaccine reaction as an adult. As a parent, you can file on behalf of your child. You also can file on behalf of a child or disabled adult if you are their legal guardian. If the vaccine reaction led to the death of your loved one, then the personal representative of their estate may file the claim.
You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to obtain compensation from the program, although the vaccine must have been administered in the U.S. or a territory. There are exceptions for U.S. citizens employed by the government or military abroad or when the vaccine manufacturer is in the U.S. and the recipient returned to the U.S. within six months of receiving the vaccine.
If the petition is for an injury, the petition must be filed within three years of the presentation of the vaccine reaction. If the petition is for a person’s death, then you must file within two years of the death and within four years of the reaction. You should talk with an attorney as soon as possible about how long you have to file.
Below are answers to some common questions we hear from clients.
What should I do if I had a bad reaction to the flu vaccine?
Whether the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program covers a flu vaccine injury depends on the specific vaccine. The NVICP covers seasonal flu shots but not non-seasonal flu vaccines, like the vaccine given for H1N1/Bird flu. If you suffered an injury from an annual flu shot, talk with a Seattle vaccine injury lawyer at Menzer Law about filing a petition.
Can I sue the vaccine maker for a bad vaccine reaction?
Generally, no. Instead of suing a vaccine manufacturer, you may have the right to file a petition in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims based on the NVICP. If you suffered an injury covered by the law from a vaccine also covered by the law, you might receive compensation. One of our Seattle vaccine injury lawyers from Menzer Law can explain the law, the process and your likelihood of success.
When can I file a vaccine claim?
The NVICP publishes a Vaccine Injury Table. You must have suffered an injury recorded on that table for at least six months, or your injury must have resulted in hospitalization and surgical intervention or death to file a claim. If your injury is not described in the table, you may still have a vaccine claim. Talk with a Seattle vaccine injury lawyer from our firm.
Has the COVID-19 vaccine caused injuries?
Side effects and allergic reactions are possible even with safe vaccines. There have been rare reports of anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction. As of March 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not found any link between a COVID-19 vaccine and a patient’s death.
Does the NVICP apply to the COVID-19 vaccines?
No, the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) covers the COVID-19 vaccines instead of the NVICP. The COVID-19 vaccine is a countermeasure, and federal law provides benefits for some individuals who suffer serious physical injuries because of a countermeasure. The Health Resources and Services Administration administers CICP. Talk with us at Menzer Law about your claim options after an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Contact Menzer Law To Discuss Your Legal Options
Attorney Matt Menzer has more than 30 years of experience litigating complex injury cases. He and JohnDavid Toren are among only a handful of attorneys in Washington who is admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to represent individuals injured by vaccines.
There are no upfront legal fees for filing an NVICP petition. At Menzer Law, we advance the costs of filing the petition, including any expert fees. The program then reimburses the attorney fees and costs when the case is resolved.