For many, vaccines are safe; they “save lives by preventing diseases in the people who receive them.”1 However, they sometimes cause adverse reactions and injuries, such as transverse myelitis and encephalitis.
In this article, we will explore four steps you should take following a vaccine injury to guarantee you get the compensation you deserve from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
1. Seek medical treatment immediately.
If you or someone you love is experiencing a vaccine-related injury, please seek medical treatment immediately. These adverse side effects appear within hours to days after vaccination. Keep track of your medical records and document the vaccine-related injury as best you can. The more information you have, the easier your vaccine injury case will be.
2. Make sure you are eligible to file with the VICP.
Before you file a claim with the VICP, it is important to know if you are eligible for compensation.
First, the vaccine you received must be covered by the VICP.4 Most vaccines are covered, except shingles, non-seasonal flu, and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines.2 You can view a full list of covered vaccines and their side effects in the Vaccine Injury Table.3
Next, you can file a petition when the effects of the injury meet the following criteria:
- Lasted more than 6 months after the vaccination; or
- Resulted in inpatient hospitalization and surgical intervention; or
- Resulted in death.4
3. Be aware of filing deadlines and the statute of limitations.
Deadlines for filing a petition are very limited. Depending on your situation, you must file your petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims within the following timelines.
For an injury, you must file within 3 years “after the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of the injury.”4
For a death, you must file within 2 years “of the death” and within 4 years “of the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of the injury from which the death resulted.”4
If the Vaccine Injury Table is changed and the revision makes a petitioner eligible to seek compensation, you have 2 years to file after the change for injuries or deaths that occurred up to 8 years before the Table change.4
4. Contact a vaccine injury lawyer for help.
If a vaccine has injured you or someone you love, it can be stressful to file a petition with the VICP by yourself. At Shannon Law Group, P.C., our attorneys are ready to file it at no cost to you. We will not only shoulder the burden of your case but also make your life as stress-free as possible. Please call us at (312) 578-9501 or toll-free at (866) 881-9980. You can also fill out our online contact form. A free, no-obligation consultation is available as well.