Vaccines play an important role in our health care by reducing mortality rates and in many cases wiping-out terrible diseases that have wreaked havoc on the human population throughout history. While the vast majority of people who receive vaccines do not have any negative reactions to them, there is a small percentage of the population that does have a negative reaction and at times, that negative reaction can be serious.
The negative reactions can include severe allergic reactions and/or the development of severe complications such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). GBS is a very rare disorder where a person’s own immune system damages their nerve cells which can cause muscle weakness and in severe cases, paralysis. Symptoms from GBS can resolve in a short period of time or can leave the patient with permanent injuries. People that do suffer these rare side effects from vaccinations could be entitled to compensation.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (The Program) was created in the 1980’s to provide an avenue for people who suffer injuries as a result of receiving a vaccination from a “covered vaccine”. A claim under The Program is commenced with the filing of a Petition in the United States Court of Federal Claims. Awards can include amounts for pain and suffering as well as lost earnings. Often, the award will cover attorney’s fees. The process is streamlined as compared to a typical lawsuit. While the Court of Federal Claims is based in Washington D.C., Petitions are filed electronically and court conferences are conducted by telephone. There is typically no need to ever appear in Washington in person.
In representing and speaking with people who have suffered from severe side effects from vaccines I have learned that most people are not aware of The Program or that The Program can cover attorney’s fees. While a vast majority of people will never need to look to The Program, it is very important that people become aware of what is available to them if they find themselves in the unlikely situation of suffering from severe side effects from a vaccination.
If you'd like to speak about this with one of our attorneys, please call us at 716.636.7600.