While it's normal to have some shoulder pain after a vaccine, any vaccination can cause permanent swelling and nerve injuries at the site of injection as well as rotator cuff injury, frozen shoulder, and / or brachial neuritis. These types of vaccine injury cases are known as Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA). If any of these complications from a vaccine administration occur and last more than six (6) months after the vaccination or result in a surgical procedure, then you may have a claim and be entitled to compensation from the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
Shoulder Injuries Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)
Many types of shoulder injuries are associated with vaccines. It’s important to note that the vaccine itself does not cause the shoulder injury but rather the needle causes the injuries during the injection. Some of the most common forms of SIRVA include:
- Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder) – Adhesive capsulitis is a condition characterized by severe stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint that develops gradually. Frozen shoulder is commonly treated with medication and physical therapy, though surgery may be required
- Brachial Neuritis – Brachial neuritis is characterized by inflammation leading to the sudden onset of shoulder pain, followed by weakness or numbness. Like frozen shoulder, this condition is typically treated with medication, physical therapy and sometimes surgery.
- Reduced Range of Motion – SIRVA often leads to a reduced range of motion. In many cases, this reduced range of motion prevents you from performing daily activities or working.
- Shoulder Bursitis – This condition occurs when a bursa, or fluid-filled sac in your shoulder joint, becomes inflamed due to a vaccine administration error. In rare cases, the inflamed bursa can also become infected, potentially leading to sepsis.
- Tendonitis – Tendonitis involves inflammation of the tissue connecting the muscles and bones in your shoulder. Tendonitis can be extremely limiting for an extended period of time, and treatment can involve rest, medications, steroid injections and physical therapy.
Some shoulder injury symptoms come on gradually. It’s not uncommon to realize later that your shoulder injury could have been due to a vaccination.
What is the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
As part of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, Congress created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or VICP. Injured individuals who qualify for the program can claim certain losses and receive compensation from the federal government program.
Vaccine injury claims work differently than a typical injury claim in that they are filed with a petition to The Vaccine Court, a division of the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. Like a typical injury claim, many individuals also choose to work with a vaccine injury attorney to navigate the process and advocate their best interest.
What Compensation is Available in the VICP?
The amount of compensation you receive is determined on a case-by-case basis, which is why having an experienced attorney by your side can be extremely beneficial. There are several categories the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program provides for:
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses. The VICP will pay for past and future out-of-pocket medical expenses including a home health aide, rehabilitation costs, medication, equipment and other related expenses. There is no limit on the amount you may be paid for these types of expenses. However, the program will not reimburse you for the portion of your medical bills paid by insurance.
- Pain and suffering. The amount of compensation for pain and suffering largely depends on the type of injury. The more severe, the more you could be awarded -- up to $250,000
- Lost wages. If you have missed work due to your injury, or will miss work in the future, you may receive compensation for your lost wages or anticipated lost wages.
- Attorneys fees. Many people suffering from a vaccine injury hire an experienced vaccine injury lawyer to give them the peace of mind that they’re doing all they can to get the compensation they deserve. Attorneys fees are paid separately from the compensation awarded, so you keep any and all of your compensation.
How to File a Claim for a SIRVA
Only the vaccines listed on the program’s Vaccine Injury Table are eligible for compensation through the VICP. There are no exceptions. Common vaccines that are eligible include the seasonal influenza vaccine, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, whooping cough vaccine, and the HPV vaccine.
If your vaccine injury is due to one of the eligible vaccines and you meet the other criteria for eligibility, you should consult a vaccine injury lawyer about your case. While it’s not required to hire a lawyer to represent you, why risk being unfairly compensated?
Vaccine Injury Lawyer
If you or your child is a victim of a vaccine injury, the top-rated law firm of Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, can help. One of our trusted team members will listen to your story, learn about your case, and can advise you on the next steps for seeking compensation for your injury. Many of our clients feel a sense of relief once they make that first phone call. Contact us today for a free consultation.