Unlike a typical claim or lawsuit in which there is a defendant, claims made through the VICP are paid out of a fund, managed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), called the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Money for the Fund comes from taxes paid on each vaccine. The claims process goes through a series of steps to determine the outcome of your case.
The amount of compensation you deserve is determined during the Damages Phase of the program. In general, the amount of damages are determined on a case-by-case basis, which is why having an expert attorney by your side can be extremely beneficial. There are three categories the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program provides for:
Out-of-pocket medical expenses.
The Vaccine Program will pay for past and future out-of-pocket medical expenses. This may include 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.
If your condition will require future medical treatments and ongoing care, you may need to retain an expert called a "life care planner". They will prepare a report showing estimated future costs.
Pain and suffering
There is no set formula to calculate pain and suffering but the amount of compensation depends on the severity of the injury. You may be awarded up to $250,000.
Past or future lost earnings
If you have missed work due to your injury, or will miss work in the future, you may be compensated. You may need to retain a "vocational expert" to testify regarding your lost wages.
Attorneys Fees and Costs
The process can be complicated, so many people find retaining 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 and costs are paid separately from your award, so you keep any and all of your compensation which is received from either a settlement or a court award. Even if your case is unsuccessful, you never owe an attorney fee or are required to reimburse costs. The program is designed to pay attorney fees and costs separately to allow various claims to come before the court to track the trends in adverse reactions to vaccines.
Be mindful that only attorneys authorized to appear before the United States Court of Federal Claims may represent individuals in Vaccine Court. An attorney authorized to appear in the US Court of Federal Claims can represent any individual in the United States in Vaccine Court, regardless of their geographical location, as the VICP is a nationwide program. The VICP is based in Washington D.C. however most cases are heard by telephone and/or video conference and do not require petitioners to travel.
Vaccine Injury Claims Attorney
If you or your child is a victim of a vaccine injury, Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, LLC can help. One of our trusted team members will listen to your story, learn about your case, and can advise you next steps for getting compensation for your injury. Many of our clients feel a sense of relief once they make that first phone call. Get in touch today or call us at 201-514-6351.