Vaccines play a crucial role in the healthcare industry. They’re designed to protect people against diseases by boosting their immune systems. However, like other medications, they may cause adverse side effects, although they rarely occur.
A vaccine-related injury happens when a person suffers an allergic reaction or other related side effects after getting a vaccine.
If you believe a vaccine has injured you, you may be entitled to file a claim with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) or file a civil lawsuit in court to sue the at-fault parties. However, filing a vaccine injury claim is a challenging and complicated process, especially if you don’t know where to begin.
Still, there are ways to obtain favorable outcomes when you take this course of action. As a concerned citizen, it’s only right to have entities you entrusted with your care take responsibility. Below are the do’s and don’ts of filing a successful vaccine injury claim:
Initiating a vaccine injury claim is never easy. Like other compensation claims, there are things that you should do to ensure the best possible result. These include:
Proving Causation To Establish Liability
To get compensated under the NVICP for injuries allegedly caused by vaccines, you must first prove the element of causation. You will only be eligible for compensation if you’re able to show the following:
- You got one of the vaccines listed under the Vaccine Injury Table (VIT). It provides a list of conditions and injuries associated with specific vaccines.
- You sustained an illness, injury, or disability listed in the VIT after receiving a particular vaccine.
- You suffered the symptoms of the injury within the period listed in the table.
Once you prove these circumstances, you can establish causation and improve your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. Aside from that, you can file a civil lawsuit to hold the alleged at-fault parties, like the vaccine manufacturers or the healthcare practitioner who administered the vaccine, liable.
But can you sue pharmaceutical companies for vaccine injuries?
The general answer is no. There’s legislation passed by Congress protecting certain vaccines and their manufacturers from liability. However, you may file a lawsuit in court against the healthcare provider who administered the vaccine if you can prove their negligence or abuse with evidence.
Presenting Expert Witnesses And Submitting Other Critical Evidence
Whether you file a vaccine injury claim under NVICP or as a civil action in court, it’s crucial to present reliable witnesses to strengthen your case and improve its odds of success. These are usually doctors and other medical professionals who can provide their expert testimony on the link between the vaccine administration and your resulting injury or condition.
Aside from expert witnesses, it’s also essential to submit critical pieces of evidence to boost your vaccine injury claim. For instance, you can request a copy of your medical records and keep daily or weekly logs showing the time of data when pain affects your daily activities. Also, keep a record of all the expenses you’ve incurred because of the injury.
There are also things you shouldn’t do when filing a vaccine injury claim. Otherwise, you may lose your chance of winning your case and receiving fair compensation for your vaccine injuries. These include:
Failing To Consider Some Limitations
Like many courses of action, you will come upon limits when initiating a vaccine injury claim. Failing to account for them may affect the outcome of your claim.
For instance, only authorized persons may be eligible to file a claim if they want to get compensated for vaccine injuries under the NVICP. These include the injured party, the injured party’s parents, legal guardians, and the representative if the injured party is dead.
Another limitation you should be wary of is the statute of limitations or the time limit wherein you can file your vaccine injury claim. Otherwise, you waive your right to seek compensation for your injuries. Hence, if you’re planning to file a claim, make sure it’s within three years following the occurrence of the first symptom of the vaccine injury, two years of the person’s death, or four years from the date when the first symptom occurred and resulted in death.
Not Working With A Lawyer
The vaccine injury claim process can be challenging to navigate. There are many requirements that you should comply with to have a seamless filing process.
For this reason, it may be best if a dedicated lawyer represents you. Failing to do so may jeopardize the success of your case and your opportunity to seek legal compensation for your vaccine injuries.
Thus, you should work with a lawyer every step of the way. They can guide you throughout the procedure and prepare all the necessary paperwork, including the evidence to be presented. They can also represent your claim under the NVICP or civil court.
Get The Compensation You Deserve
Vaccine injury claims can be complex. They may also take a long time to be settled. Because of this, you need to be prepared for the process by keeping the information mentioned above in mind. The more you know what to do about your claim, the better position you’ll have for your case.