Vaccine Injury Attorney

Vaccine Injury Attorney

Most times, vaccines function properly by enhancing the immune system’s ability to fight off disease. There are mild side effects with the majority of vaccines; often presenting flu-like symptoms, including fever, nausea, and body aches. However, there are occasions when vaccines do more harm than good, and patients can have an adverse reaction to the vaccine. About 1 in 100 people report experiencing more serious problems within 6 months of receiving a vaccination ranging from swelling and pain to death; however, no injury should be considered too small when reviewing its correlation with a vaccine injury.

What is a Vaccine Injury?

Vaccines prevent sickness and hence save lives. The majority of people who receive immunizations have no substantial side effects. Vaccines, like any other treatment, can produce adverse effects, but they are usually minor. Vaccines do not cause all health problems that occur as a result of vaccinations. A vaccine can occasionally produce a serious problem, such as an allergic response or other injury.

A vaccine adverse event (VAE), sometimes known as a vaccine injury, is an unintended consequence of vaccination.

Vaccine injuries can be product or quality defect-related reactions, vaccination process-related reactions (error or stress-related reactions), or unrelated to vaccination (coincidental), which are characterized as:

  • Reaction to a vaccine product
  • Reaction to a vaccine quality fault
  • Error in immunization reaction
  • Anxiety associated with vaccination
  • Unexpected occurrence following the vaccination

The incidence of vaccination injuries is exceedingly low when compared to the amount of immunizations provided in the United States each year. Vaccine injuries do, however, occur.

Types of Vaccine Injuries?

Vaccine injuries are uncommon, but they can result in serious health problems in both children and adults. Not every vaccine will have the same side effects, and some side effects are completely normal. However, there are instances when a person experiences injuries related to a vaccine that are abnormal. In these scenarios, one should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Vaccine injuries can occur at the spot of the vaccine or can have a consequence or harm that is not related to the injury spot. Common tops of severe vaccine injury include:

  • Should or Arm Injury related to the vaccine: Soreness and stiffness are usual after receiving a shot in the arm. Shoulder vaccination injury, on the other hand, is much more than a sore upper arm. When a vaccination is delivered incorrectly into the deltoid bursa, shoulder vaccine damage ensues. This disorder results in significant and persistent shoulder pain as well as reduced shoulder joint function.
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome: Although Guillan-Barre Syndrome is a rare condition, it can be serious and even fatal. The body’s immune system attacks the nerves. This condition can cause long-term paralysis in severe cases. The influenza vaccine, tetanus shot, Gardasil vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine, and other common immunizations have all been linked to cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Guillan-Barre syndrome often begins with weakness and tingling in the extremities. As nerves are damaged, tingling and weakness can spread throughout the body, resulting in paralysis.
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura: Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is a blood clotting disorder. After receiving the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, a child or an adult can develop idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Because the bone marrow is unable to produce enough platelets, the blood clots slowly. Internal bleeding, bleeding under the skin, or severe bleeding may occur as a result.
  • Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that involves the entire body and can be fatal. The body releases histamines and other substances to defend against an allergen during an allergic reaction. Allergens are chemicals that the immune system detects as alien or potentially harmful. The body can respond to a vaccine as if it were an allergen in some situations, resulting in anaphylactic shock.
  • Disseminated Varicella vaccine-strain viral disease: Rare cases of varicella virus infection have been documented after receiving a live varicella vaccine. Varicella (chickenpox) rash on the skin or infection of another bodily organ might be symptoms of such illnesses. A varicella vaccine-strain viral disease is defined as “varicella sickness involving the skin beyond the dermatome in which the immunization was given and/or disease caused by vaccine-strain varicella in another organ,” according to the Vaccine Injury Table from the HRSA.
  • Optic Neuritis: Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the nerve fibers that carry visual information from the eye to the brain. It happens when the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that covers the optic nerve, producing inflammation and damage. Optic neuritis can occur on its own or in conjunction with multiple sclerosis, Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, or Neuromyelitis Optica.

These are a few of the more common injuries seen from vaccines. There are many other injuries that have been reported after a vaccine, including: acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, Bell’s palsy, brachial neuritis, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, encephalitis, intussusception, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and transverse myelitis.

Who is Responsible for a Vaccine Injury?

Pharmaceutical corporations can be sued in product liability cases when their products cause injury. With vaccines, however, this is not the case. Congress passed a law in 1986 that shields vaccine producers from civil personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits stemming from vaccination injuries.

State law governs liability for injuries caused by vaccination. As a result, in the United States, there might be 51 separate sets of rules on this subject. Most jurisdictions have had no vaccine-related product liability litigation that resulted in a publicly available opinion, and many have had no medication liability litigation. Although extrapolation from prior product liability cases could be used to forecast how these states would treat vaccine cases, such extrapolation could be erroneous.

Under the principles expressed in section 402A of the Restatement of Torts 2d, a manufacturer that produces and sells a faulty vaccination that poses a significant risk of serious injury to the recipient is liable to any person injured by such defect. Due to its inherent or unavoidable dangerousness, a manufacturer is not accountable for the harm caused by a non-defective product. As a result, if a correctly constructed vaccination causes adverse side effects in a part of the recipient population, the vaccine maker is not responsible.

Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

A vaccine can occasionally produce a serious problem, such as an allergic response. Individuals who file a petition and are proven to have been injured by a VICP-covered vaccine may be eligible for financial compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Petitioners may get compensation through a settlement even if such a finding is not made.

For addressing vaccine damage petitions, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program offers a no-fault alternative to the usual court system.

It was established in the 1980s after lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and healthcare providers threatened to produce vaccine shortages and lower vaccination rates in the United States, perhaps leading to a recurrence of vaccine-preventable diseases.

A petition can be filed by anyone of any age who believes he or she was injured as a result of receiving a qualified vaccine.

Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

You must submit a vaccine injury claim with the United States Court of Federal Claims in order to get compensation. Although one does not need an attorney to submit a claim with the VICP, a vaccine injury lawyer can help ensure that a claim is properly filed. Because there are some eligibility restrictions, it’s critical to start the procedure as soon as possible.

A claim must be filed within three years of when the first symptoms occurred.

For a valid claim, the claimant must have experienced the symptoms for at least six months after the vaccine was administered.

The formal process for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program includes the following five steps:

  • File a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
  • The petition is then reviewed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and they make a preliminary recommendation.
  • A report is created by the U.S Department of Justice, which includes an analysis and medical recommendation, and it is then submitted to the Court.
  • The report is then presented to the Court-appointed special master who will then decide whether the petition is valid and if the petition should receive compensation.
  • The Court gives its order and informs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to award the petitioner the proper compensation.

The special master’s ruling can be appealed, and petitioners who disagree with the court’s decision (or withdraw their petitions within specific deadlines) can sue the vaccine company and/or the health care practitioner who gave the vaccine in civil court.

Vaccine Injury Statistics

According to the CDC, nearly 4 billion doses of covered vaccines were distributed in the United States between 2006 and 2019. The Court adjudicated 8,855 petitions over this time period, with 6,320 of those receiving compensation. This means that for every 1 million doses of vaccine distributed, approximately one person was compensated for vaccination-related injuries.

VAERS is the United States’ early warning system for vaccination safety after they have been approved or licensed for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Each year, the amount of VAERS reports submitted varies. VAERS received approximately 48,000 reports in 2019. Minor side symptoms like fever, arm discomfort, and mild agitation were reported in 85-90 percent of the cases. The remaining complaints are classified as serious, meaning they resulted in permanent impairment, hospitalization, continuation of an existing hospitalization, life-threatening disease, congenital deformity/birth defect, or death.

According to a recent article, non-table injuries account for 95% of the vaccine court’s activities. According to this article, shoulder damage following vaccination delivery is alleged in half of all new federal vaccine injury cases. Additionally, over 80% of all compensation awards in the vaccine court are negotiated settlements, according to the publication.

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