Families can potentially bring lawsuits against one or more parties in the event of injury relating to a recent vaccination in Missouri. Talk to a dedicated Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer for further information about this type of personal injury lawsuit.
Vaccines are life-saving substances that provide immunity from major illness and disease, such as hepatitis B, tetanus, and the flu. Unfortunately, the science behind vaccinations isn’t perfect. Sometimes, unsuspecting patients (often children) end up with serious injuries and illnesses from adverse events relating to vaccination or pharmaceutical error.
How Might a Vaccine Injure Someone?
All vaccines come with potential side effects. Although the U.S. has the safest and most effective vaccine supply in the world, injuries and illnesses are still possible. Serious side effects such as allergic reactions can occur, turning otherwise healthy individuals into emergency room patients. While vaccine injury claims are relatively uncommon, throughout history the courts have awarded families with settlements and judgments because of a drug manufacturer, pharmacy, or other party’s mistakes. Examples of vaccine injuries include:
- Allergic reaction
- Adverse drug interaction
- Unlisted side effects
- Autism and birth defects in newborn children
- Pneumonia and infections
- Wrongful death
Vaccine injury is a controversial subject and even experts disagree about it. Regardless of whether there is proof the vaccine actually caused an alleged injury, the injured party could still receive compensation for medical bills and other losses. In fact, the Health Resources & Services Administration states that over 80% of compensation in vaccine injury claims come from settlements in which the Department of Health and Human Services has not concluded that the vaccine caused the alleged injury. It’s worthwhile to speak to an attorney about your case whatever the specifics may be.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that provides compensation to people injured by vaccines in the U.S. Eligible parties can seek recovery through the VICP Vaccine Recovery Fund and avoid court. According to the VICP’s database, 5,362 people filed petitions with the program in pursuit of financial recovery for vaccine injuries from 2006 to 2016. Of these, 3,626 won compensation. Since 1989, the VICP has received over 19,000 petitions. The VICP has awarded a total amount of about $3.8 billion to plaintiffs since the start of the program.
The goal of the VICP is to deter lawsuits against the vaccine manufacturers themselves so that companies can continue to develop vaccines. The VICP offers monetary benefits to those injured by childhood vaccines to stabilize vaccine costs, endure an adequate supply of the medications, and provide an efficient means of recovery for people with injuries. To qualify for compensation through the VICP, a plaintiff must file a claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. An experienced Kansas City personal injury attorney can help file the claim. The plaintiff must have an injury allegedly from one of a list of specific vaccines.
Who Can File a Vaccine Injury Claim?
Anyone who believes a vaccine has injured him or her, the parent or legal guardian of an injured child, or the representative of the estate of someone who wrongfully died from a vaccine can file a claim with the U.S. Court. The plaintiff will need to prove that the vaccine in question caused the injuries. Retaining a lawyer can help those with vaccine injuries prove their cases and get the maximum amount possible for their claims, through funding from the VICP or from other means.
Successful claims can result in compensation for past and future medical costs relating to the vaccine injury, up to what is “reasonable” for the particular injury or illness. The plaintiff could also receive damages for physical pain and emotional suffering up to $250,000, as well as reimbursement for lost wages, attorney’s fees, and court costs. If you believe you have grounds for a claim, talk to a personal injury attorney to make sure you don’t miss a filing deadline.