Seattle Vaccine Injury Lawyers
Vaccines are one of the clear triumphs of modern medicine. They have successfully reduced the occurrence of many terrible and deadly diseases, including smallpox, diphtheria, measles, mumps, tetanus, hepatitis A & B, tuberculosis, rubella, whooping cough, polio, and malaria. Some diseases have been eradicated in parts of the world.
When scientists create new vaccines, their goal is to make them as effective and safe as possible. A majority of individuals can receive vaccines with little worry, and most side-effects are temporary and mild. However, some people can have severe reactions to vaccines with life-changing injuries.
If you or your child suffered have suffered severe injuries from a vaccine, you should talk with a Seattle vaccine injury lawyer about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). We can investigate your case and if necessary file a petition and pursue compensation on your behalf.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The NVICP is a no-fault system that individuals can use to pursue compensation instead of filing a lawsuit against a medical provider or vaccine manufacturer. The program was formed in the 1980s as part of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. This act and program were initiated in response to many civil lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies and health care providers.
Congress feared the lawsuits against vaccine makers and providers might lead to a vaccine shortage or reduce the rate of children and adults receiving appropriate and beneficial vaccines.
If you or your child received a vaccine that is covered by the NVICP and suffered a severe reaction, we can file a petition with the NVICP program and seek compensation for your injuries
Vaccines Covered by the NVICP
You can file a petition for compensation if you or your child suffered a severe reaction to a vaccine that is covered under the act. Most routine vaccines in the U.S. are covered.
The NVICP covers vaccines containing:
- Tetanus toxoid (e.g., DTaP, DTP, DT, Td, or TT)
- Whole cell pertussis bacteria, extracted or partial cell pertussis bacteria, or specific pertussis antigen(s) (e.g., DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib)
- Measles, mumps, and rubella virus or any of its components (e.g., MMR, MM, MMRV)
- Rubella virus (e.g., MMR, MMRV)
- Measles virus (e.g., MMR, MM, MMRV)
- Polio live virus (OPV)
- Polio inactivated virus (e.g., IPV)
- Hepatitis B
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines A
- Hepatitis A
- Seasonal influenza (Not non-seasonal flu vaccines)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Covered Vaccine Reactions
The NVICP publishes a Vaccine Injury Table, which lists common injuries and conditions associated with these vaccines and time frames for the injuries or complications to appear. If your or your child’s case fits within the parameters of the Vaccine Injury Table, then the program assumes the vaccine caused the injury.
If you or your child suffered a different type of reaction or the complication arose outside of the typical timeframe, then you must present additional expert evidence that the vaccine causes the injury or condition.
Additionally, the vaccine reaction or injury must have:
- Lasted for at least six months, or
- Resulted in inpatient hospitalization and surgical intervention, or
- Resulted in death.
It is important to work with an experienced vaccine injury lawyer in Seattle to determine whether your circumstances enable you to file a valid petition and whether you will need an expert’s medical opinion to support your claim
Filing a Petition
You can file a claim within the NVICP if you suffered a vaccine reaction as an adult. As a parent, you can file on behalf of your child. You also can file on behalf of a child or disabled adult, if you are their legal guardian. If the vaccine reaction led to the death of your loved one, then the personal representative of their estate may file the claim.
You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to obtain compensation from the program, although the vaccine must have been administered in the U.S. or a territory. There are exceptions for U.S. citizens employed by the government or military abroad or when the vaccine manufacturer is in the U.S. and the recipient returned to the U.S. within six months of receiving the vaccine.
If the petition is for an injury, the petition must be filed within three years of the presentation of the vaccine reaction. If the petition is for a person’s death, then you must file within two years of the death and within four years of the reaction. You should talk with a Seattle vaccine reaction attorney as soon as possible about how long you have to file.
Menzer Law Firm Can Help
Matt Menzer has more than 25 years of experience in litigating complex injury cases. He is one of only a handful of attorneys in Washington who is admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to represent individuals injured by vaccines.
There are no upfront legal fees for filing an NVICP petition. Menzer Law Firm advances the costs of filing the petition, including any expert’s fees. The program then reimburses the attorney’s fees and costs when the case is resolved.