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Vaccine Injuries


Since 1995, Attorney Edwards has had successful experience in representing adults and children who have suffered an adverse reaction to the administration of various vaccines, including MMR; DPT; influenza; and many other vaccines that are commonly given and infrequently result in devastating and debilitating injuries. We can assure you that your claim will receive the personal attention of skilled professionals familiar with the workings of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program.

Millions of Americans receive a variety of vaccines, often required by employers or for school enrollment. For the unfortunate few, vaccinations can cause harm rather than the benefit of providing protection against harmful illnesses, such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, polio and a multitude of other diseases and conditions. For the large minority of those receiving vaccinations, the individual’s immune system reacts appropriately, but for a very few, it has long been recognized that some individuals immune system cannot tolerate a particular vaccination at a particular time, and a variety of harmful consequences result. The consequences of an adverse reaction range from fibromyalgia, paralysis, and many other disabilities, even death.

The United State government has provided a program to provide compensation to adults or children who have sustained an injury from a vaccine. The program is called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act (“NVIC”). You may access the NVIC and may offer answers to your questions about Vaccine Injury Claims through the sites below:

http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/vaccinetable.html

It is important to note that the NVIC Act is available only to those who have sustained a vaccination and have had an adverse reaction lasting longer than 6 months. Many questions about whether you or a loved one is eligible for compensation under the NVIC Program, can be obtained from the government website as follows:

http://answers.hrsa.gov/cgi-bin/hrsa.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php?&p_cv

If you have reviewed the links provided you will note that there are two tracks a Vaccine injury claim may take: 1. A “Table Injury” i.e. a covered vaccine that is listed on the Vaccine Table that has caused the described injury within the time period provided. If you have such a claim, the process should be much shorter and an award will be issued only after you have successfully met the criteria of a “Table Injury” However, it has been my experience that most injuries are “Off-Table Injuries” i.e. they do not fit within the requirements of a Table Injury because of the type of vaccine administered, the time frame of the injury does not fit the timeframe listed on the Table, or for other facts that would exclude your claim from the shorter process of pursuing a Table Injury.

If you have an Off-Table injury, you will then be required to prove that a vaccine was the most likely cause for the particular injury claimed. In such Off-Table injuries, the claim will take longer and testimony from an expert (your doctor may be an expert) to testify why the vaccine was the more likely cause for the injury than any other possible causes. Please refer to the Process Section below;

How do I file for compensation?

A claim may be made for any injury or death thought to be the result of a covered vaccine. Covered vaccines are as follows:

Diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DTP, DtaP, Tdap, DT, Td, or TT)
Haemophilis influenzae type b (Hib)
Hepatitis A (HAV)
Hepatitis B (HBV)
Trivalent influenza (TIV, LAIV)(given each year during flu season)
Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR, MR. M, R)
Meningoccal (conjugate & polysaccharide)(MCV4, MPSV4)(meningitis)
Polio (IPV, OPV)
Pneumococcal conjugate( PCV) (Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, cause bacterial meningitis, deaths, ear infections in children)
Rotovirus (RV)
varicella (VZV)(chickenpox)
Papillomavirus (HPV)(STD, cervical cancer)
any combination of above vaccines

Claims may be filed by the injured individual; or a parent, legal guardian, or trustee may file on behalf of a child or an incapacitated person. Compensable injuries are either those listed in the Vaccine Injury Table, which is found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2114 of the Act, or those that petitioners can demonstrate were caused by the vaccine.

The Program is administered jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (the Court), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The process is as follows:

First, if there is a reasonable basis for the claim, The Law Office of Donald P. Edwards will file a petition for compensation with the United States Federal Court of Claims Court. Next, a physician at the Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation, HHS, reviews each petition to determine whether it meets the criteria for compensation and makes a recommendation on compensability. This recommendation is provided to the Court through a report (Rule 4 Report) filed by Department of Justice (DOJ) who represents the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) although it is not binding.

The HHS position is represented by an attorney from DOJ in hearings before a "special master" who makes the initial decision for compensation under the Program based upon the medical records and the expert and non-expert testimony provided by both sides, the injured Petitioner and HHS as the Respondent. A special master is an attorney appointed by the judges of the Court. Decisions may be appealed to the Court, then to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, and then to the Supreme Court.

No petition may be filed under this Program if a civil action is pending for damages related to the vaccine injury, or if damages were awarded by a court or in a settlement of a civil action against the vaccine manufacturer or administrator.

It is not a requirement to have attorney representation during this process; however, because the Rules of the Court are very specific and must be strictly followed, many petitioners have made the decision to have an attorney represent them. The Act provides for the payment of reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, regardless of the Court's decision on compensability, providing the case is brought in good faith and there is a reasonable basis for the claim. An attorney who files a petition must be admitted to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar. Attorney Edwards has been a member in good standing with this court since 1995.

WHAT COMPENSATION MAY BE AWARDED
Vaccine-Related Injury
Reasonable compensation for past and future unreimbursable medical, custodial care, and rehabilitation costs.
$250,000 cap for actual and projected pain and suffering, emotional distress.
Lost earnings.
Reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

Deadline for filing: In Most Instances within 36 months after the first symptoms appeared.

Vaccine-Related Death
$250,000 for the estate of the deceased.
Reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.
Deadline for filing: Within 24 months of death and within 48 months after the onset of the vaccine-related injury from which the death occurred.
Please contact The Law Office of Donald P. Edwards for any additional information you have about pursuit of a Vaccine Injury claim. Please be aware that delay may exclude you from being compensated for your injury.

 

 




The above is not legal advice. That can only come from a qualified attorney who is familiar with all the facts and circumstances of a particular, specific case and the relevant law. See Terms of Use.

 
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