Vaccine Injury Law: The National Vaccine Injury Program
Downing, Allison & Jorgenson National Vaccine Injury Lawyers exclusively practices vaccine injury law. Led by Andrew Downing, the vaccine injury attorneys on the firm’s team have dedicated their careers to assisting clients in recovering damages from vaccine injuries and have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of their clients. Not only are these lawyers licensed to practice before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, but they also serve on that court’s referral panel as a resource to help families navigate the process. If you or someone you love has been injured by a vaccine, they can help.
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Plan: A History
In 1986 Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act establishing a National Vaccine Program, the purpose of which was “…to achieve optimal prevention of human infectious diseases through immunization and to achieve optimal prevention against adverse reactions to vaccines.” Program components included the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), to compensate victims of vaccine injury and death, and the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), a passive reporting system for the statistical monitoring of vaccine reactions.
The VICP recognizes side effects and injuries that occur regularly with various vaccines and identifies which vaccines are covered under the program.
The Purpose Of The VICP
The VICP’s primary two purposes were “to keep manufacturers from leaving the vaccine market, while at the same time compensating those individuals injured by vaccines.” Liability insurance costs for vaccine manufacturers grew rapidly in the years preceding the Act, causing prices for some vaccines to rise by over 300% between 1980 and 1986. The objective was to have the federal government, under the oversight of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), assume liability for vaccine-related injuries in order to simplify causation issues for those seeking recovery. The Program succeeded in reducing lawsuits against manufacturers, but the question remains: Has protecting vaccine manufacturers from liability provided a disincentive for manufacturers to improve product safety?
In addition to keeping manufacturers in the market, the VICP was designed to provide an efficient and cost-effective adjudication process for vaccine injuries that is not available through the traditional tort system. The VICP is located in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Vaccine injury cases are adjudicated by Special Masters who function as the judge and who hear only vaccine cases. Petitioners (claimants) are virtually always represented by vaccine injury attorneys or vaccine injury lawyers, who must be members of the bar of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The Respondent is the Secretary of Health and Human Services, represented by attorneys at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Claims are subject to limitations on compensation amounts and the vaccine injury lawyer’s fees.
For a copy of the government’s booklet “What You Need to Know About the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program”,
Need A Vaccine Injury Attorney? Call Today.
If you think you or someone you love has sustained an injury from a vaccine and might be eligible to file a claim with the VICP, don’t wait. Strict filing deadlines and statutes of limitations apply. The vaccine injury attorneys at Downing, Allison & Jorgenson National Vaccine Injury Lawyers are ready to help you. Call today at 480-701-0999 or send an email through the online form.