Vaccination Lawyers Serving Tampa, Holiday, Miami, St. Petersburg, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers, Naples, Bonita Springs and Surrounding Areas
Every child in the United States is required to get vaccinations in order to attend school. Many adults are encouraged or even required by their employers to submit to various vaccines as well. The ever-increasing number of vaccines promises to protect against both serious diseases such as polio, whooping cough and the measles, as well as against conditions that used to be a normal part of growing up and that often cause minimal harm, such as chicken pox.
While many vaccines do work to protect against illness, vaccines are not always benign, and they are not always medically beneficial. Many children and adults have adverse reactions to vaccines and, as a result of being vaccinated, experience life-changing and debilitating problems or even death. In fact, so many people suffer from serious vaccine injuries that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program exists to pay damages to injured victims and their families.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a vaccine, you could be entitled to compensation to help you to bear the burden of the physical, emotional and financial harm you endured. To get the full amount of compensation available under the law, you will need a skilled Tampa vaccine injury attorney to represent your interests.
At the Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.A., our Tampa vaccine injury lawyers are ready to help you get justice for your vaccine-related injury or illness. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 866-596-8507 or fill out our online contact form.
Vaccine Injury Statistics
No one likes to believe that a required vaccine could cause harm, but the fact is that both children and adults can experience significant adverse effects as a result of being vaccinated.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the Department of Justice (DOJ), are responsible for administering the National Vaccine Injury Compensation. HHS has compiled a number of statistics showing the extent of vaccine-related injuries throughout the United States. According to HHS information:
- Between 1988 and 2012, 8,641 petitions have been filed claiming non-autism-related vaccine injuries and seeking recovery from the program.
- Between 1988 and 2012, 5,638 claims have been filed related to autism believed to have developed as a result of vaccines.
- $136,001,600 in payments were made to petitioners claiming vaccine-related injuries just in 2012 alone.
- The total number of payouts made to petitioners for vaccine-related injuries between 1989 and 2012 is equal to $2,317,734,024.
These figures are staggering and shed light on the fact that thousands of people have been seriously injured and had their health and lives ruined by vaccines that they were told would help fight disease.
Types of Vaccine-Related Injuries
While there is some controversy over whether autism is linked to vaccines, the National Vaccine Information Center indicates that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has awarded compensation to children who suffered inflammation, encephalopathy or permanent brain damage, including autism, after receiving a DPT or DTaP vaccine.
Although the link between autism and vaccines is an open question that is still being addressed in proceedings before the Court of Federal Claims, the link between vaccines and other types of injuries or illnesses has been proven and accepted. In fact, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program lists the types of vaccine-related illnesses that are covered under their program, as well as the types of vaccines that are known to potentially cause illnesses or harm.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources has a table on their website listing each covered vaccine as well as potential complications linked to it. These include:
- Vaccines such as the DTaP, DTP, DT or others containing tetanus toxoid. These vaccines have been linked to anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock and brachial neuritis, among other problems, including death.
- Vaccines such as the DTP, DTaP, DTP-Hib and others containing the pertussis bacteria in various firms. Like those with tetanus toxoid, these vaccines can cause anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. They can also cause encephalopathy or encephalitis as well as other acute complications, including death.
- Vaccines containing the polio live virus. These vaccines can cause paralytic polio, vaccine-strain polio viral infections and other acute complications, including death.
These are just a few brief examples of potentially dangerous vaccines and of the many complications that can occur. Other covered vaccines include the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR); hepatitis A and B vaccines; Hemophilus and trivalent influenza vaccines; the varicella vaccine; the rotavirus vaccine; the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines; meningococcal vaccines; HPV vaccines; and any new vaccine that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends for kids.
As far as the types of injuries covered, if your injury, illness or condition lasts for at least six months and/or results in a hospital stay and surgery, then it can potentially be considered a covered vaccine-related injury.
What to Do If You Suffer a Vaccine-Related Injury
To recover under the national Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, specific steps must be followed. These steps include the following:
- Parents and guardians of injured children, as well as those who have suffered from a vaccine injury themselves, can file a claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The claim must be filed within three years after the first symptom of the vaccine-related injury occurred. If the vaccine causes death, the claim must be filed within four years of the onset of the first symptom and within two years of the death. You should have a lawyer represent you and file your claim for you to ensure you comply with deadlines and that you present the information you need for a strong case.
- HHS is considered the respondent. Essentially, this means it is the equivalent of a defendant being sued. It is typically represented by a lawyer who works for the Department of Justice.
- Once you have filed your claim, your case is reviewed by a physician who is working for HHS. If it is determined that a vaccine did cause your injury, then the DOJ lawyer and your attorney may be able to work out a settlement amount. This means you’ll be given a certain amount of money to resolve your claim.
- If you cannot come to an agreement with HHS, then a hearing occurs to determine if you are eligible for compensation and, if so, how much money you should get. The hearing is presided over by someone called a “special master.”
- If you are not satisfied with the decision the special master makes, you can appeal to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. If you are still unhappy with this decision, you can appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal.
This process may take anywhere from two years to 10 years to resolve, according to the National Vaccine Information Center. During this time, you’ll want a lawyer to advocate for you and represent your interests. Remember, the DOJ attorneys represent the other side, and you need your own lawyer to help make sure you get the full compensation you deserve.
Compensation for Vaccine-Related Injuries
The amount of compensation you can receive as a result of your vaccine-related injury varies, depending upon the extent of your injury and resulting damages. You may receive compensation for past and future medical care; legal fees; lost wages or earning; and up to $250,000 in damages for pain and suffering. This money is paid out of a trust fund that is funded through surcharges on all vaccines that the CDC requires for kids.
Contact Our Tampa Vaccine Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured by a vaccine, call Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.A., toll free at 866-596-8507 or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if our Florida personal injury attorneys agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if you recover money. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.