Florida Child Compensated by Federal Vaccine Court
Thousands of families who have had a child or other family member injured by vaccines have sought compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Established in 1988, the federal vaccine court was created by Congress and thus far around 4,000 victims have been granted $2.8 billion through the system. According to federal records, $202 million was granted to victims of vaccine injuries in 2014 alone.
Vaccine Court and Compensation Program
Most people have never even heard of the federal vaccine court or its compensation program. It started when pharmaceutical companies were facing an increased level of lawsuits in the 1980s by people claiming to have suffered adverse effects because of vaccines. At the time, most of the lawsuits pertained to the DPT vaccine. Juries would award millions of dollars per case, and it resulted in some manufacturers leaving the market.
To alleviate the issue, Congress created a federal program for victims of vaccine injuries to seek compensation instead of suing the pharmaceutical companies directly. The court system and compensation program is funded by a surcharge placed on all vaccines, and the compensation fund is now at $3.5 billion for potential awards. The awards are decided by special masters in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Federal Vaccine Court Law
Under the law, victims who seek compensation through this program cannot seek punitive damages like in civil court. However, the process in vaccine court is faster and requires a lower burden of proof. The law has developed a table of injuries that list certain symptoms that can result from vaccines if they occur in a certain time period after vaccination. The majority of cases that are brought in front of the vaccine court involve injuries that arose within the table of injuries. For example, according to the table a person can be compensated if they go into anaphylactic shock within four hours of receiving a measles shot.
However, in recent years the court has seen cases that are less cut and dry. Victims are being forced to prove actual causation for their injuries as a result of the vaccine, and both sides are calling expert witnesses to testify. If successful, the awards from the vaccine court range from $1,100 to more than $30 million. Over the last 26 years, a total of 15,747 petitions have been filed with this court and 3,941 have received awards, which comes to about one in four receiving compensation through this process.
Call a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Today
Very few people are aware of the risks that can come with vaccinations, and fewer still know that this compensation for vaccination injuries exists. If your loved one has been injured as a result of an adverse reaction to a vaccine in the West Palm Beach area, let the experienced personal injury attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and confidential review of your claims.