Attorney Fees and Costs
No Fee – No Risk – No Charges Ever. What does this mean?
It may be hard to believe, but our clients pay no attorney fees, costs or other charges. Ever. Our fees and costs are paid separately by the Court at the end of the case, if the Court finds that we filed the case “in good faith and with a reasonable basis”. This means that we advance (pay) all costs associated with your case. You will never be billed by our office for anything. And if you receive an award from the Court, you receive the entire amount of the award. When the case is over, we petition the court for our fees and costs separately.
No charge, no risk, no fees. Contact us today to discuss your case.
At this time we are not accepting Autism Claims. The Court is currently backlogged with Autism cases, and we are unable to get them processed in an expedient and favorable manner for our clients.
The number of vaccines covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is always changing, and new vaccines are added intermittently. The program originally covered seven vaccines, including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rublella, and polio. Later, it began to cover hepatitis B, hemophilus influenza type b (Hib), varicella (chickenpox), rotavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis A (HAV), meningococcal vaccines, and pneumococcal conjugate (PCV7). Currently the annual flu vaccine became covered.
Filing a Claim
There are many requirements for filing a vaccine claim with the Federal Court of Claims. First of all there are time limits, or statutes of limitation. To be eligible for compensation, claims must be filed, for injury claims, within 3 years after the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of the injury.
For death claims, they must be filed within 2 years of the death and within 4 years of the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of the injury from which the death resulted. Click here to see the HRSA guidelines.
For certain vaccines and injuries it can be more complicated, and be 2 years from the date of the Table change for injuries or deaths that occurred up to 8 years before the Table change. The table is a list of vaccines and injuries specifically covered by the vaccine act.
The Vaccine Court also requires a $250 filing fee, which can be waived in certain circumstances. The Petition must be served upon the Secretary of Health and Human Services as well.
A Petition must contain certain court-required information. The list of requirements is long and it is not possible to list all of the requirements in every circumstance or case. Generally, the requirements include the following:
A petition for compensation under the Program for a vaccine-related injury or death shall contain an affidavit and supporting documentation, demonstrating that the person who suffered such injury or who died:
- Received a vaccine set forth in the Vaccine Injury Table, generally speaking in the United States or its territories (exceptions for armed services exist)
- Sustained, or had significantly aggravated, any illness, disability, injury, or condition set forth in the Vaccine Injury Table in association with the vaccine, or died from the administration of the vaccine according to the timelines set forth
- Suffered the residual effects or complications of such illness, disability, injury, or condition for more than 6 months after the administration of the vaccine, or died from the administration of the vaccine, and
- That person has not previously collected an award or settlement of a civil action for damages for such vaccine-related injury or death
*There are additional requirements and exceptions that cannot be listed here due their length and complicated nature.
Petitions must also include the records of vaccinations and all medical records, including maternal prenatal and delivery records, newborn hospital records vaccination records associated with the vaccine allegedly causing the injury, pre- and post-injury physician or clinic records (including all relevant growth charts and test results), all post-injury inpatient and outpatient records (including all provider notes, test results, and medication records), and death certificates and autopsy records in the event of death.
For additional information, see the website at the National Vaccine Information Center.
High Risk Subgroups
Am I, or are my children more likely to be at risk for a vaccine injury?
High Risk Subgroups. There are many subgroups that are at greater risk of vaccine injury than the general population, including:
- Premature birth or low birth-weight
- Sibling or parent with Type 1 diabetes
- Family History of Certain Autoimmune disorders
- Vitamin D Deficiency
- Sibling or parent with Asthma
- Poor immune function
- Moderate or severe illness
- Mitochondrial Disease
The Claims Process
Under the VICP, a claimant files a claim instead of filing a lawsuit against the vaccine manufacturer or vaccine administrator (doctor or nurse for example). Individuals file a Petition for no fault compensation in the Federal Court of Claims. The Secretary of Human Services, and their attorneys at the Justice Department, determine whether to concede the claim or defend against it. Special Masters function similar to trial judges, and make final decisions on the claims. Rulings by the Special Masters can be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and then appealed further to the U.S. Supreme Court.