Although vaccination has revolutionized the way humans treat diseases and led to the neutralization—and sometimes even complete eradication—of what were once widespread and life-threatening illnesses, it is not quite perfect in every situation. While rare, vaccines can and sometimes do have adverse effects on people who receive them, sometimes resulting in serious harm that can be expensive to treat and disruptive to one’s life.
If you are dealing with severe injuries or illnesses that you believe are related to a vaccination you received recently, contact a Bridgeport vaccine injury lawyer to discuss your circumstances. Depending on your vaccination record and the symptoms you are experiencing, you may be able to pursue compensation directly from the federal government, through a civil suit against a vaccine manufacturer or negligent doctor. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna can assess your case and explain your options in more detail.
As with other types of malpractice claims, the bar for filing suit over harm caused by a vaccine is extremely high. Minor side effects in the days and weeks following a vaccination are not grounds for a claim, nor are health problems that manifest during the period after someone received a vaccine but did not directly stem from that vaccination.
However, if someone experiences problems severe enough to require emergency medical care and/or surgical intervention, or if they experience serious symptoms for six months or more, they may have grounds to file a claim. Litigation may also be possible for people whose immediate family member suddenly passed away as a direct consequence of a recent vaccine administration, as a Bridgeport vaccine injury attorney can further explain.
The federal Health Resources & Services Administration implemented the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) a few decades ago to separate individual healthcare practitioners and vaccine manufacturers from litigation over vaccine-related injuries, in the interest of stabilizing and preserving the nation’s supply of crucial vaccines. This program currently covers various injuries and illnesses connected to specified vaccines, including:
Rather than the standard malpractice litigation process conducted at the state level, VICP claims begins with a petition filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to be reviewed by the Department of Health and Human Services and processed by the Department of Justice for a court’s final approval. Based on this report and often on testimony presented by both parties during a scheduled hearing, a court-appointed special master will decide whether compensation is warranted.
An unfavorable decision from the special master can be appealed, and there are a few pathways by which individuals who do not get a preferred result from this process can pursue third-party litigation against a vaccine company and/or administering healthcare professional. A vaccine injury lawyer in Bridgeport can go over recovery options for a specific situation in detail during a private consultation.
In many respects, vaccine injury claims work very differently from other kinds of malpractice claims in Connecticut. Making sense of your options and proactively enforcing your rights in a situation like this could be much easier with a qualified legal professional guiding you through each step of the process.
Meeting with a Bridgeport vaccine injury lawyer should be a priority for anyone wondering whether they might have grounds for a claim against a vaccine manufacturer, administering physician, or the federal. Call Berkowitz Hanna today to learn more.