Vaccines provide effective ways for individuals to protect themselves from dangerous diseases. No doubt, everyone has learned a significant amount more about vaccines since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that is certainly not the only type of vaccine on the market. Vaccines have improved lives and even mostly eradicated some diseases. However, vaccines can have side effects, and you need to know whether or not individuals can file lawsuits if they suffer from a vaccine complication.
Vaccine Injuries do Occur
Working past all of the controversy regarding vaccines that have cropped up over the last few years, it is important to point out that vaccine injuries are not new. The government and healthcare professionals have been vocal about acknowledging that vaccine injuries occur. Each year, thousands of vaccine injuries get reported to a national reporting program.
Some of the most common types of vaccine injuries that get reported include:
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Influenza (Flu Shot)
- Hepatitis A
- Pneumococcal Conjugate
- Hepatitis B
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis
- Haemophilus Influenzae Type B
- Human Papillomavirus
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella
Side effects from vaccines can range from mild symptoms, including rashes, to more serious injuries and even death. Some of the more serious side effects related to vaccines that can occur include the following:
- Encephalitis or encephalopathy
- Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock
- Nerve injuries
- Convulsions or seizures
- Joint pain
- Neurological problems
- Shock-like symptoms
What to do if You Suspect a Vaccine Injury
If you think that you or a loved one have experienced any odd or unexplained symptoms after a vaccine, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately. A doctor needs to complete a full evaluation, including tests in order to determine exactly what caused your medical problems. If you suspect that a vaccine you took caused your poor health effects, we encourage you to:
- Keep a copy of any medical records related to your treatment and the vaccine
- Contact a skilled attorney with experience handling vaccine injury claims
In the 1980s, Congress established the vaccine injury compensation fund (VICP). Most individuals do not have to prove fault for these incidents. This compensation fund is a no-fault system established to help individuals who have sustained injuries or illnesses after taking a vaccine. This fund was established by Congress after vaccine makers began to face lawsuits for injuries. In order to prevent the vaccine manufacturers from taking on the liability (and thereby encouraging them to keep producing vaccines), Congress passed the VICP. For a claim to be successful, a claimant will need to show a connection between a vaccine listed on the Vaccine Injury Table and their injury or illness.
The process for filing a vaccine injury claim is relatively straightforward, but it is crucial to work with a skilled attorney who has experience handling these claims. An attorney will be able to:
- Liaise with a medical expert to help review your medical records
- Use their resources to gather any evidence to help prove your case and be ready for a hearing
- Handle any communication between you and those responsible for carrying out the adjudication of the claim
Vaccine injuries do occur, but this does not mean that vaccines are not successful. Vaccines have saved lives, but they do come with certain risks. If you have been injured and you think the injury is a result of a vaccine, contact an attorney immediately.