Claims in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) are processed in two phases. The first is causation. Although there are multiple ways to prove causation, you have to prove that the injury you are claiming actually was caused by the vaccination. Next, there are table injuries and non-table injuries. Although the difference between the two will be explained in a later blog, in short, if you can prove your injury was a table injury you will proceed right to the damage phase of the case. If you have a non-table injury you will have to prove that the injury was caused by the vaccination. This process is more detailed and often times requires retaining expert witnesses and hearings (trials).
Once you establish causation, the next phase of your claim is the damages. Most damage awards are achieved by negotiating back and forward with the attorneys representing HHS and are reached by agreement (Stipulation). If you cannot agree, then you will have a hearing (trial) and an order regarding your damages is made by the Court.
Regardless of how you get to your damage award, you are limited on the types of damages you can receive. Although there is no limit to the maximum amount you can receive, you do have to establish a reasonable amount for past and future non-reimbursable medical expenses, custodial care, rehabilitation expenses and other related costs. You can only recover what your insurance does not cover, both in the past as well as into the future.
The maximum you can recover for pain and suffering is $250,000. You can also recover your lost earnings under certain circumstances. If a child is injured by a vaccine, a parent cannot recover his/her/their loss of earnings as a result of having to care for the child. There are some ways to get around this exception, one being if for future care if your child is injured seriously enough to require future in home care. However, for the most part it has to be the vaccine recipient who incurred lost wages before they can recover.
Finally, upon death, the maximum death benefit for the estate of the deceased is $250,000. This is not enough, and certainly $250,000 for past, present and future pain and suffering is also insufficient to compensate people and families. However, there are discussions about increasing the limit.
Your legal expenses including attorney fees and costs, expert witnesses, travel, etc. are paid for by the program. Even the filing fee is reimbursable by the program. Your monetary award is not decreased by the legal expenses and is not taxable income.
We have been representing infants, children, adolescents, adults and families who have been injured from vaccinations for almost as long as the program has existed. If you have questions or concerns about a claim or an adverse reaction please contact us by telephone at 1(800) 431-9776, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website https://khtlawyers.com for additional information. We are here to help you and your family through the difficult process of the VICP.
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