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Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney Explains Vaccine Injury Claim

Mellino Law Firm

Under normal circumstances, a medical malpractice claim follows a certain process: it must be demonstrated that a patient-doctor relationship existed, that the injury was the result of negligence or malpractice, and that certain damages were incurred. However, vaccine injuries are the exception.

When someone is injured by a vaccination, receiving financial compensation for damages and expenses follows a much different path than other medical malpractice claims do.In this case, you would benefit by consulting with an Ohio personal injury attorney.

As opposed to filing a suit against the doctor, nurse, hospital, or other usual suspect that would liable in a medical malpractice claim, you must submit a vaccine injury claim to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

The Inception of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

This program, enacted in the late 1980s, was intended to prevent costly lawsuits over injuries caused by childhood vaccinations.

These lawsuits deterred companies from investing in the development of new vaccines, and the families of those injured spent a great deal of time and financial resources in pursuing lawsuits against drug companies.

The VICP program provides a simplified approach to handling vaccine injuries and the resultant compensation. The system is no-fault, which is why the claims must be filed directly with the VICP, and is funded by a small tax assessed against each vaccine.

When someone is injured by a vaccination, that person (or their respective parent or guardian) files a claim with the VICP, which is then heard in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims by a specially trained attorney known as a special master. Provided that the claim is eligible, payment from the fund is ordered by the special master.

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was established in 1988 to help streamline the process of handling medical malpractice injury claims for children who had been harmed by vaccinations.

Injured claimants may be paid medical expenses and up to $250,000 for:

  • pain and suffering;
  • lost earnings; and
  • legal fees.

Petitions must be filed directly with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and to do so costs $350, although this fee may be waived if you can demonstrate financial hardship. The regulations for filing a claim are strict and specific, and it’s advised that you consult with an Ohio personal injury attorney who has handled vaccine injury cases before.

Eligible Vaccines for the VICP

Under the regulations of the VICP, certain vaccination injuries are covered, provided the vaccine is in the following list:

  • diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP, DTaP, Tdap, DT, TT, or Td);
  • hepatitis A and B;
  • human papillomavirus (HPV);
  • haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib);
  • influenza (TIV, LAIV);
  • measles, rubella, mumps (MMR, MR, M or R);
  • meningococcal disease (MCV4, MPSV4);
  • polio (OPV, IPV);
  • pneumococcal conjugate (PCV);
  • rotavirus (RV);and
  • varicella, also known as chicken pox (VZV).

As new vaccines become available for different maladies, they may be added to the compensation program. Updates are made at the Health Resources and Service Administration’s VICP website.

Consult a Personal Injury Attorney for Vaccine Injury and Medical Malpractice Help

If you, your child, or someone in your life has been injured by a vaccination, reach out to an Oho personal injury attorney who has experience handling vaccine claims. Unlike traditional medical malpractice claims, vaccine claims must be filed in a specific fashion and are governed by different regulations.

To make sure that you’re not disenfranchised by these differences, reach out to an attorney at The Mellino Law Firm in Cleveland, Ohio at (440) 276-3535.

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