Why You Should Seek Representation After a Vaccine Injury
April 25, 2018
“Is the pain I am experiencing in my arm after a flu shot normal?”
“Is it normal to not be able to move my arm after a flu shot?”
Asking yourself those very questions? While the last thing anyone expects after receiving a flu shot is to suffer a shoulder injury, we have represented many clients who were once wondering the same thing. Often our clients come to us in disbelief that a routine flu shot has caused them months of pain and loss of mobility. After seeking medical treatment, it also is not uncommon for doctors to not attribute an injury to a vaccination or to not even be aware of the medical term “SIRVA” which stands for Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration. This often leads to feelings of frustration and hopelessness for individuals seeking relief and acknowledgement of their injury. That's where we hope to help, by investigating and evaluating if your symptoms and injury meet the requirements for a vaccine injury claim under the VICP. And if your injury does meet those requirements, we can represent you in filing a claim with the VICP to receive compensation- all at no charge to you.
The VICP is a federal program, which compensates persons who experience a Vaccine Injury, which occurs when a child or adult experiences certain adverse reactions after receiving one of several vaccinations covered under the VVICP. Claims for compensation to the VICP are made to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims located in Washington, D.C., by filing a petition. Most “petitioners” are represented by lawyers. A lawyer representing a petitioner must be admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
While most claims are settled, there are several reasons petitioners should be represented by an experienced lawyer in a case with the NVICP. First, if the claim meets certain minimal requirements, the NVICP will pay the lawyer's fees, whether or not the petitioner is entitled to recover. This means the petitioner has no risk. Second, if he or she is entitled to recover, those fees are paid separately from the amount of compensation received, and thus the recovery is not reduced by legal fees and expenses. Therefore, there is no reason for a person to not be represented by a lawyer in a Vaccine Injury claim.
Third, HHS is represented by lawyers from the Department of Justice (DOJ) who work on nothing but Vaccine Injury claims. When a claim is contested, the petitioner must prove the claim, and the DOJ lawyers will oppose the claim. Proving entitlement can be very complicated, specialized, and time consuming. It can also be very expensive. Some cases require trying the case at an “entitlement hearing.” When the lawyer representing the petitioner has actually tried vaccine cases, the petitioner benefits from that experience by getting the best result possible.
Finally, even when a case is not contested, and the NVICP agrees to compensation, there will be a negotiation of the amount to be paid. Of course, the petitioner will want to recover the most the law will allow, and that is best done with a lawyer who is knowledgeable with the kinds of compensation awarded, and who is experienced in that settlement process.
Eighty percent of all claims which receive compensation do so by a negotiated settlement. This leaves 20% which are decided after some level of litigation. Attorney, Richard Moeller tried his first Vaccine Injury case in 2004, and most recently in January 2016. Between then, we have been able to settle most cases, but the ability to litigate a claim all the way to an entitlement hearing is extremely important in maximizing a petitioner's outcome because it can make a difference to the DOJ lawyers if they know the petitioner's lawyer is willing to go to trial if necessary.
When we are contacted by a person who believes he, she, or a family member may have suffered a Vaccine Injury, we do not charge any fees to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim if it has a reasonable basis. Also, we pay the expenses incurred to pursue the claim.
You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page. And you can learn more about the NVICP and the firm's representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog.