If a vaccine has injured you, you may wonder if you can sue the vaccine companies, manufacturers, or pharmaceutical companies. The answer is generally no. In the United States, most vaccines are covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which provides compensation for people injured by certain vaccines.
To find out more information on if you can sue vaccine manufacturers, keep reading.
Can you sue vaccine manufacturers?
In the United States of America, the answer to this question is complex. While there are certain instances where you can sue vaccine manufacturers, such as when a manufacturer was negligent in making the product or did not warn of potential side effects, most of the time, you cannot sue the vaccine companies directly.
How vaccine manufacturers and companies are protected from lawsuits
Vaccine injuries are a rare but serious occurrence. Vaccines are designed to be safe and effective, and most of the time, they are. However, in some instances, vaccines can lead to adverse reactions or mild to serious illness in some recipients. If a person is injured due to receiving a vaccine, they may wonder if they can sue the vaccine companies or manufacturers.
Unfortunately, drug companies and other vaccine manufacturers cannot be sued for damages in most cases. The federal government has established a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) to provide compensation for individuals who have been injured by a vaccine.
What is the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or the Vaccine Court, is a no-fault system created by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. This program allows individuals to seek compensation for injuries or deaths caused by vaccines without having to sue a vaccine manufacturer or doctor. To receive compensation, claimants must prove through medical records and testimony that the injury resulted from a vaccine. Full compensation is available for medical and legal expenses, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering.
This system limits who can sue vaccine companies and how they can do it. For example, claimants are not allowed to sue vaccine manufacturers or doctors directly; instead, they must file a claim through the VICP to be compensated. Additionally, claimants cannot sue for punitive damages; they can only seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses.
In general, vaccine manufacturers and vaccine companies are protected from lawsuits because of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. This program also ensures that vaccine companies are not liable for any injuries or deaths caused by their products.
These cases can be complex and require a great deal of evidence, so it is important to seek out experienced vaccine injury legal counsel if you believe a vaccine was responsible for an injury or death.
Ultimately, the VICP provides an invaluable service by helping individuals obtain compensation without going through the lengthy and expensive process of suing vaccine manufacturers. If you believe that a vaccine caused an injury or death, hiring vaccine lawyers who practice in the Court of Federal Claims can help you determine whether or not to pursue a lawsuit.
How do you file a claim with the VICP for a vaccine related injury?
An individual files a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
After the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services medical staff reviews your petition, they will determine if you meet the medical criteria for compensation and make a preliminary recommendation accordingly.
The U.S. Department of Justice creates a report with the medical recommendation and legal analysis, then submits it to the Court.
A court-appointed special master hears evidence from both parties and decides if the petitioner deserves compensation. If they are awarded any, the special master also determines how much and what type of compensatory relief to give.
If the requirements are met, the Court may order The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to award compensation for attorneys' fees and costs, even if the petition is dismissed.
The special master's decision could be appealed, and those who don't agree with the court's ruling (or withdraw their petitions before a specific deadline) might file a civil claim against either the vaccine company or the health care provider who administered said vaccine.
What are the VICP-covered vaccines?
The VICP covers all vaccines recommended by the CDC, and included in the Vaccine Injury Table, including:
- Trivalent and Seasonal Influenza vaccines (FluMist, a live attenuated influenza virus vaccine; and injectable influenza vaccines FluShield, Fluvirin, Fluzone, and Afluria)
- Tetanus vaccine (Td)
- Pertussis vaccines (DTP, DTaP, TDaP)
- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella virus-containing vaccines in any combination (MMR, MR, M, R)
- Rubella virus-containing vaccines (MMR, MR, R)
- Measles virus-containing vaccine (MMR)
- Mumps vaccines (MMR, MR, M)
- Polio vaccines (OPV or IPV)
- Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV)
- Haemophilus Influenza Type B Polysaccharide Conjugate vaccine (HIB)
- Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine (VAR)
- Rotavirus vaccine (Rota Teq)
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
- Hepatitis A vaccine (HAV)
- Meningococcal vaccines (MCV4, MPSV4, MenB-FHbp, MenB-4C) which is commonly contained in the following two types of vaccines: Meningococcal Conjugate and Serogroup B Meningococcal
- Human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) which is commonly contained in the following three types of vaccines: Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix
It is important to note that some vaccines are covered by state or other programs and may not be eligible for compensation through the VICP. You should check with your local health department if you believe a vaccine injured you but is not listed.
If you think that a vaccine caused an injury or death, it is important to seek out experienced legal counsel to discuss your options. A qualified vaccine attorney can help you understand the complexities of vaccine injury law and determine whether or not you may be able to pursue compensation through the VICP.
What are the benefits of filing a claim with the VICP?
The VICP provides individuals with a fast and efficient way to obtain compensation for vaccine-related injuries. Additionally, because there is a no-fault system in place, claimants do not have to worry about proving negligence or liability in order to seek compensation.
The program is funded by taxes on vaccines, so individuals do not have to pay any legal fees or court costs if their claim is approved. This makes it easier for individuals who cannot afford a lengthy and expensive lawsuit.
How can you find out more information about the VICP?
If you believe that a vaccine caused an injury or death, it is important to seek out professional legal advice. An experienced vaccine injury attorney can help you understand the complexities of vaccine law and determine whether or not your claim is eligible for compensation through the VICP.
To find out more information about the VICP and how to file a claim, you can visit The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program website to learn more about vaccine injury law and the claims process.
What are some of the most common vaccine injuries covered under the VICP?
Some of the most common vaccine-related injuries covered by the VICP include:
What can be done to improve vaccine safety and avoid injury?
The best way to reduce the risk of vaccine-related injuries is to ensure that all vaccines are administered properly. This means following the manufacturer’s instructions, using sterile needles and syringes, checking for allergies or contraindications before administering a vaccine, and being aware of potential adverse reactions.
Additionally, it is important for healthcare providers to stay up-to-date on the latest vaccine safety information and to report any suspected vaccine reaction promptly. Be sure to use a licensed and certified professional when administering vaccinations. This ensures that the vaccine is administered correctly and that any potential adverse reactions are reported quickly.
Individuals should always consult with their healthcare provider before receiving a vaccine, as they can provide more information about vaccinations potential risks and benefits.
How can you find out more information about vaccines?
For more information about vaccines, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider who can provide accurate, up-to-date information about the available vaccines and any potential side effects. Individuals can visit the CDC's website to learn more about recommended vaccinations and the benefits of vaccination.
It is also important to stay informed about any changes or updates to the vaccine schedule and to ask questions if there is something that you don't understand. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before making any decisions about whether or not to get vaccinated.
Can you sue pharmaceutical company for Vaccine side effects?
While it is possible to experience side effects after receiving a vaccine, some of which can be serious or even life-threatening, taking legal action against pharmaceutical companies for vaccine injuries can be challenging.
This is because vaccines are considered to be a public health measure, and the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture them are generally protected from liability by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Congress established the VICP to provide a no-fault system for compensating individuals injured by vaccines, which offers an alternative to traditional litigation.
Under the VICP, individuals who have suffered from vaccine injuries, including those caused by the side effects of a vaccine, may be eligible to receive compensation for their side effects. To be eligible for compensation, the individual must file a claim with the program and provide evidence that the vaccine caused their injury.
While it may not be possible to sue a pharmaceutical company for vaccine side effects directly, you may still have options for seeking compensation through the VICP. A vaccine injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and guide you through filing a claim with the program.
Consult with a vaccine injury lawyer today!
If you or a loved one have experienced an injury due to a vaccine, it is important to consult with a qualified vaccine injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. A skilled vaccine attorney can help you determine if you may be eligible for compensation through the VICP and provide guidance throughout the claims process. Our Vaccine Injury Lawyers at My Vaccine Lawyer are here to provide you with legal advice and representation.
Contact us today to learn more!