Countdown to a Vaccine Injury Claim: How to Prepare for a Claim Under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

For many individuals diagnosed with vaccine injuries, filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is an important step in the recovery process. The VICP covers injuries caused by most CDC-recommended vaccines—including injuries caused by adverse reactions and injuries caused by errors during vaccine administration. In this article, vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant explains the steps involved in preparing to file a claim under the VICP.

7 Steps to Prepare for a Vaccine Injury Claim Under the VICP

While filing a vaccine injury claim under the VICP is much more straightforward than suing a healthcare provider in court, there are still several steps that claimants need to take in order to assert their legal rights effectively. The VICP has strict filing requirements, and failure to meet any of these requirements can lead to denial of a claim—even if the claim is otherwise valid.  

So, what do you need to do to get ready to file a VICP claim? Here are seven important steps for seeking vaccine injury compensation under the VICP:

1. Get Treatment for Your Vaccine Injury

One of the most important steps you can take when you are thinking about filing a VICP claim is to make sure you get the treatment you need for your vaccine injury. You will need medical documentation of your injury in order to file a claim, and your medical records will be important for determining how much financial compensation you should seek under the VICP.

The VICP covers all medical expenses resulting from vaccine-related injuries and illnesses. So, if you have a claim, your medical bills should be covered. But, if you ignore your doctor’s treatment advice or do something that makes your condition worse, then any additional medical costs you incur may not be covered.

2. Locate Your Vaccination Record

Along with documentation of your vaccine-related injury or illness, you will also need documentation of your vaccination to file a VICP claim. Depending on where you got vaccinated, your vaccination may be reflected in your medical records, or you may simply have a receipt or vaccination form from a pharmacy or clinic. If you have access to your vaccination record, you should find it and keep it in a safe place. But, at the very least, you should write down where you got immunized so that your vaccine lawyer can request your vaccination record on your behalf.

3. Start a File with Your Records and Receipts

In addition to locating your vaccination record (or writing down where your vaccine lawyer can obtain it), you should start a file with all of your other records and receipts that will be relevant to your VICP claim. This will likely include records and receipts such as:

  • Medical records for diagnosis and treatment of your vaccine-related injury or illness
  • Receipts for prescriptions and medical supplies
  • Employment records showing days or hours you missed from work

These are just examples. If you have any form of documentation that you think may be relevant to your VICP claim, you should stick it in your file to share with your vaccine lawyer.

4. Document Your Pain and Suffering

The VICP covers not only the direct financial costs of vaccine-related injuries and illnesses, but the non-financial costs as well. These are commonly referred to as “pain and suffering.” But, in order to seek just compensation for your pain and suffering, you will need evidence of these non-financial costs that you can submit along with your claim.

With this in mind, it will be helpful if you can start documenting your injury or illness’s non-financial impacts on a day-to-day basis. A good way to do this is by starting a “pain journal” where you record things like:

  • Your pain levels in the morning and throughout the day
  • Movements and activities that make your pain worse
  • Movements and activities that you are unable to perform or participate in
  • Events you miss due to your pain and suffering
  • Other ways your vaccine-related injury or illness negatively impacts your enjoyment, relationships or daily life

The more details you can record, the better. While this can be difficult, it is one of the most important things you can do to help maximize the value of your claim under the VICP.

5. Learn About the VICP and What to Expect Once You File Your Claim

The VICP is a unique program. It has unique rules and requirements, and there are strict deadlines that apply. With this in mind, it will be helpful for you to learn about the VICP and what you can expect once you file your claim. Our VICP FAQs are a good place to start.

6. Learn About Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Vaccine Lawyer

A key feature of the VICP is that it allows claimants to hire a vaccine lawyer to represent them at no cost. Hiring an experienced vaccine lawyer is another key step not only for ensuring that you are seeking the maximum compensation available but also for maximizing your chances of securing a settlement or award. For some important factors to consider when choosing a vaccine lawyer, you can read: How Do You Choose a Lawyer to File a Vaccine Injury Claim?

7. Schedule a Free Consultation with a Vaccine Lawyer

Once you choose a lawyer, you will want to contact the lawyer to schedule a free consultation. You can do this before or after you start taking the other steps discussed above. But, as you only have a limited amount of time to file a VICP claim, you should not wait any longer than necessary to speak with a lawyer about asserting your legal rights.  

Get Started with a Free Consultation with Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant

Would you like to know more about the steps involved in filing a claim under the VICP? If so, we invite you to get in touch. To schedule a free consultation with vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant, please call 202-800-1711 or contact us online today.

 

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.