Each year, an extremely small percentage of vaccine recipients in the United States suffer fatal complications. Anaphylaxis and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) are among the most common causes of vaccine-related deaths in the U.S., though various other complications can have fatal effects as well. Regardless of the cause, for families that are coping with the loss of a loved one following a vaccination, recovering financial compensation typically involves hiring a vaccine lawyer to file a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
The VICP Covers Fatal Injuries and Illnesses Caused By Certain Vaccinations
The VICP is a federal government program that Congress established in 1988 in order to compensate individuals and families who are affected by vaccine-related injuries and illnesses. Since its establishment, the VICP has paid out more than $4.2 billion to just over 8,000 successful claimants. While the majority of VICP claims involve non-fatal vaccine injuries and illnesses, families are entitled to recover compensation through the VICP when they lose a loved one to a complication from a covered vaccine.
The VICP covers fatal injuries and illnesses caused by vaccines that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend for routine administration to prevent the following diseases:
- Diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus
- Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)
- Hepatitis A and B
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Seasonal influenza
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
Currently, the COVID-19 vaccines are not covered under the VICP. Instead, these vaccines fall under the federal Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).
Who Is Eligible to File a Fatal Vaccine Injury Claim Under the VICP?
Only the decedent’s personal representative is eligible to file a claim under the VICP following a fatal vaccine-related injury or illness. The personal representative files a claim on behalf of the decedent’s estate, and then any compensation awarded will be distributed to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries according to the decedent’s estate plan or applicable state law.
How Long Do Families Have to Seek Compensation Under the VICP?
In order to seek compensation under the VICP, the decedent’s personal representative must file a claim within two years of the date of death and within four years of the first manifestation of onset of the decedent’s injury or illness. However, regardless of how much time is remaining, it will be important to start putting the family’s claim together as soon as possible.
How Much Can Families Recover for Fatal Vaccine Injuries and Illnesses?
The VICP pays compensation for medical bills, other out-of-pocket costs, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering. The specific amount a family can recover depends on the circumstances of their particular case. In order to calculate just compensation, the decedent’s personal representative will need to work with an experienced vaccine lawyer.
Contact National Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant
Leah V. Durant is a national vaccine lawyer who has successfully represented hundreds of individuals and families in VICP claims. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, please call 202-800-1711 or send us your contact information 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.