As of January 2023, 80.89 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the purpose of the COVID-19 vaccine and many other types of vaccines is to keep you safe from disease, it’s not uncommon for some people to have an adverse reaction after receiving the first dose or subsequent boosters.
Adverse reactions to vaccines can range in severity from mild side effects like low-grade fever, muscle aches and headache (these symptoms typically resolve on their own within a few days) to rare but serious adverse events, including myocarditis and pericarditis, severe allergic reactions, injuries and even death.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries or loss of life from a vaccine, your legal recourse is to seek compensation by petitioning the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program or the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (COVID-19 vaccine cases only).
Personal injury law allows individuals to seek compensation for the negligent actions (or strict liability) of another party that owed them a duty of care. For example, if a doctor misdiagnosed you or a pharmacist prescribed you the wrong drug and you suffered illness or injuries, you can file a medical malpractice claim against them.
It’s important to know the same rules don’t apply to drug manufacturers for vaccines. Vaccine manufacturers are protected from liability for any injuries or deaths caused by their products through federal acts like the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 and the PREP Act Declaration issued in 2020.
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA) is a federal law that established a no-fault system for compensating children and their families who have been injured by certain mandated vaccines. The law also requires healthcare providers to give parents or patients information about the benefits and risks of vaccines and to report certain vaccine-related injuries and deaths to the federal government.
The PREP Act Declaration covers COVID-19 tests, drugs and vaccines, providing legal protection to manufacturers, distributors and healthcare providers who are treating patients with COVID-19. The declaration states these entities will not be held liable for any harm caused to patients as a result of their treatment of COVID-19, provided they are acting in good faith and following applicable standards of care.
History shows that vaccines are highly beneficial to the public by protecting children and adults from infectious diseases and complications. Without vaccines, our world would be a much different place. Diseases like smallpox, the flu, polio and measles would still be rampant and cause widespread death and disability. Vaccines have saved millions of lives and prevented countless cases of illness.
Liability protection helps ensure that vaccine manufacturers can continue to produce safe and effective vaccines without fear of financial ruin due to legal action.
Just because vaccines are considered generally safe and individual manufacturers have liability protection doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to seek legal recourse and compensation in case of a vaccine-related illness or injury.
If you’ve suffered serious side effect after receiving a vaccine, here are the steps you should take:
Seek medical attention immediately: If you are experiencing a serious adverse reaction to a vaccine, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and provide the necessary treatment.
Report the reaction to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS): VAERS is a national system that collects information about adverse reactions to vaccines in the United States. Reporting your reaction helps health officials better understand how vaccines may affect people and can help them identify potential safety issues with certain vaccines.
Contact a personal injury attorney experienced in vaccine injury cases: If you believe you’ve suffered an injury due to a vaccine, you may be eligible for compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) or Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program. A skilled Florida attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for compensation and guide you through the process of filing a claim.
If your claim is successful, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and survivor death benefits.
If you or a loved one has experienced an adverse reaction to a vaccine, consider contacting personal injury attorneys, such as those at Kanner & Pintaluga. Our experienced injury attorneys can help you understand your rights and determine if you are eligible for compensation.
To schedule your free consultation, call 800.586.5555 today.
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