Since Congress established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1988, more than half of all claims filed under the program have been denied. While the VICP is a “no-fault” program that entitles vaccine recipients and families to financial compensation without proof that their healthcare provider made a mistake, the program still has several strict requirements, and claimants must be able to clearly establish their eligibility to receive a settlement or verdict.
In fact, there are several reasons why VICP claims get denied. In this article, vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant explains some of the most common reasons for VICP claim denials:
1. Failure to Specify a Vaccine
To recover financial compensation under the VICP, claimants must be able to demonstrate that they have been diagnosed with a vaccine-related injury or illness. For most claims, it is also necessary to show that the first symptom of the injury or illness appeared within a certain amount of time following vaccination. As a result, it is generally necessary to specify the vaccine received as well. It makes sense, then, that nearly half of all denied VICP claims have involved unspecified vaccines.
2. Failure to Establish a “Severe” Injury or Illness
The VICP only pays compensation to vaccine recipients and families who file claims for “severe” injuries. For purposes of the VICP, an injury is considered “severe” if it: (i) lasts for more than six months, (ii) requires inpatient hospitalization or surgical treatment, or (iii) results in death. Many VICP claimants are unsuccessful because they fail to prove that their injury or illness meets the severity requirement.
3. Failure to Establish Timing of First Symptom or “Manifestation of Onset”
As mentioned above, in the vast majority of cases, VICP claimants must prove that their first symptom appeared within a certain amount of time following their vaccination. The VICP also refers to this as the “manifestation of onset.” If a VICP claimant’s medical records do not adequately establish the timeframe for the claimant’s first symptom or “manifestation of onset,” this can also lead to a denial.
4. Failure to Meet the Technical Requirements
The VICP has numerous technical requirements, and claimants must meet all of these requirements for the Vaccine Court to consider the merits of their claims. Omitting key information, failing to comply with the rules of the Vaccine Court and waiting too long to file are just a few examples of technical deficiencies that can lead to VICP claim denials.
5. Not Hiring an Experienced Vaccine Lawyer
Due to the challenges involved with filing a successful VICP claim, it is strongly in claimants’ best interests to hire an experienced vaccine lawyer. Most claimants hire a lawyer; and, since the VICP pays claimants’ legal fees separately from their compensation awards, it costs nothing to get experienced legal representation.
Request a Free Consultation with Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant
If you have questions about filing a VICP claim, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant in confidence, call 202-800-1711 or request an appointment 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.
Categories: National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program