Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

How Does the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Work?

In 1986 Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which established the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

The program -- often called the VICP -- is a no-fault system for handling vaccine injury claims. Congress intended for the program to be an efficient, less adversarial, less costly alternative to civil litigation. Why? In part to ensure that vaccine manufacturers are not faced with overwhelming legal claims that could threaten the production of much-needed vaccines.

Who manages vaccine injury claims?

Vaccine injury claims are handled in federal court by the Office of Special Masters. Each of the eight special masters is appointed by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to serve a four-year term. And each special master has two main functions: case management and decision making.

In this context, case management involves the collection of information and establishing timeframes for presenting the information, while decision making involves considering the evidence in order to issue an enforceable decision.

In many cases -- and especially in recent years -- the special masters have awarded significant amounts of monetary compensation to patients who have brought vaccine injury claims.

Why is it important to have an attorney on your side when making a vaccine injury claim?

In every case, to ensure that the claims process is streamlined and effective, the special master interacts frequently with the claimant -- or the claimant's legal representative -- and an attorney from the Department of Justice.

Although Congress intended for the VICP to be a cooperative, guidance-oriented way of handling claims, often vaccine injury victims need help navigating the process. An attorney with experience in this unique area of law is in the best position to effectively present the evidence and maximize the claim.

It should be noted, too, that one function of the VICP is to cover attorneys' fees. In other words, victims do not pay for their legal representation; the program does.

Schexnaydre Law Firm is one of the premier vaccine injury law firms in Louisiana. Because vaccine injury claims are adjudicated in federal court, our attorneys are prepared to represent clients from anywhere in the United States. Please see our vaccine injury overview to learn more. 

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Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC
2895 Highway 190, Suite 212
Mandeville, LA 70471

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