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Published On: Tue, Jul 7th, 2015

The Difference Between Vaccine Injury Compensation and Personal Injury Cases Explained

Awareness of the anti-vaccination movement may have only become widespread in recent years, but its roots go way back to the 60s and 70s. Today, the movement’s popularity can be attributed to the ease of spreading information via media, including the Internet. There’s also the factor of high-profile individuals speaking up for anti-vaccination.

Celebrities aside, there are more “common” people who have their own horror stories about how vaccines have affected their children.

Susan Lawson of Colorado had her daughter vaccinated when she was a year old. The vaccine was MMRV (measles-mumps-rubella-varicella), which Susan claims left Julia with permanent brain damage. Julia is now nine years old. This isn’t just some claim, though. A federal court deemed her case legitimate, and she got a payout.

On the flipside, there are also groups that speak up for vaccination – doctors, researchers, and other advocates who state that vaccines are essential and that there have been no direct links between vaccines and autism (which is one major point the anti-vaccination movement is founded on).

Megan Sandlin tells her own story from the opposite side of the spectrum. She used to be anti-vaccine, but upon doing much research, she came to a conclusion:

“In the end, I couldn’t continue to deny the science. It’s hard to believe now how easily I bought into everything I was hearing from the anti-vaccine crowd. It seems extremely obvious now: doctors aren’t evil, scientists aren’t trying to kill your kids with toxins, and vaccine researchers aren’t just trying to scam you out of your money.”

Still, due to the panic caused by health issues in the 80s, The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA) created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). This allowed access to vaccines, while at the same time laying down stringent measures for vaccine providers.

Decades later, the issue remains.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

The story of nurse Tarah Gramza of Phoenix, AZ concerns her daughter, who developed an autoimmune disorder. Tarah suspected it might have been caused by a vaccine. After doing much research she found a link between her daughter’s medical condition and the Gardasil vaccine that she suspected was the cause.

For people like Tarah, She has the option to obtain vaccine injury compensation via that NVICP. She has to file a case in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which makes the decision regarding the validity of the claim and the compensation rewarded. In Tarah’s case, she can file the case herself or hire a Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney.

An important detail that you must realize is that filing for vaccine injury compensation is different from filing a personal injury case – although the injuries may seem the same. With vaccine injury compensation claims, the requirements are different, and there are only certain vaccines that are covered. There are also time limitations regarding the period between the time of vaccination and adverse reactions, and so on.

On the other hand, personal injury claims are much more complicated, covering a wide range of injuries and circumstances. The cases can be filed in other courts – unlike vaccine injury compensation claims, which can only be filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC.

This is why, while an individual may file for a claim on his own is possible, it is best to consult with a legal professional.

Guest Author: Lolita Di

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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