Compensation for SIRVA Injuries in the VICP

Nikki Blazey - Vaccine Injury AttornetyLast month we asked the question- Are SIRVA Injuries on the Rise? A recent survey of data provided by the Vaccine Court answers that question “Yes” in terms of compensation for claims made to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). “SIRVA” stands for shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, and describes a reaction that follows a vaccination, usually the flu shot, resulting in immediate and lasting pain in the arm or shoulder area beyond the site of the injection.

Since 2014, the VICP has assigned certain claims to a special processing unit, for cases which are expected from the outset to be compensated. As of March 2017, of the 742 claims paid by that unit, 515 cases—70% of the total—were the result of SIRVA injuries. These statistics bear out an answer we recently gave to a gentleman who called us after his own experience: Yes, SIRVA is real, they are on the rise, and you are entitled to recover if you meet the criteria for compensation.

When our firm is contacted by a person who believes they may have suffered a SIRVA or any injury from one of the vaccines covered by the VICP, there is no fee to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim. Nor do you pay us from any recovery you receive—our fees are paid by the VICP. You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page. And you can learn more about the VICP and the firm’s representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting our Vaccine Injury Pros website and other articles in our Blog.

Are SIRVA Injuries on the rise?

Last month I wrote about changes to the Vaccine Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury AttorneyInjury Table, which included adding SIRVA injuries.  The decision to add this type of injury came about after a study of shoulder injuries was conducted by Dr. Sarah Atanasoff for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.  According to Dr. Atanasoff, a review of claims filed with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) showed a pattern emerging with common features of shoulder pain following vaccination, with most being the seasonal flu shot. The study referred to this type of injury as “SIRVA” which stands for shoulder injury related to vaccine administration.  Often the patients felt that the injection had been too high in the arm or shoulder area, and experienced shoulder pain beyond the site of the shot.

The change in the Table recognizes that now, much more than in years past, many of the claims filed and entitled to compensation from the VICP are due to SIRVA.  And in our own experience, most of the cases we have filed in the last few years involve shoulder injuries following a flu shot or other vaccination, compared to the neurological conditions resulting from vaccines.  This trend makes sense if, as Dr. Atanasoff found, literature supports the possibility that these shoulder injuries can be traced to the inappropriate technique of injection, and if you consider the larger number of flu shots administered every year by non-typical vaccine administrators, such as pharmacists.  So, it may be that SIRVA injuries in the VICP are on the rise just because there are more vaccinations given every year and a growing awareness of that in rare instances they can lead to complications.  We list many of these conditions associated with SIRVA.

When our firm is contacted by a person who believes they may have suffered any injury from one of the vaccines covered by the VICP, there is no fee to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim.  You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page. And you can learn more about the VICP and the firm’s representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting our Vaccine Injury Pros website and other articles in our Blog.

How Vaccine Injury Pros Handles A Vaccine Injury Claim

People fear what they don’t know. In the case of seeking legal advice, people don’t know how a lawyer is going to handle their problem and how much it is going to cost.  Terms like “free consultation” are helpful, but do not fully explain what the lawyer is going to do, and how much you can expect to pay.

When Vaccine Injury PNikki Blazey - Vaccine Injury Attornetyros is contacted by a person who believes they may have suffered a Vaccine Injury, we spend whatever time is necessary to explain the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), the process involved, how long it may take, and what we do to determine if the facts support filing a claim. Our next step is to gather all of the relevant medical history involved in the person’s immunization, adverse reactions, and current condition. These include medical records from the person’s doctors, clinics, hospitals, and other providers.

Not all situations are eligible for compensation from the NVICP.  So next, we analyze those records and assess if there is a reasonable basis to believe the vaccination caused the person’s reaction, illness, or condition, and may be entitled to compensation under the NVICP. If that assessment requires additional expertise, we may consult with medical professionals with specialized knowledge.

If our determination is that the facts support making a claim, we will prepare all of the necessary documentation, file the claim, and represent you in the litigation. If it appears a valid claim cannot be made, we will explain that to you and advise you of any alternatives that may be available to you.

At all times during the process, we keep you fully informed, providing you with an explanation of our activities and findings.  And we do all of this without charging you a fee or requiring you to pay the expenses necessary to pursue the claim.  This is because the NVICP pays for that person’s lawyer, as a way to encourage them to seek compensation without incurring a financial burden. This means that if your claim is granted by NVICP, the amount of your recovery is not reduced by the fees paid to your lawyer.  Similarly, if we are required to hire an expert for consultation, or to testify in the case, we advance those fees and get reimbursed from the NVICP.

You can contact us about a possible vaccine injury by visiting our Contact page. And you can learn more about the NVICP and the firm’s representation of persons with possible vaccine injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog.

CHANGES MADE TO THE VACCINE INJURY TABLE

Back in December, I wrote here about amendments that were expected to be made to the Vaccine Injury Table (Table) for claims made to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). Those changes officially went into effect on March 21, 2017, and will apply to claims made to the NVICP after that date. The Table lists all vaccines covered by the NVICP and sets forth the injuries associated with them which are entitled to compensation.  As I discussed in that earlier blog, the purpose of the changes is to expand the types of injuries, resulting from vaccines already included on the Table, making it easier for persons with those injuries to receive Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury Attorneycompensation.

The amendments will expand the types of injuries resulting from administration of certain vaccines already on the Table.  Those injuries consist primarily of shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA), vasovagal syncope (loss of consciousness or fainting), and certain neurological conditions following the seasonal flu vaccine, illnesses such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP), acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN or AMSAN), and Miller Fisher Syndrome (FS).

How can Vaccine Injury Pros help you?

Visit our Contact page to ask us about a possible vaccine injury and how we can help. Or learn more about the NVICP and our representation of persons with possible vaccine injury claims by visiting our website at Vaccine Injury Pros and other articles in our Blog. Our lawyers are also found at the Court’s list of Vaccine Attorneys, and on the Member Directory of the Vaccine Injured Petitioners Bar Association.

Things to Know when Hiring a Vaccine Attorney

If you are searching the internet for a lawyer to help with a reaction or side effect to a vaccination, your results may be flooded with attorneys and law firms promoting their ability to help you with your personal injury case. And eventually you will find that none of those lawyers fit what you are looking for.

This is because your situation involves a “Vaccine Injury,” an area of law much different than ordinary personal injury. And the differences between the two are like night and day.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) is a federal program which compensates persons who experience a Vaccine Injury, which occurs when a child or adult experiences certain adverse reactions after receiving one of several vaccinations covered under the NVICP. Claims for compensation to the NVICP are made to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims located in Washington, D.C., by filing a petition. Most “petitioners” are represented by lawyers who must be admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

If you asked a lawyer specializing in personal injury, he or she may not even be aware of the existence of the NVICP (even most doctors and hospitals are unaware). The lawyer may tell you that in order to recover for your injury,  you have to sue the pharmaceutical company who manufactured the vaccine, or the doctor, clinic, or pharmacy which administered it.  And they would probably be wrong. If the lawyer tells you they will represent you for a contingent fee, they would not realize that if recovery for a vaccine injury claim is allowed, the NVICP pays the lawyer, separate and apart from the person’s recovery.

If you think you may have suffered an injury from a vaccination, the most important thing to know is this: whether or not you choose us, you should contact a lawyer with experience in the NVICP.

You can contact us about a possible vaccine injury by visiting our Contact page. And you can learn more about the NVICP and our representation of persons with possible vaccine injury claims by visiting our website at Vaccine Injury Pros and other articles in our Blog. Our lawyers are also found at the Court’s list of Vaccine Attorneys, and on the Member Directory of the Vaccine Injured Petitioners Bar Association.

What is a Life Care Plan under the NVICP?

For persons entitled to recover under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), payments can include past and anticipated lost income, pain and suffering, and unreimbursed medical expenses. In this last category of compensation, the Program often makes ongoing payments to the person under a Life Care Plan.

A Life Care Plan is a comprehensive assessment and explanation which sets forth an organized proposal for meeting the current and future needs for persons whose vaccine injury requires long-term or life-long health care and accommodations. It is prepared by
a medical professional with expertise in identifying and determining those needs and their associated costs, so that the person is fully compensated now and in the future.  A Life Care Plan will list in detail the needs and payments required for a person whose injury requires all kinds of assistance, such as medical devices (wheel chair vans, mobility equipment, hospital beds, supplies), home health care (nurses, aides, attendants, therapists), case management services, transportation, counseling, training, therapy, or home alterations and improvements to accommodate a disability. And because the Program requires that compensation be enough to enable the person to remain living at home, the payments will usually reflect those costs, as opposed to an alternative placement, such as a nursing home.

How can Vaccine Injury Pros help you? 

When the situation calls for it, we work with those professionals to get the best Life Care Plan possible.  As an example, for a woman permanently disabled from a flu vaccination, requiring life-long medical care, medication, therapy, devises, homemaker assistance, and other services, the Program funded a Life Care Plan paying over $619,000 throughout her expected lifetime. Similarly, for a gentleman aged 45, a Life Care Plan was designed to pay him over $1,300,000 over his expected lifespan. In another situation, a gentleman was paid $6,000 per month for up to seven years to enable him to pay the additional costs of a care facility of his choosing.

When our firm is contacted by a person who believes they may have suffered a Vaccine Injury, there is no fee to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim.  Also, the firm pays the expenses incurred to pursue the claim. Therefore, the case can be handled free of charge. And if the claim is paid, any legal fees and costs are paid separately from the amount the person receives, so that the recovery is not reduced by legal expenses. Therefore, there is no reason for a person to not be represented by a lawyer in a Vaccine Injury claim.

You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page. And you can learn more about the NVICP and the firm’s representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog
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VACCINE INJURY TABLE PROPOSED CHANGES

For persons having adverse reactions to a vaccine, there may be good news coming in the near future. On January 14, 2016, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services held a public hearing to receive information and views on its previously announced proposal to amend the Vaccine Injury Table (Table) for claims made to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). The Table lists all vaccines covered by the NVICP and sets forth the injuries associated with them which are entitled to compensation.  If the amendments become final, they would apply to petitions to the NVICP filed thereafter, which may be sometime this year. The purpose of the changes is to expand the types of injuries, resulting from vaccines already included on the Table, making it easier for persons with those injuries to receive compensation.

The NVICP is a federal program which compensates persons who experience a Vaccine Injury, which occurs when a child or adult experiences certain adverse reactions after receiving one of several vaccinations covered under the NVICP. Even if the injury is not included on the Table, as long as the vaccine is listed, the person can file an “Off-Table” claim.  Claims for compensation to the NVICP are made to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims located in Washington, D.C., by filing a petition. Most “petitioners” are represented by lawyers.
Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury Attorney

The purpose of the Table is to enable petitioners to more easily meet the criteria for eligibility for compensation. The proposed amendments will add certain injuries resulting from administration of certain vaccines already on the Table.  Those injuries consist primarily of shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA), vasovagal syncope (loss of consciousness or fainting), and certain neurological conditions following the seasonal flu vaccine, illnesses such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP), acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN or AMSAN), and Miller Fisher Syndrome (FS).

Even though the amendments are not yet in effect, the NVICP often compensates persons with these injuries, and often using a procedure designed to speed up a decision on the claim without extensive litigation.

How can Vaccine Injury Pros help you? 

When our firm is contacted by a person who believes he, she, or a family member may have suffered a SIRVA or other Vaccine Injury, there is no fee to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim.  Also, the firm pays the expenses incurred to pursue the claim. Therefore, the case can be handled free of charge. And if the claim is paid, any legal fees and costs are paid separately from the amount the person receives, so that the recovery is not reduced by legal expenses. Therefore, there is no reason for a person to not be represented by a lawyer in a SIRVA or Vaccine Injury claim.

You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page. And you can learn more about the NVICP and the firm’s representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog.

What is the Vaccine Injury Table?

Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury AttorneyIf you are searching for the term “Vaccine Injury Table,” you may be looking for information about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). The NVICP is a federal program which compensates persons who experience a Vaccine Injury, which occurs when a child or adult experiences certain adverse reactions after receiving one of several vaccinations covered under the NVICP.

Claims for compensation to the NVICP are made to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims located in Washington, D.C., by filing a petition.  Most “petitioners” are represented by lawyers. An attorney representing a petitioner must be admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

The “Vaccine Injury Table” refers to a chart listing the most common vaccines or immunizations administered, such as DTaP vaccine, MMR vaccine, varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, and polio vaccine for children, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil) for adolescents and young adults, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis booster vaccines for adults, and the seasonal flu vaccine for persons of all ages.  If a person experiences a side effect or adverse reaction from a vaccine on the Table, and the condition lasts for six months or more, he or she may be entitle to compensation under the NVICP.  You can view the Table at the NVICP’s website.

The Table has three columns: (1) the type of vaccine, (2) the adverse reactions associated with the vaccine, and (3) the time period from the administration of the vaccine to the onset of symptoms.  A person is generally entitled to recover compensation if he or she can show their condition fits the three columns on the Table.  So for example, if a person is diagnosed with brachial neuritis after a tetanus shot, and the first sign of the condition occurs after two days but before 28 days, he is probably entitled to recover.  That type of claim will be classified as a “Table Injury.”

Some of the vaccines listed in the Table have “No Condition Specified” in the second column and “Not applicable” in the third column.  This does not mean that the vaccine is not covered.  As long as the vaccine is listed in the first column it is covered.  Instead this means that the person who suffers an adverse reaction must prove that the vaccine actually caused the injury.  This is known as a “Non-Table” or “Off-Table” Injury.  Unlike a “Table Injury,” the person must prove more than timing, and more than the fact that the illness or condition followed administration of the vaccine.  In fact, proving causation requires medical evidence, including health records and very often the use of medical experts.

The purpose of the Table is to enable persons to more easily meet the criteria for eligibility for compensation. However, it is not always that easy. Also, even if eligibility is established, the person must then prove the amount of the compensation. Fortunately the NVICP encourages persons to be represented by lawyers in either a Table or Non-Table Vaccine Injury case, because in most cases the NVICP will pay the lawyer’s fees, whether or not the petitioner is entitled to recover. And if he or she is entitled to recover, those fees are paid separately from the amount they receive and the recovery is not reduced by legal expenses. Therefore, there is no reason for a person to not be represented by a lawyer in a Vaccine Injury claim.

When our firm is contacted by a person who believes he, she, or a family member may have suffered a Vaccine Injury, there is no fee to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim.  Also, the firm pays the expenses incurred to pursue the claim. Therefore, the case can be handled free of charge.

You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by contacting Richard Moeller at 712-252-0020 or email Richard at RMoeller@MooreHeffernanlaw.com.  And you can learn more about the NVICP and the firm’s representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog.

What is a SIRVA Injury?

Earlier this month I discussed what a “Vaccine Injury” is in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). More and more, the NVICP is compensating persons who have a particular kind of Vaccine Injury called a “SIRVA” which stands for shoulder injury related to vaccine administration. Just as it sounds, it is an injury that follows the injection of the needle in the shoulder during a vaccination, causing sudden and ongoing pain, limited range of motion, and sometimes damage to the shoulder structures, requiring surgery.  Most often the person will have little or no history of shoulder problems, with the onset of pain, dysfunction, or discomfort very soon after the vaccination. It is believed that most SIRVA injuries are caused by the improper insertion or placement of the needle into shoulder area.  Some may result from an immune reaction with the vaccine, causing a neurological injury.

Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury AttorneyAs with any Vaccine Injury, the NVICP will only compensate persons who receive one of the vaccines covered by the program. The vaccines go by several different names: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, DTaP, Tdap, DTP, P, DTP-Hib, DT, Td, TT, measles, mumps, rubella, MMR vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, Hib, varicella vaccine, chicken pox vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate, meningococcal, PCV vaccine, Prevnar, polio, OPV, IPV, flu vaccine, trivalent influenza vaccine, seasonal flu vaccine, human papillomavirus vaccine, HPV vaccine, Cervarix, and Gardasil.

Injuries or conditions association with SIRVA include: arm pain, shoulder pain, shoulder dysfunction, limited range of motion or lack of flexibility, inflammation, shoulder bursitis, granuloma, tendinopathy, adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder, post-injection inflammatory reaction, subacromial bursitis, bicipital tendonitis, radiculopathy, humerus contusions, supraspinatus injury, subacromial bursa effusion, impingement syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, rotator cuff injury, Parsonage-Turner syndrome, and brachial neuritis.  Some doctors are even recommending that SIRVA be incorporated into the possible causes of prolonged shoulder pain.

If a person has a SIRVA, they may be entitled to compensation from the NVICP. Claims for compensation to the NVICP are made to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims located in Washington, D.C., by filing a petition.  Most “petitioners” are represented by lawyers. A lawyer representing a petitioner must be admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

When our firm is contacted by a person who believes he, she, or a family member may have suffered a SIRVA or other Vaccine Injury, there is no fee to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim.  Also, the firm pays the expenses incurred to pursue the claim. Therefore, the case can be handled free of charge. And if the claim is paid, any legal fees and costs are paid separately from the amount the person receives, so that the recovery is not reduced by legal expenses. Therefore, there is no reason for a person to not be represented by a lawyer in a SIRVA or Vaccine Injury claim.

You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page. And you can learn more about the NVICP and the firm’s representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog.

What is a Vaccine Injury?

Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury AttorneyIf you have heard of the term “Vaccine Injury” then you may be looking for information about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). The NVICP is a federal program which compensates persons who experience a Vaccine Injury, which occurs when a child or adult experiences certain adverse reactions after receiving one of several vaccinations covered under the NVICP.

The vaccines in the NVICP go by several different names: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, DTaP, Tdap, DTP, P, DTP-Hib, DT, Td, TT, measles, mumps, rubella, MMR vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, Hib, varicella vaccine, chicken pox vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate, meningococcal, PCV vaccine, Prevnar, polio, OPV, IPV, flu vaccine, trivalent influenza vaccine, seasonal flu vaccine, human papillomavirus vaccine, HPV vaccine, Cervarix, and Gardasil. Injuries from these vaccines often include Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP), motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN), Miller-Fisher syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), transverse myelitis, demyelinating disease, autoimmune disorders and diseases, immunodeficiencies, seizure disorder, epilepsy, neurologic disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), encephalomyelitis, encephalopathy, anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock, brachial neuritis, shoulder injury resulting from vaccine administration (SIRVA), granuloma, tendinopathy, adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder, post-injection inflammatory reaction, subacromial bursitis, bicipital tendonitis, impingement syndrome, Parsonage-Turner syndrome, and other adverse reactions.  There are other criteria which must be met for a person to be eligible under the NVICP.

Thus if a person has had one of these vaccines, and suffered one of these illnesses or conditions, they may have a Vaccine Injury and entitled to compensation from the NVICP.  Claims for compensation to the NVICP are made to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims located in Washington, D.C., by filing a petition.  Most “petitioners” are represented by lawyers. A lawyer representing a petitioner must be admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

When the firm is contacted by a person who believes he, she, or a family member may have suffered a Vaccine Injury, there is no fee to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim if it has a reasonable basis.  Also, the firm normally pays the expenses incurred to pursue the claim. Therefore, the case can be handled free of charge. And if the claim is paid, any fees and costs are paid separately from the amount the person receives, so that the recovery is not reduced by legal expenses. Therefore, there is no reason for a person to not be represented by a lawyer in a Vaccine Injury claim.

You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page. And you can learn more about the NVICP and the firm’s representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog.