INCREASING AWARENESS- MAY IS GBS/CIDP AWARENESS MONTH

The GBS/CIDP Foundation International has identified the month of May as GBS/CIDP Awareness Month. For many, until a diagnosis of this disorder is made to an individual or someone they know- most people have never heard of GBS or CIDP. As I have written about before, awareness of the Vaccine Injury Program “VICP” is very important, this includes awareness as to the types of injuries that can result from a vaccination.

“GBS” is short for Guillian-Barre Syndrome and is a disorder that causes your body’s immune system to attack and damage your nerves. CIDP, which stands for Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, is similar to GBS.  Often, symptoms include tingling and weakness in the feet and legs that spreads to the upper body, paralysis, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, changes in blood pressure, and difficulty with bladder control or bowel function.

While the exact cause of GBS is unknown, the medical community has identified that it usually appears after an infection. It is also accepted that it can occur after vaccinations, even noted as a possible “rare” cause by the Mayo clinic here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/guillain-barre-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20362793. It is also recognized as a “table claim” by the VICP, meaning that if within three to forty-two days after receiving the seasonal flu vaccine you begin to experience symptoms of GBS, the VICP presumes that the vaccination is the cause of your injury. If you were hospitalized and required surgery or have suffered from the injury for over six months, or it is anticipated you will suffer from the disorder for that length of time, you would meet the criteria for a table claim.

We have worked on several cases involving clients who have suffered or had a child who suffered from GBS or CIDP. While we recognize that monetary awards can never take the place of what you or your loved one had to and still may have to endure as a result of their injury, the purpose of the VICP is to compensate for the suffering that has resulted and provide reimbursement for certain expenses. Compensation for expenses includes payment for unreimbursed medical expenses, and for any lost wages that were caused by your injury. In the event one cannot work again, payment for future wages may also be sought.  Our clients have received awards ranging from $100,000 to over $900,000.

If you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of GBS or CIDP and had an influenza vaccination in the weeks or months prior to that diagnosis, it is important to speak with an attorney regarding a possible claim with the VICP. We are happy to visit with you and discuss any questions about the VICP and claim process you may have and will do that, and if you would like, evaluate your case, free of charge.

You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page. You can also email me directly 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.

Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury Attorney

VACCINE INJURY PROS HAVE ADDED LIVE CHAT

Vaccine Injury Pros has launched a new feature, Live Chat. Lots of websites offer similar services, but ours is staffed by Ngage, a provider focused on law firms, with operators trained to communicate with people seeking legal assistance. When a visitor opens a conversation with Live Chat, the person is able to provide information to us 24/7, and allows one of our lawyers to respond as soon as possible. It is another way for us to reach people who believe they or a family member have suffered a Vaccine Injury and are looking for help.

How can Vaccine Injury Pros help you? 

In addition to Live Chat, persons can still contact us about a SIRVA or other Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page. You can also email us directly at RMoeller@MooreHeffernanLaw.com or NNobbe@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 DOES VAERS TELL US ABOUT SIRVA

Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury AttorneyLast month I wrote about the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.  VAERS is a federal surveillance system designed to collect and analyze data about adverse events after a shot or immunization.  The data collected by VAERS (except personal identifying information) is publicly available, and tells us something about the kinds of problems experienced by people.

In the most recent VAERS data for 2017, the term “shoulder” or “arm” appears as a symptom or complaint in roughly 5,600 separate reports.  For example, one incident involves a woman who immediately after the shot experienced pain in her right arm, which “on a scale of 1-10 it was 15.”  The next day her arm motion was limited and she was treated with pain medication.

The report does not give any follow up information, but if her condition lasted for more than six months, her injury probably meets the criteria for a SIRVA, which stands for shoulder injury resulting from vaccine administration.  As Nikki Nobbe discussed in a blog last June, SIRVA is a real injury and recognized as a Vaccine Injury entitle do compensation.  And SIRVA is now a Table Injury, making it easier to qualify. We have also discussed the prevalence of SIRVA injuries from the flu shot.

How can Vaccine Injury Pros help you? 

You can contact us about a possible SIRVA or other Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page or you can email us directly at RMoeller@MooreHeffernanLaw.com or NNobbe@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.

VAERS IS NOT THE VICP

Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury AttorneyIf you or your child have ever received a vaccine, such as a childhood immunization (DTaP, MMR, etc.), or the HPV vaccine (including Gardasil), or the seasonal flu shot, you may have been given an information sheet.  They include facts about the diseases being prevented by the vaccine, and possible side effects.

They also contain two other pieces of information: how to report a reaction to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and information about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) for persons who may have been injured by the vaccine.  The two are not the same.

VAERS is a national surveillance program sponsored by agencies of the federal government to collect and analyze information about adverse events and possible side effects that occur after a shot or immunization.  VAERS collects reports of reactions from the person or parent of the person receiving the vaccination, or the provider administering it, such as a physician, doctor, nurse, hospital, clinic, or pharmacy.

The VICP is much different.  The VICP is a federal program for 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 program.  When a person has had one of these vaccines, and then suffers an illness or condition, they may have a Vaccine Injury and can file a claim for compensation from the VICP.

It is critical to know that if you or your doctor makes a report to VAERS, it is NOT a claim to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Also, a report to VAERS will not extend the time to file a claim for compensation.

How can Vaccine Injury Pros help you? 

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 you should expect from a vaccine injury lawyer

Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury AttorneyIf you have found information about SIRVA, vaccine injury, and the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program “NVICP,” you know that there are many lawyers willing to help.  And maybe you have contacted some of them.  If so, hopefully they have told you what we will tell you…

  • Yes, we offer “free consultation” meaning we will visit with you about your situation at no cost to you.
  • Yes, when you send us a message about your situation, we will read it and respond to you within a day or two, and usually within a few hours. And we will try to set up a time to visit with you as soon as possible.
  • Yes, when we get together, in person or by phone, you will be visiting directly with a lawyer who has experience in vaccine injury cases
  • Yes, we will explain how the NVICP works, and what we can do to help you.
  • Yes, we will explain that, if we file a claim for you, we will pay the necessary costs and not charge you any fees for our services. And if you are entitled to compensation, those costs and fees will NOT be paid from the amount paid to you.
  • No, we will not, and cannot charge you a contingent fee for handling your case.

 

There are several lawyers who handle vaccine injury cases, and will do a great job.  We are confident our team at Vaccine Injury Pros are among them.  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.

Why you need to know about Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

If you or your child have ever received a vaccine, such as the normal childhood immunizations (DTaP, MMR, etc.), or the HPV vaccine (including Gardasil), or the seasonal flu vaccine, you may have been given an information sheet.  Those sheets include facts about the diseases being prevented by the vaccine, and possible side effects.

They also contain contact information about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) for persons who believe they may have been injured by the vaccine.  It includes a link to the VICP website, which describes the program and how to file a claim.  There, you can learn that a claim is a very complicated process, and that most persons are therefore represented by lawyers.

The Program implemented plans in 2014 and 2015 to better promote public awareness of the VICP.  Still, most people have no idea that there is compensation available to them when they have an adverse reaction following a shot or immunization.  To make matters worse, just as often the physician, doctor, nurse, hospital, clinic, or pharmacy where they received the injection or where they are receiving treatment will not know about the VICP.

 

The importance of knowing about the VICP and contacting a lawyer is critical because there is a limited amount of time to file a claim, called a statute of limitation.  This means that as soon as a person shows the first sign or symptom of the reaction, they have three years to file a claim, or two years if the person dies from the reaction.  And it doesn’t matter if the person isn’t aware of the program or even if they are not told by their doctor that the condition they have may be from a vaccine.

Richard Moeller - Vaccine Injury Attorney

 

How can Vaccine Injury Pros help you? 

Because of the limited amount of time allowed for filing a claim, when we receive an email or call, we return that contact quickly to visit with you about the possibility that you may have a claim for compensation.  There is no fee involved then or at any time to talk about the claim, or for us to investigate the claim, or for us 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  for a FREE consultation 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.

 

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.

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.