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

WHY YOU SHOULD SEEK REPRESENTATION AFTER A VACCINE INJURY

“Is the pain I am experiencing in my arm after a flu shot normal?”

“Is it normal to not be able to move my arm after a flu shot?”

Asking yourself those very questions?  While the last thing anyone expects after receiving a flu shot is to suffer a shoulder injury, we have represented many clients who were once wondering the same thing. Often our clients come to us in disbelief that a routine flu shot has caused them months of pain and loss of mobility. After seeking medical treatment, it also is not uncommon for doctors to not attribute an injury to a vaccination or to not even be aware of the medical term “SIRVA” which stands for Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration.  This often leads to feelings of frustration and hopelessness for individuals seeking relief and acknowledgement of their injury.  That’s where we hope to help, by investigating and evaluating if your symptoms and injury meet the requirements for a vaccine injury claim under the VICP. And if your injury does meet those requirements, we can represent you in filing a claim with the VICP to receive compensation- all at no charge to you.

The VICP is a federal program, which compensates persons who experience a Vaccine Injury, which occurs when a Nikki Nobbe - Vaccine Injury Attornetychild or adult experiences certain adverse reactions after receiving one of several vaccinations covered under the VVICP. Claims for compensation to the VICP 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.

While most claims are settled, there are several reasons petitioners should be represented by an experienced lawyer in a case with the NVICP. First, if the claim meets certain minimal requirements, the NVICP will pay the lawyer’s fees, whether or not the petitioner is entitled to recover. This means the petitioner has no risk.  Second, if he or she is entitled to recover, those fees are paid separately from the amount of compensation received, and thus the recovery is not reduced by legal fees and expenses. Therefore, there is no reason for a person to not be represented by a lawyer in a Vaccine Injury claim.

Third, HHS is represented by lawyers from the Department of Justice (DOJ) who work on nothing but Vaccine Injury claims. When a claim is contested, the petitioner must prove the claim, and the DOJ lawyers will oppose the claim.  Proving entitlement can be very complicated, specialized, and time consuming.  It can also be very expensive.  Some cases require trying the case at an “entitlement hearing.” When the lawyer representing the petitioner has actually tried vaccine cases, the petitioner benefits from that experience by getting the best result possible.

Finally, even when a case is not contested, and the NVICP agrees to compensation, there will be a negotiation of the amount to be paid. Of course, the petitioner will want to recover the most the law will allow, and that is best done with a lawyer who is knowledgeable with the kinds of compensation awarded, and who is experienced in that settlement process.

Eighty percent of all claims which receive compensation do so by a negotiated settlement. This leaves 20% which are decided after some level of litigation.  Attorney, Richard Moeller tried his first Vaccine Injury case in 2004, and most recently in January 2016. Between then, we have been able to settle most cases, but the ability to litigate a claim all the way to an entitlement hearing is extremely important in maximizing a petitioner’s outcome because it can make a difference to the DOJ lawyers if they know the petitioner’s lawyer is willing to go to trial if necessary.

When we are contacted by a person who believes he, she, or a family member may have suffered a Vaccine Injury, we do not charge any fees to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim if it has a reasonable basis.  Also, we pay the expenses incurred 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 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.

VACCINE INJURY COMPENSATION FOR JUVENILE DERMATOMYOSITIS (JDM)

According to the Arthritis Foundation, Juvenile Dermatomyositis, or “JDM” is rare disease found mostly in children, which afflicts an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 children in the United States.  The first signs of JDM are skin rashes, often around the eyes or cheeks, on the knuckles, knees, or elbows, or on the chest and back.  Later symptoms are muscle inflammation causing weakness, fatigue, and pain. The Arthritis Foundation and Boston Children’s Hospital provide helpful information about JDM.

The exact cause of JDM is unknownNikki Nobbe - Vaccine Injury Attornety but it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, meaning something has caused the child’s immune system to attack the body’s blood vessels, which in turn causes the inflammation of muscles.  It is this autoimmunity factor which recently resulted in the vaccine court recognizing that JDM was caused by a child’s vaccinations.

Late last year, in October, a special master of the Court of Federal Claims ruled in favor of the family of a four-year-old child who developed JDM following his DTaP, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), polio, and varicella (chicken pox) vaccinations.  The special master found that one or more of these vaccines, in combination with the child’s genetic predisposition, resulted in an abnormal immunity response leading to JDM.  Interestingly, the discussion in the decision suggests the conclusion might be the same for an adult suffering from a Dermatomyositis disorder.

For more information about Vaccine Injuries, and what Vaccine Injury Pros can do for you, visit our Contact page or call toll free at 1-844-589-2889.

“SIRVA” and the Flu Shot- How we can help

We have touched on what a SIRVA injury is and the types of compensation for SIRVA injuries on our blog before. However, as we have seen many SIRVA injuries as the result of the flu shot injection and flu shot season is well under way, we thought it would be timely to discuss how we can assist those who have SIRVA injuries and may be eligible for compensation.

Nikki Nobbe - Vaccine Injury Attornety

“SIRVA” stands for shoulder injury related to vaccine administration. Our firm is experienced in representing individuals with SIRVA injuries in claims against the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program “NVICP”. Often clients come to us after they have spent months in severe pain and suffered with limited range of motion. They frequently have trouble or are unable to complete routine tasks such as dressing or washing their hair. Commonly the pain will keep them awake at night and they are unable to find a comfortable position to sleep in. Many have had to take time off from work as they were unable to perform the tasks that their jobs required of them. Furthermore, clients often incur significant medical bills while searching for relief from their vaccine injury.

In order to receive compensation for your injury you must meet certain criteria. You may meet the criteria for compensation even if you have achieved a full recovery from your injury. If eligible, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced, or continue to experience, in addition to payment for lost earnings. Lost earnings can include those which you incurred when you were unable to work, for example if you stayed home to recover from surgery or simply were unable to work due to an inability to use your arm. We have also worked with clients who have severe SIRVA cases and are unable to find any treatment to heal or alleviate their injury and cannot return to work, if this is the case you may also have a claim for future lost wages. Additionally, we work with clients to determine what out of pocket medical expenses they have incurred and expect to incur due to the vaccine injury as they too may be compensated.

Richard and Nikki work closely with each client to truly understand what they have endured as a result of their vaccine injury. This allows us to properly advise you as to what compensation you may expect to receive in comparison to similar cases and to properly advocate on your behalf.  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 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.

 

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.

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.