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 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.