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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.