Vaccines are an important part of a child’s life. When received on a regular basis, vaccines help reduce the risk of serious illness and even death. Without them, we would still collectively experience things like tuberculosis, polio, scarlet fever, whooping cough, and so many more preventable diseases and infections.
While generally considered to be quite safe, the administration of a vaccine is not, pardon the pun, immune to causing injuries in rare cases. Because of this, we thought it would be important to discuss what you should do in the event that your child is injured due to a vaccine.
Step #1: Evaluate the Perceived Injury
The first thing you want to do is evaluate the type of injury that seems to have occurred due to the administration of a vaccine, along with the severity of such injury. Some injuries take more time than others to fully present themselves, so it’s important that you track the progress of any ill effects that you believe your child has been experiencing. This will help ensure that you receive proper compensation when the time comes by allowing you to provide an accurate timeline.
Step #2: Contact Your Doctor Right Away
If you believe that your child has received an injury from a vaccine, it’s best to contact your pediatrician or family doctor right away. If those offices are not open, or cannot address the injury or illness quickly enough, then seek treatment at an urgent care facility or an emergency room. Even in situations where the injury may not be fully realized yet, a doctor can assess what your son or daughter has already been experiencing and provide you with advice on what to do next. Visiting a doctor also provides medical documentation of when the symptoms first appeared. If your doctor suspects that the injury is related to the vaccine, and once any acute injury or illness is addressed, it’s time to take the next step.
Step #3: Decide Whether to Seek Financial Compensation
For this step of the process, it depends on the personal feelings of an injured individual (or his or her parent), along with the severity of the injury. Whether you want to pursue financial compensation for your child’s injury is entirely up to you, but keep in mind that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program exists solely to provide financial compensation in the event of vaccine injury or illness, so it’s definitely something you should consider speaking about with an attorney.
Step #4: Check the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
Developed by the federal government in 1988, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or VICP, was created to assist individuals who have been injured by a vaccine with obtaining financial compensation for their injury or illness without going through the normal litigation process. The program provides compensation for a list of covered injuries resulting from specific vaccines, whether administered by public or private medical providers. Confirming that your child’s injury is on their list makes a claim that much easier.
Step #5: Reach Out to an Attorney
If a vaccine from the list harmed your child, then an attorney can help you move forward with making a claim for compensation. The attorney will also work with you to gather the evidence necessary for your claim and advise you on the criteria for a successful claim.
Vaccines protect both kids and adults, but injuries due to vaccines do occur. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury due to the administration of a vaccine, please reach out to the attorneys at Mintz Law Firm for a free case evaluation.