Missouri Vaccine Injury Lawyer
The attorneys at Widman Law Firm are admitted and prepared to file claims for vaccine related injuries occurring in the State of Missouri. The Court of Federal Claims, the Court in which vaccine injury claims are heard, is a federal court. This means the admission provided by this courtallows attorneys such as Phyllis Widman, Esq. to bring claims for vaccine injuries occurring in all 50 states and D.C., including Missouri. Whether you are in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Jefferson City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, or anywhere in between, our team will provide you with high quality representation in filing your vaccine injury claim.The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
When controversy surrounded the Pertussis vaccine in the 1970’s and 80’s, vaccine manufacturers found themselves under public scrutiny. The controversy centered around claims that the vaccine was causing permanent brain injury in children, and these claims were exacerbated by various media outlets and consumer rights organizations. Lawsuits followed, and the combination of bad press and financial risks led manufacturers to stop producing the Pertussis shot. By 1985, only one maker of the vaccine remained in the United States.
Seeing the immunization rate continue to fall, the U.S. Government understood that something needed to be done. In 1986, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The Act removed financial responsibility from drug companies in the event of injuries arising from commonly administered vaccines. Having lost the ability to challenge the vaccine manufacturers directly, injured people required a new system by which they could receive compensation for their damages. To that end, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or VICP, was established.
To date, the VICP has paid out over $4.4 BILLION dollars in compensation to victims of vaccine injury.
An arm of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the VICP is a legal claims process through which a petition can be filed for compensation. Petitioners, people who have themselves been injured by vaccines or who are filing on behalf of one such person, are to prove three things to be eligible under the program: that they received a vaccine insured by the VICP; that the injury sustained is compensable by the VICP, as listed on the Vaccine Injury Table; and finally, that the injury occurred within the outlined timeframe.
Some of the vaccines covered under the program include, but are not limited to:
- The seasonal flu shot
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR, MR, M, R)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria (DTP, Tdap, DTaP, DT, Td, TT)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- And more
The VICP has heard all manner of claims from petitioners, whose injuries have ranged from mild to moderate to debilitating. The most common vaccine injury seen in the program is SIRVA, short for Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration: a term which encompasses a number of possible injuries affecting the site of vaccine administration. Another common vaccine reaction is Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or GBS: an autoimmune neurological disorder in which one’s body attacks its own nervous system. Death is also a recognized potential reaction to immunization.
In the event of injuries related to vaccination or vaccine administration, the VICP is authorized to grant the following monetary awards:
- Up to $250,000 for the petitioner’s pain and suffering
- Reimbursement of medical costs
- Reimbursement of lost wages
- Projected cost of living expenses
- If a death occurred, a death benefit not to exceed $250,000
In light of the terrorist attacks of the early 2000s, drug companies and lawmakers both began to anticipate more attacks. They feared that future attacks might be carried out in a variety of ways, including potentially chemical, radiological, and even biological warfare. However, medical countermeasures created at a moment’s notice and rolled out expeditiously would surely undergo less trials, and would therefore be more likely to cause injuries to people. It was to this end that drug companies lobbied in Washington for more liability protections.
When the PREP Act was passed in 2005, it removed that financial liability from the drug companies. But as with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, the PREPA itself did not offer an alternative means of compensating those injured by emergency countermeasures. It was for this purpose that the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, or CICP, was established.
As defined by the Food and Drug administration, emergency countermeasures are “FDA-regulated products (biologics, drugs, devices) that may be used in the event of a potential public health emergency stemming from a terrorist attack with a biological, chemical, or radiological/nuclear material, or a naturally occurring emerging disease”. While the CICP did not see much use in relation to terror attacks, it would come to be utilized much more in recent years for that other type of defined countermeasure: those used against “a naturally occurring emerging disease”. The most recent example of a naturally occurring disease has been the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 countermeasures account for over 95% of all claims in the CICP, with the majority of that number being COVID-19 vaccine claims.
While not a legal program like the VICP, the CICP still has a federal jurisdiction, and therefore still receives and processes claims from all over the country. While a lawyer is not required to file a claim in the program, for the best possible outcome it is still advised to proceed with a specialized personal injury attorney.
Considered a “last resort” financial resource, CICP payouts differ from those of the VICP. For example, the CICP has no monetary award for pain and suffering - however, it offers a more generous death benefit than the VICP. Both programs offer the reimbursement of medical expenses and lost wages.Experienced Vaccine Lawyers Who Will Fight for YOU
Phyllis Widman and her team of experienced vaccine injury attorneys have won millions for clients in vaccine court. While some large law firms only have a vaccine “department”, the team at Widman Law Firm have prioritized and specialized in vaccine injury cases from the very beginning. Whether you experienced acute symptoms after a vaccine administration, or you’ve had your life completely changed by a reaction to the ingredients in a vaccine, Ms. Widman and her team are ready to fight until you get your due compensation.
Give us a call or send us an email to find out more about how we can file your claim in the VICP or the CICP today. Don’t wait - each program has a strict statute of limitations. If you wait longer than 3 years to file in the VICP, or only 1 year to file in the CICP, you will no longer be eligible to file for compensation.