As the world continues to look for solutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the rollout of vaccine distribution has been a significant focus in many countries. In the United States, there are now plenty of vaccines available, and all adults have the opportunity to get their shots.
Millions of people are choosing to get vaccinated, and marketing campaigns are targeting those with vaccine hesitancy. Even though available vaccines are only in the Emergency Use Authorization stages, vaccine manufacturers continue to conduct research to pursue full FDA approval when the trial periods are over.
Severe Reactions to the COVID-19 Vaccine
As millions of doses are in distribution, we are starting to see reports of people experiencing severe reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines. Most people only have mild to moderate side effects, such as:
- Muscle pain
- Injection site pain
These side effects are possible after both the first and second injection. But most people find that the side effects are worse after the second shot.
The World Health Organization says that it is rare to experience severe side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. Early reports are showing that only a tiny percentage of people experience serious side effects. These moderate to severe side effects include:
- Blood clots
- Allergic reactions
- Inflammation of the heart
People report both minor and severe vaccine side effects through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Not only can you report a vaccine reaction on this website, but data is available to show the trends and side effects.
Determining Legal Eligibility
It’s critical that you determine eligibility before moving forward with a vaccine injury lawsuit. If you don’t meet these requirements, then you’ll be wasting time and money on pursuing a lawsuit without success. Our legal team at Shamieh Law offers a complimentary consultation to determine if we should move forward. Then, we are thorough in our investigation to gather evidence to support eligibility.
Vaccine lawsuit eligibility requirements include people who:
- Were vaccinated with a product covered by the VICP
- Parents or legal guardians of someone injured by the vaccine
- Legal guardians of someone who died from the vaccine
You will need to show how the side effects are linked to the vaccine administration. The injury timeline also matters. For example, virus vaccine lawsuits are only valid for people experiencing an adverse reaction or side effect lasting longer than six months.
Vaccine Lawsuits: Legal Options in the United States
You might be surprised to hear that you can’t sue a vaccine manufacturer (such as Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, or Pfizer) for severe vaccine side effects. These companies are granted liability immunity from the federal government. In 2005, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act established legal protections for companies making and distributing critical medical supplies.
The only way you can sue a vaccine manufacturer is if there is evidence of “willful misconduct” by the company. Why would the government offer this immunity? Since the manufacturers are producing the vaccines in an expedited timeframe, they needed protection from multimillion-dollar lawsuits.
Even though you can’t sue the vaccine manufacturers, funding might be available through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). When someone has a severe injury or adverse reaction from a vaccine, they might be entitled to compensation through this fund. Since 1986, more than 20,000 petitions have been filed, and 6,000 people have received payment.
The fund pays an average of $229 million each year for vaccine injury compensation. This number could potentially continue to increase as the number of vaccines is rising due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Vaccine Lawsuit: Steps to Follow
We’re still in the early stages of the COVID-19 vaccine program, but many people expect an increase in vaccine-related lawsuits. If you are considering a lawsuit, you must meet specific requirements to file your claim.
For example, the claim filing must happen within three years from developing the first symptom from a vaccine injury. When a death occurs, this timeline is extended to four years after the first symptom and two years after the death.
Follow these steps if you are filing a vaccine injury lawsuit:
- Hire a Lawyer: Choose a legal team with experience in vaccine lawsuits. If you are going to maximize available compensation, then you need to make sure your lawyer understands the best strategies. Our team at Shamieh Law is here to help, offering personalized support to help you access the funding you deserve.
- Build Your Case: Now that you are working with a reputable attorney, it’s time to build your case. You must show the connection between the vaccine administration, subsequent reactions, and how these injuries affect your life. Your lawyer will assist in collecting the proper evidence from doctors and other medical providers.
- File Your Claim: When your case is ready, then it’s time to file a petition through the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Most cases are settled outside of court. If your case goes to trial, then it will be managed by a specialized judge who oversees these types of cases.
Your lawyer will follow through to assist in anything that is needed through the completion of your case. The good news is that most lawsuits through the VICP system are faster than civil litigation. The majority of these lawsuits are finished within six months. Complex, complicated cases require more time for settlement or the court process.
How Much Money Will You Receive?
The amount of compensation depends on a variety of factors. These monetary damages are determined by the court or through a settlement process. Factors affecting your payout include:
- Outstanding medical bills
- Anticipated future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
There isn’t a limit to the amount of money awarded to cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages. The maximum compensation for pain and suffering is capped at $250,000.
Hire a Vaccine Attorney
You deserve compensation if you are experiencing negative side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. If you’re located in Dallas, Texas, or the surrounding areas, then contact us at Shamieh Law to discuss your case.