What damages can be recovered in a vaccine injury case?
If you or a loved one are injured by a vaccine or a vaccine has caused the death of a loved one, there is a program set up by Congress to provide compensation for that injury or death. The program is called the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and asking for compensation is a little like a lawsuit.
There are, however, important differences. One difference is how compensation is calculated and the reasons for those calculations. The money you can recover, whether recovered through the VICP or through a typical lawsuit, is called, "damages." Damages refers to the specific types of harm for which you can receive money.
In the VICP, victims of a vaccine injury can receive compensation for any wages that were lost because of the injury, any past out-of-pocket medical expenses (which were not reimbursable by insurance or another source), and actual future medical needs (also, which are not reimbursable by another source). For these (typically called "economic" damages) you can show these by receipts, tax returns, etc... There is a defined amount which you lost, spent, or will have to spend, and that can often be calculated with precision.
Most people have also heard of "pain & suffering." However, this amount is capped, or limited, to $250,000. This limitation can be very surprising. It is particularly surprising to those who did not lose any income because of their injury and had medical insurance which covered their medical expenses. Also, the government only offers this maximum amount for what they perceive to be the worst pain and suffering which has lasted for years or which may even be permanent.
If you believe you have been injured by a vaccine, or you believe a vaccine caused the death of a loved one, it is important that you contact an attorney familiar with the VICP, who can help navigate the complex rules and ensure that you receive the damages to which you are entitled.