FLU VACCINE INJURY
The influenza vaccine is crucial for your safety and your family's as well during flu season. However, be cognizant of the fact that, like all vaccinations, there is a small chance of complications and side effects. If you have an allergic reaction after getting the flu shot, please don't hesitate to go see a doctor. If you experience an adverse reaction, such as Guillain Barre Syndrome or SIRVA, after a flu shot, you may be eligible for compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
Possible Side Effects of the Flu Shot
The influenza vaccine is safe for most people. However, as with any vaccine, there is a small risk of side effects. The most common side effect is a sore arm from the injection site. Other common side effects include fever, headache, and muscle aches. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own within a few days. However, more serious reactions can also occur, so it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a reaction. If you experience a severe reaction after receiving a flu shot or believe that your post-vaccination pain is more than it should be, seek medical attention immediately.
Here is a list of possible side effects as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot
Serious allergic reactions to the influenza vaccine are rare but can occur. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:
Shortness of breath
Hoarseness or wheezing
Swelling of the eyes or lips
Lacking color or looking pale
A pounding heart
For more information on benefits and side effects of seasonal flu vaccines, visit the Vaccine Information System webpage here.
Although rare, some people develop long-lasting illnesses and injuries as a result of a vaccination. For example, people with the following injuries have filed claims through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program after receiving a flu shot:
Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)
Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
If you were diagnosed with any of these injuries after receiving a flu shot, it’s important to contact an experienced vaccine injury attorney right away. There are time limits on when you can file a claim.
What does a vaccine injury attorney do?
A vaccine injury attorney is a lawyer who represents people who have had an adverse reaction to a vaccine. If you have been injured by the flu vaccine, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The amount of compensation you may receive depends on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances of your case. An experienced vaccine injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options.
The Role of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The federal government established the National Childhood Vaccine Act in 1986 to provide compensation to those injured by vaccines. In that act, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) was created. The program is funded by taxes that pharmaceutical companies pay on each vaccine they sell.
If you've been injured by a vaccine, the Federal Court of Claims is where you need to file a petition to receive compensation. You could be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, and past and future pain and suffering.
The petition is a legal document that you can prepare yourself or hire a lawyer to prepare and file on your behalf. Because this is a complex legal process, many people choose to hire representation. In general, the Court will pay your attorney's fees and other legal costs if your petition is filed in good faith and deemed reasonable.
Who can file a claim with the NVICP?
You may file a petition if you:
were injured after receiving a covered vaccine
are the parent or legal guardian of a child or disabled adult who received a covered vaccine, and you believe they were injured by it
believe that a covered vaccine injured your deceased loved one and led to their death
To qualify for compensation, your symptoms must have lasted for six months or longer, required extensive hospitalization and surgery, or resulted in death.
Deadlines for Petitions
Just like many other areas of law, vaccine injury claims have a statute of limitations.
For cases where the petitioner did not die, the statute of limitations is 3 years from the first onset of symptoms. At DuPont & Blumenstiel, we like to play it safe and base our cases on the date of vaccination. For cases where the petitioner did die, the statute of limitations is 24 months from the date of death but not more than 4 years from the date of vaccination.
It's important to keep these dates in mind so you don't miss them! If you believe you've suffered an adverse reaction to a vaccine, the time to act is now.
How much compensation can I receive through the NVICP?
The amount of compensation you can receive is dependent on your situation, the severity of your symptoms, and how long they lasted. With some exceptions, there typically is no set compensation amount for flu vaccine injuries.
Receiving compensation through the NVICP is complex, which is why it’s important to consult with a vaccine injury lawyer. An experienced vaccine attorney will be able to help you better understand your options. Don't wait. There are deadlines to file your claim. The experienced vaccine injury attorneys at the Law Offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel can help. Call us today at 614-389-9711 for a case evaluation.
Want to learn more about the NVICP? Download our Consumer's Guide to Vaccine-Related Injuries here.
BRADEN A. BLUMENSTIEL
The law gives Braden a pragmatic way to solve problems using his background in clinical psychology. He is a talented presenter in the courtroom, as he understands how to effectively question witnesses and relay information. He specializes in vaccine injury, personal injury, probate litigation, and business law, and has been recognized for his work by SuperLawyers.