Do I Need an Attorney?
We advise that you DO NOT attempt to represent yourself in the National Vaccine Compensation Program. Hiring a vaccine attorney comes at no cost to you because the Court pays for all legal fees.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is designed to be non-adversarial and non-litigious. However, it’s often a very difficult, hard-fought, and legalistic process involving complicated legal, medical, and factual issues. You need an attorney who knows how to litigate vaccine cases because these are lawsuits.
What are the Legal Costs and Fees?
There should be NO cost to file a claim. Mctlaw does not charge its clients to represent them in cases brought under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. We do not take any percentage or contingency fees from your financial award. We are paid separately by the Court of Federal Claims at the conclusion of the case.
As a service to our clients, our Firm covers the costs of litigating the case, such as filing fees, expert witness fees, travel expenses, etc. Instead, these costs are directly reimbursed to us by the Court at the conclusion of the case.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer in My State?
No. The Vaccine Court is located in Washington, DC, and covers all vaccine injury claims in the United States. This is not a “local” case that a local personal injury lawyer should handle. Our attorneys are ready to represent you no matter where you live in the United States and its territories. Our attorneys come to you at or near your home so there is no need for you to travel to our offices in Washington, DC, Sarasota, FL, or Seattle, WA.
What Kind of Information Do We Need to Start Building a Case?
The first thing we ask is for a copy of all the relevant medical records (if you have copies), and also a list of every doctor or hospital where you’ve received treatment for your vaccine injury. We use this list to gather the remaining medical records on file at each location. We are then required to turn over a copy of your complete and comprehensive medical records to the Court.
How Do You File a Claim with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
Your claim is initiated by filing a petition with the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. Once the petition is filed, a Special Master is assigned to the case. A Special Master is a specialized judge that handles only vaccine injury claims. The Special Master decides the outcome of the case instead of a jury.
What Are the Legal Procedures and What Can I Expect at Trial?
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) acts as the defendant in these cases. It is represented by Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys throughout the process.
HHS reviews your petition and decides whether to dispute your claim that the vaccine caused the injury or to concede that the vaccine was responsible. If HHS concedes that the vaccine did cause the injury, the next step is to determine the value of the damages. However, if this cannot be agreed on, then there is a trial (called a hearing) on the topic of damages before the Special Master.
If HHS does not concede, there is an initial trial (called a hearing) on the issue of whether the vaccine caused the injury. The trial is typically held at the nearest federal courthouse to where you live.
You may testify and so may some of your family or friends. It may be helpful to have your doctors testify. An expert physician hired on your behalf will testify about how the vaccine caused the injury. Then, at least one Health and Human Services expert witness will likely testify as to why the vaccine did not cause the injury. Following this, the Special Master will decide whether the vaccine caused the injury. If the Special Master decides in your favor, then we go on to the issue of damages. If we cannot agree with HHS as to the value of the damages, there will be a second trial to determine the amount of compensation.
How Long Does the Entire Process Take?
This process is designed to be quicker than civil litigation. With some exceptions, it usually is. A hearing on whether the vaccine caused the injury often occurs within a year. Cases that settle can conclude in as little as a year. Other cases, despite our best efforts, can take several years.
What Type of Compensation is Usually Awarded in these Cases?
Compensation includes monetary damages for pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Compensation paid out for pain and suffering is limited to a maximum of $250,000. There is no limit of compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.
Who Can File A Claim With the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
You do not need to be a citizen of the United States to file a claim. Usually, the vaccine must have been administered in the United States or one of its territories to bring a claim.
Some people who receive vaccines outside of the U.S. may be eligible for compensation. In order to be covered by the Vaccine Program when overseas, the injured person must be a U.S. citizen serving in the military or a U.S. government employee or have been a dependent of such a citizen; or the injured person must have received a vaccine manufactured by a vaccine company located in the U.S. and returned to the U.S. within 6 months after the date of vaccination.
Content Reviewed by Joseph Vuckovich – Vaccine Injury Lawyer
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My experience with mctlaw for my hip claim was remarkable, I found the communication to be outstanding. I also felt they did an excellent job setting expectations and then delivering on those stated expectations. From net amount, timing of the settlement, how much each related party would receive etc. they were outstanding. I would highly recommend them. They are very professional and set the bar in vaccine injury practice.
Five stars for mctlaw! Paralegal Leslie Williams did an outstanding job communicating with us and keeping us informed. Thanks for all the help.
I am excited to be receiving my final payment so I can put all this behind me. I am really grateful to everyone who played a part in getting me this well deserved settlement as my life has been negatively impacted over the years.
We cannot thank you enough for the services your firm has provided for Marie and I in our time of need. I could not have chosen a finer firm near or far to represent us.
John and Marie (Last Name Withheld for Privacy)
My first response is “Wow!” It has only been 11 months since I first heard of “SIRVA” and an HHS program that awarded compensation to its victims and only 7 months since MC&T accepted my case. I feel that your efforts on my part made all the difference.
Thanks to you I am living comfortably in my own home with assistance. After my devastating GBS diagnosis from the flu vaccine six years ago, I didn’t know what to do. Thank goodness I found you and your law firm. Thank you so much!
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Alison is a phenomenal attorney… When she put together the demand letter she was able to explain what I had been through and how I had felt… I want to thank your firm but personally thank all that had a hand in resolving my case.
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The past 10 months have been a whirlwind to say the least but we are truly thankful, grateful and appreciative of …all you have done for our family. This is truly life changing for us. The weight that this lifts off of our shoulders and the peace of mind it will give us….its priceless. So again, thank you.
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Thank you so much. It was so nice to deal with someone who treated us with respect and had a true interest in our future. This would not have happened without your hard work. Please tell anyone who helped with this that we truly appreciate it.
Martin (Last Name Withheld)
I am so grateful for all of your time and tireless work that you have put into resolving my case. Most sincere thanks.
I just wanted to thank you for your help over the past 3 years…Thank you for negotiating with the DOJ in order to get as much as we could under the circumstance…It has been a pleasure having you and your wonderful staff here to assist me in this long and tedious effort.
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Thank you for all of your efforts all along to help resolve lifelong issues I will always have due to this defective implant. You have held my hand through a lot and each and everyone of you at MCT are appreciated for all of your efforts.
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Mr. Maglio, I want you to know the appreciation I have for Diana Stadelnikas and her team for the effort they have put into my wife’s claim! The settlement negotiation they achieved (in a very frustrating situation) is outstanding! While there’s a way to go yet, I want to assure you will they have my full confidence and gratitude to the finish! I know you must be proud of your people!
I thank you so much for your diligent and hard work on my behalf. You are a thoroughly professional and pleasant person and I am grateful for having you on my case.