Vaccine Compensation Fund Pays Out Millions Each Year
Vaccines are a topic that is teeming with misinformation. Everyone has at least one friend who shares memes on social media declaring that vaccines cause autism or a host of other serious disorders. Meanwhile, health officials, in response to this misinformation need to present a unified front that vaccines are safe for everybody.
Vaccines may not cause autism, but they can be dangerous to certain people in certain situations. Many of these people are children or infants. They may have an allergy to something that is in the vaccine or the vaccine could have been tainted in transit. Many of the “red flag” components of vaccines cited by “natural health” websites are there to prevent mold or other potentially toxic contamination from harming those who rely on vaccines to stave off preventable illness.
But what happens when someone does have an allergic or otherwise bad reaction to a vaccine? Who do they sue to collect money for their damages?
The Vaccine Compensation Fund
If you are injured by a drug, the company that made the drug has strict liability. This means that, unless you misused the drug, you do not have to prove negligence in a lawsuit against the manufacturer to collect damages for your injury. This is how it works with every other medical product with one notable exception: Vaccines.
If a person is injured by a vaccine, they file a claim with the Vaccine Compensation Fund, which is a government program. This government program protects the manufacturers from liability claims. Regulators purportedly oversee both compensation for victims of bad vaccines or allergic reactions while simultaneously regulating the industry.
Those in the medical community performed a cost-benefit analysis on the prospect of vaccines. Vaccines save millions of lives each year but in a small number of cases, they can cause the disease they’re trying to prevent, injure the child who’s receiving the vaccine, or be tainted and cause another serious problem. When that happened, the injuries to the child (or an adult) result in potentially serious lifelong debilitating injuries. The U.S. government, believing (rightfully) that the pros outweigh the cons, wanted to insulate these companies from liability to encourage investors to fund vaccine programs that might produce smaller profit margins had civil liability lawsuits robbed investors of their incentive to fund such ventures.
In 1986, Congress passed The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act which indemnified companies that produce vaccines from civil liability. In other words, it works like a state-run insurance program.
When someone claims their child or themselves have been injured by a vaccine, their claim is heard by a team of doctors who review their medical records and render a decision on whether or not the case should be compensated or defended in vaccine court. While vaccines are assumed to be the cause of the illness if no other cause can be found, those who bring claims in this forum are only compensated about 25% of the time.
Talk to a Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a medical device or drug, the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Gillette Law can help ensure you receive compensation for your injuries. Talk to us today for a free consultation.