Medical Malpractice: Vaccine Injuries

One of the most common factors in medical malpractice cases is doctor negligence. Medical malpractice negligence claims occur when a hospital or doctor acts negligently and does not adhere to the standard of acceptable medical care and the action or failure to act causes harm to the patient. However, one type of medical malpractice that is not necessarily a result of negligence is vaccine injury.

Medical malpractice can result in personal injury or death and vaccine injuries are no exception. In one Missouri legal decision, $43.1 million was awarded after a one-year-old child became quadriplegic as the result of a vaccine injury. Mario Rodriguez received the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and, as a result of the vaccine, suffered from transverse myelitis.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVCIP) compensates individuals who sustain injuries as a result of receiving certain vaccines. Vaccines covered by the program include:

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
  • Hepatitis A vaccines
  • Hepatitis B antigen-containing vaccines
  • Td or Tetanus Toxoid
  • Polio Vaccines
  • P, DTP, DTP/Polio combination vaccines
  • DTaP, DTaP-Hib, DT
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines
  • Rotavirus vaccine
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines
  • Trivalent influenza vaccines
  • Human Papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines
  • Meningococcal vaccines
  • Varicella vaccine

Some vaccines may cause anaphylactic shock, encephalopathy or encephalitis, chronic arthritis, brachial neuritis, vaccine-strain of measles viral infection, paralytic polio, thrombocytophenic purpura, intussusception, acute demyelinating encephalopathic myopathy, chronic immune demyelinating polyneurophathy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and other peripheral nervous system disorders or demelinating central nervous system disorders.

Both adults and children can suffer personal injury from vaccines. In order to bring a claim under the NVCIP, the victim’s injury must have lasted for over six months, resulted in a hospital stay or surgery, or resulted in death. Furthermore, all claims under the NVCIP must be filed within 36 months of the manifestation of the injury, the date of the first occurrence of the injury’s symptom, or the significant aggravation of a previous condition. Many vaccine injuries result in the recipient’s need of extensive care so it is imperative that victims contact an attorney as soon as possible about their rights to compensation.

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