Three Reasons Why Your NVICP Claim May Be Denied

Posted on: 17 October 2016

It's undeniable that vaccines have been extremely beneficial for human health as a whole. However, sometimes people have adverse reactions to the medications that may cause severe or lifelong medical complications. If you or your loved one has been injured by a vaccine, you can file a claim for damages with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). Unfortunately, not everyone gets approved for compensation. Here are three reasons why your NVICP claim may be denied.

The Vaccine Is Not Covered by the NVICP

Although there are quite a few vaccinations on the market, the NVICP doesn't cover all of them. To be eligible for compensation, the vaccine that injured you or your loved one must have been one that was recommended by the Center for Disease Control as part of a routine vaccination schedule for children and subjected to a federal excise tax. For example, the NVICP covers the DTP vaccine, which is designed to prevent kids from being infected by the pertussis bacteria. However, injuries caused by the herpes zoster vaccine given to adults are not compensable through the program.

You can find a list of covered vaccines on the Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) website. If the medication that caused the injury is not on that list, then you cannot file a claim with HRSA. You would need to either sue the manufacturer directly or hold the medical professional who recommended the vaccine liable for medical malpractice if applicable.

There Is No Link Between the Vaccine and the Health Condition

One common reason why a NVICP claim may be denied is the health condition or side effect is not known to be caused by the vaccine in question. Due to extensive studies into vaccines over the years, the side effects caused by covered vaccines are mostly known. For instance, the MMR vaccine can cause encephalitis on rare occasions.

Even if a side effect is not listed on the HRSA's vaccine injury table, you can still obtain compensation if you can clearly prove there is a connection between the injury and the medication via credible research and medical tests. However, if a condition has been proven to not be connected to vaccines or the link between the health issue and the medication is murky at best, then the claim for compensation may be denied.

One example of this situation is the Brian Hooker case. This chemical engineer holds the belief that his son's autism was caused by vaccines, a theory that has been debunked by scientists in the medical field. However, Hooker still filed a claim for damages with the NVICP. In May 2016, his claim was rejected by the organization for several reasons, including the lack of evidence that vaccines cause autism and the fact that Hooker's son appeared to have displayed evidence of being autistic before he was vaccinated.

When attempting to prove a vaccine caused your injuries, it's critical you obtain evidence of the connection from legitimate and credible sources. This will increase your chances of getting approved.

The Statute of Limitations Has Passed

Claims for vaccines may be subjected to a statute of limitations; this means that requests for compensation must be filed within a certain period of time, or else you'll be barred from filing a claim forever. For example, claims for injuries caused by the rotavirus vaccine must be filed within 36 months of the first symptom manifesting.

The HRSA provides information about when symptoms of complications will typically develop after the vaccine has been administered, and this can provide a timetable of how long you have to file a claim for damages. It's important to consult the virus injury table for this information and take appropriate action before the time limit expires.

For more information about why NVICP claims are denied or assistance with getting your claim approved, contact a personal-injury attorney, such as one at Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland LLP.