In 1986, Congress created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to award compensation to individuals who suffer injuries, or their estates in the event of death, caused by vaccinations. Claims are filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims, Office of Special Masters, in Washington, DC. The case will be heard by a “special master” who is like a judge. A lawyer from the Department of Justice who represents the Secretary of Health and Human Services will defend the case. If the special master finds the injuries were caused by the vaccination, compensation will be awarded for the injured person’s past and future medical needs, past and future lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering.
What About Legal Fees?
Importantly, lawyers’ fees and costs are paid separately out of the same Vaccine Injury Fund from which awards of compensation are paid, so you don’t have to pay your lawyer with your own money and the lawyer’s fees and costs do not come out of the award of compensation for your vaccine injury. Lawyer’s fees are paid out of the Fund whether you win or lose, as long as the case was filed “in good faith and with a reasonable basis.”