Vaccine injury cases are very challenging. Here are three things to look for in a vaccine injury attorney.
1. Specialization – Expertise in the NVICP
While from the outside they may appear similar to personal injury cases, vaccine injury cases are incredibly challenging. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) has several significant differences from civil litigation including procedural and evidentiary differences. Standard practices in civil litigation like discovery, admission of evidence, and even continuous pagination of exhibits don’t apply in the Vaccine Court. There is no “bad actor” to blame in the NVICP, and criticism of vaccines can hurt your case. The Federal Rules of Evidence don’t apply. Finally, if you were to read the information about the NVICP on the HRSA website, you would think this is an easy, informal, generous, fast Program. You would be severely mistaken. These are tremendously challenging cases, legally and scientifically. It is an extremely adversarial process as well, with the opposing counsel taking full advantage of widespread delays. Often, the Office of Special Masters requires considerable evidence and multiple experts.
In short, there are numerous pitfalls for an attorney new to the NVICP and any misstep can add to the already crushing delays in the NVICP.
2. Experience in a Wide Range of Cases
You may think you have a simple Table case like a SIRVA or GBS. In reality, HHS is routinely challenging these cases and there is a good likelihood that you will end up either having to brief causation, going to a Motions Day argument on causation or proceeding to experts and a full-blown trial. In that circumstance you want an attorney with experience in all phases of vaccine injury litigation in the NVICP.
3. A Real Connection
Vaccine injury cases are often devastating and unlike a car accident, vaccine injured clients often face public criticism and challenges with their doctors because they have alleged a vaccine injury. You need an attorney that will be there with you throughout the process. Someone who understands the unique experiences of vaccine injured clients and meets them with compassion and empathy. You need an attorney that can help you navigate the lengthy adversarial process.
Vaccine injury cases are quite difficult and take a long time. Finding a lawyer who specializes in the NVICP, has experience in a wide range of cases and with whom you have a real connection will help protect your rights, maximize your compensation and keep your claim moving.
For more information contact The Law Office of Renée J. Gentry, Esq.