What Can I Expect When You Take My Case? Phase 4-PAR Process.
There are several phases in a vaccine case, and we will go over each phase in a single post.
Your Petition is filed. What’s the next step? The Court Clerk assigns the case to the Chief Special Master automatically. The case enters what is called the Pre-Assignment Review or PAR process. The PAR process was designed to reduce delays at the onset of a case by ensuring the case filing is substantially complete as required by Section 11(c) of the Vaccine Act.
If the medical records and other evidence, including the affidavit and statement of completion have been filed, the case will be “activated” meaning it will be assigned out to either the Special Processing Unit (SPU) or to another Special Master by random assignment. The SPU was created to expedite and streamline those cases that were Table cases (such as a SIRVA) or “quasi” Table cases, meaning cases that were routinely settled in the past. In addition, cases where the claim involved a non-covered vaccine, e.g. anthrax. SPU cases are all assigned the Chief Special Master’s docket. However, the day-to-day management of the case docket falls to staff attorneys. All judicial decisions, however, are made by the Chief Special Master. If you do not have a Table or “quasi” Table case, then your case will be randomly assigned to one of the other 7 Special Masters.
If the medical records and other evidence is not complete, the Court will issue a scheduling order giving the Petitioner additional time. NOTE: Your case will not be activated until it is substantially complete. That means the opposing side has no deadlines and no obligation to do anything until such time as your claim is activated. It is critical to file all records as quickly as possible.
The PAR process ends once your case is activated. The next phase is HHS Review.
For more information contact The Law Office of Renée J. Gentry, Esq.