Attorney Heather Menezes of Shaheen & Gordon was recently interviewed by New Hampshire Bar News,where she discussed the legal options for those who experience long-term side effects from a vaccine or other injuries from procedures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccines are a public health necessity and will be the turning point of this pandemic. Injuries from any vaccine are rare, but in the event they do happen, the injured party deserves help.
Attorney Menezes represents individuals who have suffered injuries from vaccines in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP is a federal program that was created after lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and healthcare providers threatened to cause vaccine shortages and reduce vaccination rates. The VICP is a no-fault system that compensates individuals injured by certain vaccines.
According to Attorney Menezes, the COVID-19 vaccine will not be part of the VICP and will instead be covered under the Counter Measures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), which provides fewer benefits to individuals injured by any countermeasure to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Attorney Menezes told New Hampshire Bar News thatthe program isn’t being openly promoted, and there is also a one-year statute of limitations for claiming benefits.
“The statute says that the government is supposed to promote the countermeasures fund so that people know about it. But who knows about it? No one knows about it. They’re likely not going to promote the CICP because of concern people won’t get the vaccine. But the biggest thing is that there is a one-year statute of limitations for filing,” said Menezes.
Menezes also explained that under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, individuals injured by a countermeasure to the pandemic, like a COVID-19 vaccine, could not seek compensation from the vaccine manufacturer. If they fail to make a claim with the CICP within a year, they have no other course of action for the injury.
This why Menezes told New Hampshire Bar News that “people need to know about this program.” According to Attorney Menezes, “A lot of people don’t know they’re dealing with an injury caused by a vaccine and they’re not immediately thinking, ‘Let’s call a lawyer.’ I think most people wait and hope that their pain will go away. But if a person’s injury is from a pandemic countermeasure, then that person will be out of luck if he or she doesn’t file within a year, period.”
To learn more about your rights to compensation for injuries caused by a COVID-19 vaccine or other measures related to the pandemic, read Attorney Menezes’ interview withNew Hampshire Bar News here: https://www.nhbar.org/the-race-for-covid-19-injury-benefits/
Several of our personal injury lawyers are admitted to the Court of Federal Claims, which is required in order to practice within the VICP. To speak to one of our dedicated legal professionals at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. about your legal matters, please give us a call today at (603) 635-4099 to request a case consultation.