In recent months, I’ve had an influx of calls where people want to know the potential value of a vaccine case and what their odds are of winning.
In the interest of transparency, when first getting a call about a case I won’t put odds on the likelihood of its success nor its potential value. For one, I’m not a bookmaker. But more importantly, all cases are different with nuances that don’t become clear until I’ve had an opportunity to do a deep review of the medical records.
That being said, generally there are three categories of damages (read as: the money) that a person may get if they are able to establish entitlement (read as: prove the vaccine they received caused their injury) in a vaccine claim.
These three categories are: 1) Past and future medical expenses, 2) Past and future lost wages, and 3) Past and future pain and suffering.
Past and Future Medical Expenses
Medical expenses are calculated based on the actual out-of-pocket costs incurred to treat the vaccine injury or the projected future cost of what those out-of-pocket medical expenses will be to treat any ongoing symptoms of the injury.
This means that if you have a vaccine injury and an insurance company picks up the entire bill for your treatment you don’t have a claim for medical expenses. If, on the other hand, you have a co-pay, deductible, or pay the bill yourself because you don’t have insurance, you would be entitled to recover the amount you spent or are reasonably projected to spend in the future.
Oftentimes a life care planner is retained to determine and calculate the costs for future medical expenses.
Past and Future Lost Wages
Past and future lost wages are for the actual wages you lost or will lose because of the vaccine injury. If you can return to work after your injury but are earning less or are on long-term disability and only get a percentage of what you made before your vaccine injury, then you would be entitled to an amount that makes up the shortfall from what you made previously.
In more complicated settings an economist may need to be retained to determine wage loss.
Past and Future Pain and Suffering
Lastly while pain-and-suffering varies from case to case, the maximum dollar amount currently available for any vaccine claim – no matter the nature of the injury – is $250,000.00. The maximum dollar amount is typically reserved for catastrophic injuries.
An Additional Factor: Litigative Risk
Also affecting the value of damages is the government’s assessment of what the injury is worth (compensation wise) and how the government perceives its risk of losing vs. winning should the matter go to trial.
Known as litigative risk, which often plays a role for both sides when settlement is considered, it takes into consideration the benefits of speeding up and obtaining a cash award with some degree of certainty versus the uncertainty, potential risks, and inherent delays of trials on vaccine injury causation.
As you can see, determining what a vaccine injury case is worth is a more complicated task than one would typically assume. If you or someone you know was injured by a vaccine you need a team of legal professionals, and we can use our knowledge to help you. To get started, contact us today.