Largest Vaccine Injury Payouts in the US

When people think of vaccines, they usually think of how they prevent children from getting ill. However, there is no denying that some people who receive vaccines do get injured. The proof of this is shown through the existence of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

Established by Congress in the 1980s, the VICP was meant to streamline the complaint and compensation process for those who were legitimately injured due to taking a vaccine. The VICP was established as the means for compensation recovery because Congress knew that many of the vaccine manufacturers could not absorb the payouts from impending lawsuits. This would have jeopardized the availability of vaccines. Over the years, thousands of claimants have been awarded compensation, and to those injured by vaccines have received nearly $4 billion in compensation.

Largest vaccine injury payouts 

4. $10 Million

In January 2010, a victim was awarded over $10 million for getting Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) after receiving a Hepatitis B vaccination.

3. $11.5 Million

In 2015, a Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) vaccine victim was awarded $11.5 million dollars over a lifetime for their injuries.

2. $61 Million

The second highest settlement was $61 million. This amount went to the family of a baby injured with the receipt of the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis).

1. $101 Million

The largest vaccine injury settlement made through the VICP to date is $101 million. The settlement was for an infant who suffered a severe reaction to the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.

It is important to note that nobody “wins” in these cases. People injured due to vaccines are not seeking compensation for the money. They are usually families who are watching their loved ones suffer greatly due to their injuries.

What is the average vaccine injury payout?

However, those settlements are large. Settlement amounts range greatly in size and depend on the facts of each individual case presented to the VICP. When we look at the numbers, we can see that there have been some years when less than 100 claimants are awarded compensation at all.

Out of the total amount awarded, the average settlement has been approximately $574,841. When we look at 2018, we see that 522 claimants were awarded compensation. The average claim award that year was $382,487.

Please keep in mind that very high award settlements and very low award settlement can skew the averages. It is important to note that many claims of injury are denied for compensation by the VICP.

How do I make a claim?

You have to make a claim through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund. That is the only way to receive compensation for a vaccine injury. The process was intended to be straightforward, but that is not always the case. You should hire an attorney who has experience with these injuries to take your case forward. An attorney will be able to gather all of the evidence in your case, including your medical records. If necessary, your attorney will arrange for an expert medical witness to examine your records and testify on your behalf.

Having an attorney represent you in these matters greatly increases your chance of success. In most cases, the attorney fees are covered under the VICP as well (and they do not come out of your settlement amount). Most VICP settlements are negotiated between the board and your attorney.

Am I required to vaccinate my children?

Generally, Minnesota law requires all children to receive vaccines before they can attend daycare or any public or private school. However, there are exemptions available. In many cases, the exemptions are for medical reasons. There are also non-medical exemptions allowed for religious or personal beliefs.