Vaccine Court:(New) Attorney Fees-may not be paid if vaccine injury case is lost

Good Faith and a Reasonable Basis

The answer to the third question to compensate attorneys, even when their clients were not compensated by the NVICP, is a devilish debate and where the special masters try to hold a hammer over the attorneys.

I wonder how many times the following statement has been whispered or inferred within the discussion of attorney fees, “You must play ball, or we will not compensate you for your work now and possibly in the future?” The statute allows for payment, yet the devil is in the details.

Within the NVICP, attorneys shall be compensated for fees and expenses when a client is successful with their petition for compensation from an injury or death. [6]

When a petitioner is not successful, the Special Masters can award attorney fees and expenses at their discretion. [7]

And this is where it gets very tricky, and recently, this is where we start to lose our ability to obtain legal counsel to represent our claims within the NVICP.

The Special Master uses his/her discretion to award fees using the Good Faith and Reasonable Basis standard.

Even if a petitioner is not awarded “compensation,” the special master “may award an amount of compensation to cover petitioner’s reasonable attorneys’ fees . . . if the special master or court determines that the petition was brought in good faith and there was a reasonable basis for the claim for which the petition was brought.”[8]  READ MORE…

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