The amount of money you can expect as a whistleblower award if you’re a successful claimant will vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, so it is always wise to consult with an experienced whistleblower lawyer before you decide whether to commence a whistleblower lawsuit. In recent years billions of dollars have been recovered through mechanisms in various statutes like the False Claims Act (FCA), provisions of the SEC & CFTC whistleblower laws, IRS whistleblower laws and various other state remedies.
As a rule of thumb most of the statutes provide for from 15-30% as a whistleblower settlement award. Most cases need to be presented to the government first and they have a right under the statutes to intervene. If they do and the case is resolved exclusively though them expect an award on the lower end of the spectrum. If they decline and your resolve the matter through your whistleblower law firm, then expect towards the higher end of the spectrum. It’s not all bad news though if the government handles the case. In fact, generally the government will have a higher success rate than proceeding without them and the average settlement amount will spike, so the amount in terms of compensation for the relator may go up, even if the percentage is down.
There’s many other factors that may determine where you land on the whistleblower award scale. How long did you know about the fraud before reporting it? For example, if you were aware of Medicare Fraud in which overbilling, upcoding and kickbacks were happening for over thirty years and you’re just reporting it right after you retire that will be a negative factor, but still its better late than never! Did you profit from the fraud? Let’s say you work for a major pharmaceutical company and you’re aware of kickbacks, self dealing (Stark Law), overpromotion or efficacy issues with the drug, then as a participant or beneficiary in the scheme, you might have some exposure and you will need to do a thorough whistleblower consultation to go over the risks versus the rewards for proceeding. When you think about it though its better to be the first through the door even if you’ve participated in the fraud somewhat, since if someone else blows the whistle first you will be viewed in a less favorable light and lose the chance for any recovery under the first filed rule.
In recent years, hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to whistleblowers who have had the courage to blow the whistle on major schemes and fraud, and major frauds that may be lesser in value, but still matters that are worthy of bringing to the government’s attention. Also, the amount of incestuous fraud in Wall Street and the other financial platforms is extremely hard to dig into without the assistance of a whistleblower since everyone is often getting rich of the schemes and disincentivized to disclose the truth. In reality though, with SEC whistleblowers you may have tremendous leverage over the company with that information and there is a mechanism that with an SEC whistleblower lawyer you can potentially remain anonymous from start to finish and recover millions, if not tens of millions of dollars depending on the extent of the fraud.
The road is never as easy as it looks. Before you decide to file a whistleblower lawsuit, you should consult with a whistleblower lawyer about the chances of success, your range of recovery and what impact it could have on you. Most firms handle the matter on a contingency basis, which means the whistleblower law firm is only paid if it wins your case and can provide a free confidential qui tam consultation.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Brown, LLC for their insight into whistleblowers and the law.
Decatur Truck Accident Lawyer
Commercial trucks can be commonly seen cruising on highways all across America. While these vehicles are quite essential to the economy, they can inflict significant damage if an accident were to occur. These hefty trucks can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds when fully stocked. In comparison, the average four door car may weigh a measly 3,000 pounds. If these two very different sized vehicles were to plow into each other, the results could be tragic for both drivers. However, in most cases it is the passenger car driver who suffers the worst injuries, due to being encased in a substantially smaller vehicle.
What can I do to prevent from getting hit by a commercial truck?
Being proactive and aware at all times while sharing the road with these large trucks can help lessen the chances of being part of such a tragedy. While a driver cannot eliminate the likelihood of being struck by a commercial truck completely, there are ways to help stay out of harm’s way:
- Avoid driving within the truck blind spots (sometimes referred to as “no zones” which are at the back left and right sides of the truck)
- Keep your distance (trucks need more room than the average car and need more time to stop)
- Obey rules of the road (maintain a safe speed and never cut off a truck that is moving slowly)
- Do not pass trucks that are making wide turns (you may get squashed if you try to make the turn faster than the truck)
What are signs that I should go to the emergency room?
It is not necessary but highly encouraged that anyone hit by a commercial trucks gets medical attention. While you may not feel the extent of your injuries right away, they could slowly start to surface within the days to follow. If you went home without getting examined by a doctor, here are a few signs that may mean you should go to the emergency room right away:
- Nausea and vomiting excessively
- Severe abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Cuts that have not stopped bleeding
- Unrelenting headache
- Dizziness, confusion
- Slurred speech
- Blood in stool and/or vomit
Can a passenger car driver be compensated for the accident?
If a car driver was to get hit by a commercial truck, they may be able to recover expenses for losses due to the collision. Things like medical bills, vehicle repairs, loss of wage and future treatments may be covered by the truck driver or trucking company. As you can imagine, these types of accidents can be particularly complicated. A car driver may not know whether to sue the driver, the trucking company or both. The parties involved in the lawsuit may depend on exactly how the crash happened.
How can I be more prepared for my consultation?
When meeting with a Decatur truck accident lawyer, bring along any expenses related to your accident injuries in which you had to pay out of your own pocket. Take with you any evidence of the crash as well, including the police report, photographs of the scene and even witness contacts.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight personal injury and truck accidents.
Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death claims: what are they, when can you sue, who is liable and what damages can be recovered?
What constitutes a wrongful death?
Wrongful death has a two-part explanation. It exists because someone has died due to the legal fault of another person or group of individuals. And often criminal action has either failed or was not attempted to bring justice in the victim’s death.
Wrongful death claims may be brought under many circumstances:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Criminal behavior
- Death during a supervised activity
Who gets sued in wrongful death cases?
Wrongful death claims can be straightforward or involve several layers of individuals that may appear on the surface to be several degrees removed from the death.
For example, in a fatal car accident, the victim’s family may pursue a wrongful death case against the driver. That driver is accused of directly causing the death. Now what if that driver was also accused of driving drunk at the time of the crash? Then the bar where the driver was served could also be implicated in the lawsuit.
The same thing goes for faulty auto parts. If an airbag fails to deploy when a vehicle is hit and the driver dies, it’s possible the airbag manufacturer could be named in the wrongful death lawsuit.
Who files wrongful death lawsuits?
A representative working on behalf of the survivors of the victim will bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Often the representative may be the executor of the victim’s estates. The group of survivors is often made up of:
- Immediate family members (spouses and children)
- Distant family members (siblings, grandparents, etc)
- Life partners
- All persons who suffer financially from the death of the victim (some states allow this)
What kinds of damages can be recovered?
Various considerations are made to determine what damages survivors may be entitled to. These could include funeral costs, medical costs, loss of income and lost pension.
The earning potential of the victim will be weighed against things like their age, education, chronic medical conditions and personal history.
Should I accept the settlement offered from the insurance company?
It’s never a good idea in any case to accept the first settlement offered. You should always consult with a trusted attorney before doing so.
Insurance settlements may not consider the full effect the victim’s death has had on the lives of their loved ones.
A wrongful death lawyer St. Paul, MN trusts knows how to pursue and secure maximum damages from the people or organizations responsible for your loved one’s death. They understand that when you’re mourning the loss of a loved one you don’t need to be worrying about seeking justice in their wrongful death and can help you bring those responsible to justice.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Johnston | Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The discovery portion of your accident claim process is a period of time fixed by the court when your bicycle accident lawyer may pose written questions to the defendant and request documents to uncover facts and discover evidence that will help your attorney make a successful claim on your behalf. Both sides, i.e. plaintiff and defendant participate in the discovery process.
Written questions are called Interrogatories. When you sign your name to your Answers to Defendants Interrogatories, you are taking an oath that your answers are true and correct to the best of your knowledge. Although subject to the procedural laws of the jurisdiction, most states limit the number of questions that either side may ask. Your bicycle accident lawyer will take a strategic approach in selecting the questions asked of the defendant. From this line of questioning, your lawyer may uncover a medical condition or prescription drugs the defendant may have taken prior to the collision that may have been a contributing factor. When asked where the defendant had been prior to the accident, your attorney may learn that the defendant had just consumed several mixed drinks at a sports bar prior to the accident. Defense will ask if you have ever been a party to a claim for injuries prior to the accident. They will also ask questions regarding your medical history and inquire about previous injuries. Both Plaintiff and Defendant’s Answers to Interrogatories are evidence in your claim for injuries.
The other side of the discovery process involves a Request for Production of Documents. Both plaintiff and defendant make this request for tangible documentation that can be used for information gathering and evidence. For example, if the plaintiff is making a claim for loss of wages, the defendant will request that plaintiff supply tax returns for any reasonable number of prior successive years. The defendant insurance company will also ask for a copy of all medical records, doctor reports and billings related to the accident. And if there was a similar injury prior to your accident, they will likely request medical records about that injury as well.
Objections may be raised by your bicycle accident lawyer or defendant’s attorney for questions contained within the interrogatories; the same holds true for documents requested during the production portion of discovery. And as your bicycle accident lawyer receives updated information or additional documentation, he or she will continue to comply with the rules of discovery. If you have any questions about the discovery process, talk with one of the Auto Accident Lawyers Indianapolis, IN residents rely on.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into bike accidents and injuries.
When it comes to food poisoning, many people do not realize you can hire a lawyer for your injuries. Too often people with severe food-borne illnesses find themselves with high medical bills and ongoing health complications. That’s where a good Salmonella lawyer can come in.
A Salmonella lawyer can evaluate your claim and give you advice on your rights. Oftentimes victims of Salmonella infections feel worried or scared about going against a company or a restaurant that made them sick. This is where a Salmonella lawyer can help. It is not ok that you became sick after eating food prepared by a restaurant or food producer. By pursuing a claim, a Salmonella lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, time away from work, or future medical expenses that may arise from any long-term complications you have as a result of your Salmonella infection.
Before you hire a Salmonella lawyer, there are 5 things you can do now to prepare:
- Find the Right Lawyer for You. All too often, food poisoning victims reach out to attorneys who may not specialize in food-borne illness claims. It is crucial to find a lawyer who not only understands how to handle a food poisoning claim, but also who specializes in the area to ensure that your case is valued properly.
- Get a Diagnosis. Just because you became sick after you ate a particular food items does not necessarily mean you have Salmonella. Symptoms of Norovirus and Staphylococcus aureus are similar to Salmonella symptoms. You want to make sure you actually have Salmonella, so the Salmonella lawyer can link your illness to the contaminated product that you have eaten. You can get a diagnosis by seeking medical attention and getting a stool test.
- Keep Your Receipt. If you purchased a contaminated product or went to a restaurant and ate contaminated food, it is a good idea to keep your receipt. This will help the Salmonella lawyer link your Salmonella infection to that particular food item or restaurant that made you sick.
- Keep a Journal. Sometimes it is helpful to make a journal entry about what you have gone through during your Salmonella infection. This will give the Salmonella attorney a timeline of events from the time you ate a particular food until you became sick. This will also help the attorney understand your symptoms and what you went through for your damages.
- Report Your Illness to Your Local Health Department. Food poisoning in general is highly underreported. Salmonella, even as common as it is, is also severely underreported. For every 1 confirmed Salmonella case, 29 go unreported. By reporting your illness the local health department can determine if your illness is part of an outbreak or help identify what food item may have made you sick.
By calling a Salmonella lawyer right away, you are helping to ensure your rights have been preserved. Even if you do not feel like you are prepared enough at this moment, calling a Salmonella lawyer sooner rather than later can help preserve your claim.
Whether it occurred in a store or outside of someone’s home, a slip and fall accident can result in many types of injuries and put you out of commision for a while. As you’re probably eager to return to work and your regular activities as soon as possible, it’s important to take good care of yourself during the recovery process.
Here are some tips for recovering from a slip and fall accident.
Get a Proper Diagnosis
Before you can get on the road to recovery, you have to find out specifically what types of injuries you suffered from the slip and fall accident. Schedule an appointment with a doctor to get checked out as soon as possible. During your appointment, describe the symptoms you are experiencing and don’t leave out any details. After giving you an examination and conducting the appropriate tests, your doctor should be able to give you an accurate diagnosis.
Listen to Your Doctor’s Orders
After your doctor has given you a proper diagnosis for your slip and fall injury, he or she will recommend the appropriate treatment. For example, if you sprained your ankle, your doctor may suggest that you go to physical therapy. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice if you want to get better as quickly as possible. Your doctor has likely treated similar injuries in the past and knows what treatments are most effective.
Discuss Pain Management Techniques
Slip and fall injuries, such as broken bones and neck injuries, are often accompanied by pain. Being in pain all day can make it difficult to go about your day and concentrate on your recovery. That’s why you should talk to your doctor about various pain management techniques you can try. In addition to pain medication, your doctor may suggest hot and cold treatments and massages to deal with the discomfort.
Get Plenty of Rest
Adequate rest is essential to recovery from a slip and fall injury. When you rest, your body has a chance to repair its tissues, speeding up the recovery process. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. If you feel a little tired during the day, don’t hesitate to take a nap.
Eat the Right Foods
The foods you eat can also have a major impact on your recovery. For example, foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, tuna and olive oil, can decrease inflammation throughout your body, helping you feel better. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains can also help the recovery process.
If your slip and fall accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. Talk to an experienced slip and fall attorney today about the details about your case. He or she can assess the strength of your case and help you gather evidence, identify witnesses and talk to insurance companies.
Most slip and fall accident lawyers offer free initial consultations, so don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting with one.
Even if it is clear in a commercial truck accident that the truck driver was the reason the accident took place, it can sometimes be difficult to determine who is liable legally. There are some things to consider with a personal injury lawyer Wytheville, VA residents rely on when trying to figure out who is liable.
When is a Company Responsible for How a Driver Acts?
The main theory behind the idea of liability that would hold a company responsible for an accident caused by a truck driver is “respondeat superior”. This is a Latin term that essentially means the superior is responsible. What this means is that an employer is responsible for any actions by their employees, as long as their acts were not intentional and took place during an element of their employment. This states that the employee’s liability is to the employer, making the employer just as responsible as if they had personally committed the act by themselves. The reason for this is that it is assumed that there is going to be wrongful behavior during the lifespan of a company’s business. Because of this, the costs of this conduct should be charged to the employer as a risk of doing business. Another reasoning is that typically companies have more money than its employees and are able to therefore buy better insurance which should cover their entire company.
Independent Contractor or Employee?
If there has been an accident involving a truck driver, the truck driver will have to prove that they are an employee of a company, instead of being an independent contractor. Typically if a truck driver is an independent contractor, a company is normally not responsible for any actions of an independent contractor. When determining if someone is an employee or an independent contractor, it is based on if the employer is responsible to control the means and manner in which their work needs to be done. If the company dictates the work that needs to be done but not how the work gets done, then it is viewed as an independent contractor.
For instance, if a truck driver was hired to move a load of a product across the country, however, he used his personal truck, paid for his own gas, carried his own insurance, did not receive benefits from the company, paid for the repairs to his truck, was not trained by the company on how to drive the truck or make deliveries, and was paid based on each route, then the truck driver would most likely be considered an independent contractor.
Intentional Behavior of the Truck Driver
While it is usually assumed that the company is liable for any accidents caused by their employees, there is an exception to that rule. A company is not reliable for any intentional actions done by their employee. As stated previously, a company is only responsible when the actions of their employees are completely unintentional, so if an act was done on purpose, the company is no longer responsible. For instance, if a truck driver were to hit a car because the driver of the other vehicle was having an affair with his wife, the company would not be liable.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their knowledge about commercial truck accidents and personal injury cases.