The idea of filing a case against False Claims Act violations can be pretty intimidating. Worrying about retaliation on the job is frightening. Even though the law protects against retaliation such as job loss or losing a promotion, the fear is real. Retaliation can take place, and you need the law to assert your rights and reverse the discrimination.
One concern can be that you don’t yet know what happens in court in a False Claims Act violation. The court can always be scary if you aren’t used to it. Having a trained, experienced attorney at your side will help. Understanding the process beforehand will also help. It’s just like when you bake a cake. You need the proper ingredients, the order of the process, and knowledge of the waiting time while it bakes. False Claims Act violations are much the same in the process.
Will My False Claims Act Violation Go to Court?
The first step in a False Claims Act is to visit with an attorney with experience in this type of lawsuit. An attorney can tell you exactly what kind of evidence to bring to court. She will tell you how you can document your proof and keep it safe. She can discuss how you can determine if anyone else in the company is friendly to the case. There are many details, but a qualified attorney who has been down this road before knows what is necessary for the government to step in the case.
Once you have the proofs you need, you and your attorney will bring the matter to the Department of Justice. You must be the first person, or original source, to have brought the case to the government. The suit is called a qui tam suit. Qui tam means, “on behalf of the king.” The lawsuit may be brought on a federal level or a state level. It will depend on the state laws where the fraud takes place. When the proofs are brought in, the DOJ will examine the case and then investigate.
What If the Government Intervenes on Your False Claims Act Violations Case?
The government has an initial time frame of 60 days to investigate the company accused of fraud. The case is under seal, which means no one knows except you and the government. The company will not know there is an investigation. You can stay anonymous. If they decide to take the case, they take over and handle it from there. You are known as the relator. If the government wins, your reward is 15-25% of the amount recovered. This award can add up to millions of dollars.
The government can decide on a settlement that you may not agree with, but once they have intervened, you no longer have any say in the matter. The only time you have an option is if the government decides to opt out of the case and does not intervene.
What If the Government Opts out of the False Claims Act Violations Case?
If the DOJ doesn’t intervene, you can decide to continue the case on your own. It is critical to have an attorney who is well versed in False Claims Act cases at this point in the case. If you won, you would be entitled to up to 30% of the government’s award.
How Do I Know What Attorney I Should Use for False Claims Act Violations?
Like every lawsuit, you should find an attorney who is knowledgeable about qui tam cases. Choose a lawyer who has experience fighting for and winning False Claims Act violations. Make sure your attorney is someone you feel comfortable with and trust.
There can be anxiety and even fear involved in whistleblowing cases. Although your employer cannot legally retaliate against you, it doesn’t mean they won’t try. You want a False Claims Act attorney you can count on to make sure your rights are not violated at work. Harassment can be a large part of your experience, so you need to know you have someone you can rely on to get you through it.
Not everyone experiences trouble at work by bringing a suit forward, especially if the government intervenes and handles things. It’s important to be prepared, however, in case things shift against you. Just because your employer has no legal standing to fire you doesn’t mean they won’t try to get away with it.
When you’re looking for experienced attorneys who can walk you through False Claims Act violation case, look to Bothwell Law Group. We’ll walk you through the entire process and do our best to win your reward. To learn more about False Claims Act violations, contact Bothwell Law Group online today.