Individuals who believe they have observed someone else defrauding the government often wonder if they have a valid claim. The answer to that is a difficult one, and no one can really determine if a claim is valid without fully analyzing the facts of the case. However, if you believe that you have witnessed someone at your work or elsewhere defrauding the government, below are a few guidelines you can follow to determine if you have a case. Of course, a San Francisco qui tam lawyer can always provide the best advice on whether you have a valid claim.
Is it Just a Hunch?
Qui tam cases are typically more successful when the whistleblower has actually witnessed specific instances of wrongdoing. This is because whistleblowers need specific knowledge that a violation has occurred. That makes it easier to collect evidence, identify the wrongful act, and then pursue the claim. Simply having a hunch or a feeling that someone is doing something wrong usually is not enough to go on to pursue a case.
How did You Learn of the Wrongdoing?
Many people think that whistleblower lawsuits can only be filed by employees, or former employees, of the accused person or agency. This is not the case, however. Along with these employees, industry insiders and experts, or anyone else who has noticed wrongdoing can bring a whistleblower claim.
How Long Ago did the Wrongdoing Occur?
Just because a wrongful act happened some time ago does not mean it did not happen. Unfortunately, it may mean that you can no longer file a whistleblower claim. Like so many other legal actions, whistleblower claims have a statute of limitations. This is the time limit you have to file your claim. If the statute of limitations has expired, the chances are that you are barred from filing your claim, as the courts will likely throw it out.
Do You have Evidence?
Like any legal case, evidence is crucial in qui tam cases. Without it, you simply cannot prove your claim. However, even if you have witnessed wrongdoing and do not yet have evidence, it does not mean you do not have a case. A qui tam attorney in San Francisco can help you collect the evidence necessary to pursue your case.
Do You Meet the Requirements?
Under the False Claims Act and other pieces of legislation governing whistleblower actions, you will need to meet certain requirements. Understanding what these are is often very challenging, as the laws are complex and in-depth. An attorney can help potential whistleblowers determine if they have a case and if so, help them prove it and file their claim.
Our San Francisco Qui Tam Lawyers can Determine if You Have a Claim
Making the decision to file a whistleblower claim is often difficult. Sometimes though, trying to determine if you even have a decision to make is more challenging. If you believe you have witnessed wrongdoing against our government but are not sure if you have a claim, call our San Francisco qui tam lawyers today. At Willoughby Brod, LLP, we will review your case free of charge, determine if you have a valid claim and if so, help you pursue it to give you the best chance of a possible outcome. Do not take this on alone. Call us today at (800) 427-7020 to get the help you need.