In February, the new Attorney General in Maryland, Brian Frosh, put forth support for an expansion to the current False Claims Act in Maryland. So far, the bill has been supported by both sides of the aisle and just passed the Senate with almost unanimous support. Though the bill, if passed, will be an important step for strengthening anti-corruption programs in Maryland, there are many observers who think that the law doesn’t go far enough. Compared to the false claims laws in other states, Maryland’s new FCA would still be less effective.
What is the False Claims Act?
A false claims act allows private individuals to become whistleblowers and file lawsuits for fraud on behalf of themselves and the government. If you had knowledge that someone was committing health care fraud, you would not normally be able to file a lawsuit yourself because you would lack standing. These laws allow private individuals to file the lawsuits and help the government find new sources of corruption. These laws also allow the whistleblowers themselves to receive a portion of the award if the court uncovers fraud. This acts as an incentive for people to report the fraud of others.
False Claims Laws in Maryland
There are two ways that current Maryland law is much weaker than false claims laws in other states. Firstly, the law only applies to fraud that is related to healthcare programs. Most states have laws that allow their citizens to report all types of fraud. Though healthcare fraud is a major source of fraud, at least of 40% of government fraud recoveries come from other sources. This new law Maryland law, if passed, will eliminate this limitation, so that Maryland citizens can file lawsuits regarding other types of fraud.
The other difference is that in Maryland, individuals can only file lawsuits if the government decides to intervene and help them pay for legal expenses. In other states, individuals are able to file the lawsuits without government intervention. Many believe that this distinction in Maryland is lowering the number of lawsuits regarding fraud. Unfortunately, the new expansion to the law would not address this issue.
As an expert in personal injury law, our firm has always been very careful to avoid fraudulent healthcare claims. Though the public perception is that personal injury claims can be frivolous and exaggerate the injuries of victims, in our experience this is not true. We help our clients accurately represent their injuries and damages, so that they can get just compensation from insurance companies and other parties.
When individuals commit fraud for personal injury lawsuits, it puts them at great risk, because many times they are caught. Our law firm fights for our clients and helps them legally maximize their compensation, so that fraud is not only a bad idea, but completely unnecessary. If you were recently injured in an accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.