Thousands of BP Claims to be Investigated and Prosecuted if Proven Fraudulent

In December 2013 British Petroleum (BP) sued Mikal Watts, a San Antonio attorney for filing more than 40,000 false claims against BP. Two years after, U.S. prosecutors in Mississippi unsealed an indictment of Watts and six others (one of them was his brother) on 95 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, and identity theft all related to the more than 40,000 false claims.

One of the phony claims filed by Watts, which amounts to $45,930.00, was in behalf of a certain Lucy Lu, who Watts identified as a deckhand on a commercial seafood vessel. It was found out, however, that Lucy Lu was not a person, but a dog. Four other claims totaling to $183,720 was discovered to be named after four people who died before the 2010 oil spill.

Within a year after the April 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (considered the the worst oil spill in U.S. history), and after the British oil giant assured those affected of a settlement agreement which, basically, had no causation requirement for claims, people started coming forward talking of injuries and losses, especially those who owned businesses along and near the coast; many even said they had to close down the business due to bankruptcy. To pay all settlement claims, BP first made estimates amounting to more than $2 billion. A couple of years after, the estimated amount went up to more than $7 billion.

This last quarter of 2016, after already having paid $19 billion and with billions more to settle, BP is echoing its call of fraud on thousands of claims filed. In connection to this, a Wisconsin white collar crime lawyer says that investigation and prosecution of all meritorious reports of fraud (which includes fraudulent claims, identity theft, insurance fraud, charity fraud, and procurement and government-benefit fraud) has become high priority for the Department of Justice. Working together to handle fraudulent cases are the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Offices, and federal criminal investigative agencies, with assistance from the National Center for Disaster Fraud.

Some claimants, who have been contacted by investigators, have already been charged with fraud. Whether investigators are yet to contact you of have already charged you of fraud, it may be best that you take a number of precautions to protect yourself, regardless of the actual legitimacy of your claim.

Some Types of Disabling Conditions the Social Security Administration Considers Eligible for Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA), through its two large programs, provides financial benefits to America’s working group (whose jobs are covered by Social Security) and to certain individuals determined eligible by the SSA.

These financial benefits may take the form of any of the following:

  • Disability benefits – paid to employees who sustain total permanent disability, whether the injury or illness, which caused this disability, was work-related;
  • Retirement benefits – paid to employees who have retired from work (65 years old and above);
  • Benefits for spouses and/or other survivors of a family member who has passed – paid to widows and widowers (or divorced widows and widowers) and unmarried children under 18 years old (or up to 19 if child is attending full time an elementary or secondary school; and,
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The first three are paid to Social Security members through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Social Security members refer to employees who have earned SSA’s required number of credits via their monthly payment of SS taxes. Payment to these taxes are automatically deducted in employees’ monthly take home pay; this is entered in their payslip under the heading “FICA,” which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

The fourth (in the list above) is paid through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The recipients of SSI cash benefits include:

  • Disabled adults and disabled children (below 18 years old) who have limited income and resources; and,
  • People 65 years old or older who do not have any disability, but who meet the financial limits set under the federal benefit rate (FBR).

Employees or non-employees who wish to apply for cash benefits due to disability should understand that SSA approves only applications of those who have total permanent disability. Under SSA definition, a total permanent disability is a severe condition that:

  • Has lasted for about a year or is expected to last for at least a year;
  • Has resulted in the inability to perform any substantial gainful activity (in the case of disabled adults) or has resulted in severe functional limitations (in the case of children); and,
  • Can be expected to result in the disabled person’s death.

The SSA has prepared a list of disabilities which would make a person eligible for cash benefits if his/her condition would be found in the list. According to the Hankey Law Office, some types of disabling conditions that are found eligible for cash benefits under either the SSDI or SSI, include:

  • Cardiovascular system disorders
  • Digestive system disorders
  • Endocrine system disorders
  • Genitourinary impairments
  • Hematological disorders
  • Immune system disorders
  • Impairments that affect multiple body systems
  • Malignant neoplastic disease
  • Mental disorders
  • Musculoskeletal system disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Special senses and speech disorders

People suffering from short-term disability will not be eligible to receive disability benefits from SS. However, for those whose disability is included in list above or in the list prepared by the SSA, or even those suffering from multiple health problems which render them incapable of performing any substantial gainful activity, it may be to their benefit if they would immediately seek the assistance of a highly-competent Social Security disability lawyer in their SS disability benefits application.

Nursing Home Abuse

Reposting nursing home abuse is very important not only to protect the victim and their family, but also to prevent the incident from ever happening again. As the “baby boomer” generation ages, the increase in nursing home has also lead to an increase in elder abuse. According to the United States Census Bureau, about 60 million of the country’s population will be over the age of 65, and with so many types of elder abuse that can occur it is important that such abuses are identified and reported when a nursing home resident in being abused.

Crowe & Mulvey, LLP reports that the most common and obvious form of elder abuse is physical. However, there are other types of elder abuse, such as emotional, sexual, and financial exploitation, as well as many forms of neglect and maltreatment. The problem is so widespread that reports from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) around 44 percent of nursing home residents have been victims of abuse, and that 95 percent of those who participated in the survey further stated being a witness or a victim of neglect. Other studies have estimated that abuse reports are rarely done, with only 1 in every 24 abuse incidents are reported.

When you suspect a nursing home abuse and it’s an emergency, the best way to help is to call 911, otherwise, law enforcement agencies or the office of the District Attorney should be given a report. Other places to report a nursing home abuse are the APS (Adult Protective services) that offers various services and additional resources to help, as well as the National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence that provides various hotline numbers to report elder abuse in every state.

Distracted Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) along with additional government and personal companies have consistently indicated why automobile accidents are preventable events and clarified. Carelessness, which leads to inattentiveness and/or recklessness, is consistently the number one reason why millions of motorists, motorbike, and bike riders, and people continue to be badly hurt or killed on U.S. streets; but negligence may easily be avoided.

This really crucial disappointment to make sure that nothing is wrong may lead: to an automobile manufacturer selling a defective vehicle or substandard vehicular parts; local government bureaus or federal government channels in ensuring that US roads and bridges are nicely built, maintained and repaired if with defects; and, drivers violating traffic security guidelines by drinking while under the effect of booze, over-speeding, driving recklessly, employing a hand-held telephone while driving and enabling distractions to get the better of him/her while supporting the wheel.

There may just be where there are signs stating these, have produced hazardous, incorrect overtakes, never used signal fires and/or tailgated another automobile, a minor variety of drivers that have pushed via a red light, never slowed down or stopped. But undoubtedly, just about all drivers, whatever kind of car they handle, have now been distracted while on your way.

According to Williams Kherkher‘s website, distracted driving is seen as a the deflection of a driver’s attention in the road due to some other activity. Some of these actions can be:

  • Texting
  • Eating
  • Speaking with a passenger
  • Grooming
  • Reading a map for directions
  • Viewing a video
  • Adjusting any portable electronic device, cd-player, or the radio

Driving distractions are really so ordinary a driver, usually than perhaps not, will never even understand that he/she is already being distracted. While driving, one’s attention must be concentrated simply on the road – a principle which several simply carry on to understand, although that each driver understands. Any distraction can risk the driver, his/her traveler/peoples and other drivers traveling. There are 400,000 injuries yearly thanks to distracted driving, as stated by CDC and the NHTSA, over 3,000 deaths.

Casualties have the lawful right to sue those responsible for the mishap, for the compensation that they deserve on account of the damage they are made to endure.

If a car accident calls for a sufferer, who might take the duration of performing his or her occupation, then such victim can benefit substantially from the qualified guidance of workers’ compensation attorneys, whose expertise and commitment in fighting for workers’ right to settlement is unable to be questioned.

Well, placing aside the matter of settlement, those who continue to to behave negligently on the highway (or occasionally in an operating environment) should recognize when they injure or kill someone because of their negligence, the life of the victim, and of his or her family, may be changed forever – an alteration that no quantity of money may compensate. Nonperformance is the absence of attention, leading to injuries which are undoubtedly not unpreventable. It wouldn’t hurt if one should begin caring for the others.

SR-22 Insurance: What is it? Who needs it?

It comes as no surprise when data from the United States Census Bureau shows that car accidents are a frequent occurrence in roads and highways all over the nation. For the year 2009 alone, the federal government agency noted that a total 10.8 million vehicular crashes had been reported. While the numbers of such accidents have steadily declined in recent years, the U.S. still sees a fair amount of fatalities caused by traffic collisions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 32,719 people have died in car accidents last 2013.

Both of these aforementioned facts are troubling. Roads and highways still aren’t as safe as they can be, and drivers should take heed of the things they can do to ensure such accidents occur less in the coming years. One of the most important points that come up in this regard is the necessity of SR-22 Insurance.

SR-22 Insurance is among the many different safety nets mandated by different state laws to ensure that the safety of motorists and pedestrians are prioritized in roads and highways. It is a type of insurance policy that is required of certain drivers before they can regain their privilege to operate their vehicles once again. In some states, SR-22 is required from drivers that have been convicted of traffic offenses or have committed a certain number of violations over a specific period of time. SR-22 is particularly necessary for individuals who were convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) and those that have incurred 3 or more traffic violations within a span of a year or so. Causing a car accident without providing proper insurance information can also cause a driver to be required to have SR-22 before having their suspension lifted.

To get SR-22 insurance, you will need to speak with a reputable insurance company and pay a minimum premium in order to get the required amount for your policy. From there, you can fill out the SR-22 form proving that attained the coverage policy required of you and then have it forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV. There are insurance companies will take care of this entire process, ensuring clients that they won’t have to worry about going through the lengthy and complicated process. If you want the same convenience, do your research and shop for a company that can offer the best services for the most reasonable price.