Have you recently been injured, harmed, or lost a lot of money to a big corporation? If so, you could be entitled to compensation by joining a class action lawsuit. Lawyers for class action cases in your area might already have cases on file from other plaintiffs filing for the same damages as you against the same defendant.
Whenever a large group of people is harmed in some way by a large entity–whether it’s a government facility or business–the possibility of a class action lawsuit being available is something to look into.
But before you decide to join the group, it’s important to know the pros and cons of joining a class action lawsuit versus filing on your own. Here’s your comprehensive guide to give you some clarity on what a class action suit really is.
What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?
Class action and mass tort are interchangeable terms with very different meanings. They both function differently, but both stem from a large group of individuals seeking to recover damages from the same defendant based on their injuries.
A class action case is a lawsuit that contains a higher number of plaintiffs since victims do not have to be in the same region, as mass torts. Members of a class action lawsuit have to file and have their claim certified through the courts in order to join the lawsuit.
These cases are started when one plaintiff–who in some cases is known as the “lead plaintiff”– files their case. Information is then either shared with the public or with certain individuals who may qualify for having similar injuries.
The goal of a class action suit is for a group of people to come together and represent all of the victims that were injured by one single defendant. Those victims are then compensated for their injuries at the end of the case. This is one of the attributes that make it different from a standard case.
In a standard case, a plaintiff will be acting alone and working with an attorney to be the only person represented in their case.
Here are the pros of joining a class action lawsuit.
There Are More Plaintiffs
Sometimes it can be difficult to prove fault against a large corporation–especially if it’s a drug or pharmaceutical company. Some plaintiffs find comfort in class action suits since there’s more than one person testifying they suffered from the same injuries. A lot of times having all of these accounts and evidence gives the defendant no choice to win.
Justice Is Carried Out
Most of the time, defendants are always found guilty and have to pay or compensate the victims in a class action suit, which can bring a lot of relief to the plaintiffs. Class action suits are very powerful from the large class members, so all plaintiffs can find comfort in seeing justice be fairly served.
Settlement Earnings Are Equal
In a mass tort case, settlement earnings are dispersed amongst the case members based on their individual needs. That is not the case for class action suits.
The final settlement in a class action suit is dispersed equally among each member no matter how much or little you may have lost compared to another member. This can greatly help some plaintiffs recover more in damages they expected to help cover medical bills and provide security for the future.
Lawyer Fees Are Smaller
Hiring lawyers for class action cases can be expensive, but due to class action suits containing a large number of plaintiffs, litigation costs are much lower than if you were to file only your own. If you are someone who was contemplating not hiring an attorney due to the expense, this can be very helpful in moving forward.
Here are the cons of joining a class action lawsuit.
There Is A Lead Plaintiff
In a class action suit, each member is not given their own trial like they are in mass torts. There is a lead plaintiff in class action cases that works with the attorney and speaks in trial on behalf of all the other plaintiffs. They are given responsibilities to testify and accept or reject offers while also consulting with the attorney throughout the case. With this being said, plaintiffs who are not the lead will not have a voice in the case.
Class Action Lawsuits Take A While
It can take years to settle a class action lawsuit since there is a lot involved. There’s the wrangling of other potential class members, each member becoming certified, attorneys collecting evidence, and the actual trial. If you are someone who is needing immediate relief or a quicker timeline, it might be more beneficial to file independently.
You Give Up Other Potential Earnings
While the thought of receiving an equal settlement sounds fair, it could actually be more detrimental in some cases. This means if you lost tens of thousands of dollars, you could potentially not recover but a small percentage of what you lost, especially since class action suits are large and everyone receives the same amount. If you want to seek your own damages and recover it all, a class action suit might not be the option for you.
Get Help Today With Class Action Coalition
It can be confusing trying to decide if joining a class action suit is worth it, which is why the lawyers for class action at Class Action Coalition want to help.
We offer nationwide assistance to individuals who are contemplating joining a class action suit, and we would love to help you decide if this is the best option for your future.
You can schedule your free consultation today by calling us at (855) 938-0980.