Mass Tort vs. Class Action Lawsuit: The Differences

Have you recently been injured or harmed by a large company or organization? If so, you’ve likely heard of your two legal options being a mass tort or class action lawsuit. Both have a lot of similarities but also have stark differences that can affect how your claim ends. The good news is that lawyers for class action suits and mass tort claims are here to help.

Before you try to file your claim, it’s important to know the key differences between mass tort and class action suits, so you are prepared for their processes and know which one best fits your needs. This guide gives you information on both lawsuits and indicators on how to choose the right one to file.

What Is a Class Action Suit?

A class action suit is a group of plaintiffs filing a claim against the same defendant for causing them to suffer similar injuries. For example, these cases can be seen against businesses with a defective products, pharmaceutical companies with damaging medicine, or airlines with faulty planes.

Class action suits are very complex to join and start. No one can simply file a class action claim, they have to be approved and deemed eligible to join a class before work can begin. The large group of plaintiffs in a class action suit is known as the class. In order for a person’s claim to be approved, their information needs to be passed through the courts in order to review and assess the information in comparison to those who have already filed to find similar connections.

Unlike mass tort cases, class action lawsuits, once they start, have a “head plaintiff” that does the representing the rest of the class. This head plaintiff is responsible for testifying against the defendant in court, consulting with the attorney, and helping make decisions for the rest of the individuals.

One of the biggest differences between a class action lawsuit and a mass tort is that the plaintiffs are treated as one instead of having separate trials. That means whatever the final settlement amount comes out to, it is split equally amongst all of the class members.

What Is a Mass Tort Case?

Mass tort cases, while they have similarities of having a large group of plaintiffs file injuries against the same defendant, are treated differently than class action suits. For starters, mass tort cases operate very similarly to standard injury cases. Every plaintiff filing a mass tort case gets a trial, so earnings are not dispersed equally.

Plaintiffs also do not have to be approved by the courts in order to join. All that needs to be done for mass tort cases is to have medical records and other important documentation reviewed by an attorney to compare with other members of a mass tort case. This helps to strengthen the numbers of those filing against the entity and have more people with similar injuries testify.

One of the key differences in mass tort cases is that there needs to be more proof than plaintiffs sharing the same defendant. There needs to be medical documentation that each defendant suffered similarily in injuries from the same person and in a similar manner.

You may be wondering what the point is of a mass tort case if none of the plaintiffs are filed together in one large group and are treated separately. One of the pros of joining a mass tort case is that there is strength in numbers.

You will have a lot you need to prove for your mass tort case that shows the connection between the defendant, your injuries, and similar injuries suffered by other plaintiffs. In other words, the other plaintiffs can serve as extra evidence of the defendant’s negligence, especially if more than one person suffered in the same physical or mental way.

How to Determine Which One Suits Your Needs

When it comes down to it, the key difference between class action and mass tort cases is how the plaintiffs are treated. Determining which cases best suit your needs can depend on personal preferences and which avenue gives you a stronger chance of receiving a settlement to cover your needs.

One beneficial aspect of class action lawsuits is that every plaintiff is treated the same and receives the same amount, so you can feel secure that you will receive a settlement that will not be larger or smaller than others in your class. For some people, this isn’t what they want. It is possible for you to lose more in damages and receive a settlement that does not cover all that you lost. It depends on how many members of your class there are and how much the class is awarded.

If you would like to have the opportunity to have your own case and not share any of your settlement equally, then a mass tort case would be the better fit. The issue with this avenue is that your settlement might be lower than others in the group. Plus, not all mass tort cases end in a monetary supplement.

There have been a few cases where mass tort cases result in coupons and other types of non-monetary rewards for those in the lawsuit.

The best way to determine which option gives you the better outcome, consult with an attorney to see what they recommend based on your claim and supporting evidence.

Speak to Lawyers for Class Action and Mass Torts Today

Still have questions? Ready to file? The experts at Class Action Lawyer Coalition can help you file. Regardless of if you want to join a mass tort or class action suit, you need the right team of legal professionals on your side. Our attorneys help serve individuals nationwide who have experienced negligence at the hands of large corporations, so there isn’t any area we turn down.

We would love to get started with a free consultation to better understand your claim and help you determine if you’re better suited for a class action suit or mass tort. Call (855) 938-0980 to talk to an experienced attorney.