5 Things You Should Know If Joining a Class Action Lawsuit
Posted in Uncategorized on October 11, 2018.
A class action lawsuit is essentially a legal battle between many plaintiffs and a single defendant, usually a large company. Defective products, one-time incidents, consumer fraud, and many other possible issues can lead to class action lawsuits. When private individuals sustain damages from large, powerful companies they need to know their options for legal recourse, and joining a class action lawsuit generally offers the best chance of recovery.
While a class action lawsuit may seem straightforward, there are several risks and benefits of joining one. Consider the following five things you should know about joining a class action lawsuit and consult an experienced class action attorney if you think you may need to do so.
5 Tips To Know Before You Join a Class Action Lawsuit
Class Action Lawsuits Have Better Odds of Success
There is strength in numbers, and individual plaintiffs may not have the resources or time to pursue individual claims against a defendant. This is especially true when a defendant has virtually unlimited resources and has several attorneys on retainer. A single plaintiff may not be able to afford legal representation if a defendant does everything possible to delay proceedings. In a class action lawsuit, potential plaintiffs must apply to join, so the initial review process for joining a class action lawsuit generally indicates whether the plaintiff has a claim.
Your Compensation Is Limited in a Class Action Case
A class action lawsuit allows many plaintiffs with similar damage claims against a single defendant to quickly resolve their claims, but the payout for winning a class action lawsuit is typically lower than the amount a plaintiff could win in an individual claim. Joining a class action lawsuit is contingent upon agreeing not to pursue additional legal action against the defendant. Ultimately, a class action lawsuit offers a much better chance of success in a shorter time, but at the cost of a lower final compensation amount.
Class Action Lawsuits Are More Affordable Than Individual Claims
Legal fees for joining class action lawsuits are minimal, and some claimants may not need to do anything after joining a lawsuit to receive compensation. Some claimants may not need to pay any legal fees at all depending on the type of lawsuit they join. The appeals process can vary depending on the defendant, the amount of the damages stated in the case ruling, and the number of plaintiffs, but they are much faster than resolving many individual claims.
You Have a Limited Time to Join a Class Action Lawsuit
Since class action lawsuits offer plaintiffs a very high chance of success, defendants in class action cases typically want the proceedings to go as quickly as possible. Once the class action concludes, the plaintiffs will not be able to pursue any additional legal actions against the defendant for the same damages. Pay close attention to the claim filing deadlines for any class action lawsuit for which you might qualify. Depending on the issue in question, a defendant may notify you of your right to join a class action lawsuit via mail, so pay close attention to any such notices you receive and talk to an attorney if you have questions.
Your Payout Will Take a Long Time
If the case concludes and there are no appeals following the ruling, plaintiffs can usually expect their compensation in six months to a year after the case finishes. It’s important for claimants to remember that the final award will not be much, but it can be enough to cover the damages of small claims that would otherwise be total losses.
If you are not sure whether you qualify to join a class action lawsuit in progress, or you think your damages go beyond the scope of what other class action plaintiffs have experienced, an attorney can help you better understand your legal position and the potential benefits of filing an individual claim.