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4 Things You Need To Know About Class Action Lawsuits

Getting injured as a result of someone else’s negligent behavior can be a scary experience. With the life-changing consequences of your injuries, you may want to sue the at-fault party and recover compensation for your damages. However, when your injuries are too minor that they only require a small amount of compensation, filing an individual lawsuit may not be practical. This is where a class action lawsuit enters the picture.

A class action lawsuit pertains to a legal remedy that allows a particular group of individuals represented collectively to initiate a lawsuit against someone who caused them harm.  Just like other legal processes, class action lawsuits come with a unique set of requirements. Without familiarizing yourself with these things, you may not be able to file a class action case successfully.  

To make sure you’re doing the right thing for a class action lawsuit, below are the four things you need to know:  

Class Certification Process 

Typically, a lawsuit doesn’t automatically become a class action upon the filing of a complaint. It needs to be certified by the designated judge to have a class action status. However, in doing so, you need to comply with the prerequisites to ensure certification. These can include:  

  • Number of people needed for a class action – The judge will look at the number of individuals involved in the case before they can issue class certification. In most cases, a lawsuit becomes a class action when there are hundreds of people involved. Meaning, there should be an adequate number of plaintiffs that it’ll become impractical to file a lawsuit separately.  
  • Commonality of claims – This means that the claims or defenses should share common questions of law or fact. The class should be able to show the existence of at least one question of law or fact among the members.  
  • Sufficient connection between the representative’s claim and the class members – This is a typical requirement of the class certification process. Meaning, the claims of the class representative should be similar to that of the class.  
  • Ability of the class representative to represent the absent class members – This means that the class representative should be able to sufficiently represent the interests of the class members. The court will pay attention to the issue of whether the interests of the representative and the members conflict with one another. 

As you can see, a class certification process can be very challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. Hence, if you want to ensure a successful class certification, check out to know more about class action lawsuits and how they can work for your situation.  

Parties Involved  

When filing a lawsuit, knowing the parties involved is important so they’re identified from the beginning of the legal process. Therefore, unlike other types of legal proceedings, class action lawsuits have three different parties involved. These can include: 

  • Lead Plaintiff – This person is the one filing the lawsuit in court. As such, their name will appear in the complaint and all other legal documents involved. A lead plaintiff is usually the representative of the class in the case.  
  • Class Members – These are composed of many individuals who have a common interest in the lawsuit. Even if their names don’t appear in the complaint, they’re still covered by the settlement or final judgment of the lawsuit.  
  • Defendant – This is the person or entity that wronged the lead plaintiff and class members. 

Small Amount Of Settlement  

Filing a class action lawsuit is much easier and less costly than initiating a separate lawsuit because all the members share on the expenses incurred by the case. However, it doesn’t mean that all class members will receive a large settlement. Even if the defendant pays a settlement compensation worth millions of dollars, the plaintiffs may only receive a small amount of settlement when divided among all of them.  

Therefore, before you decide to join in a class action lawsuit, determine whether the amount you’ll get in a class action covers your damages substantially.  

Option To Stay In Or Out Of The Lawsuit

Upon the start of a class action lawsuit, all the potential plaintiffs are asked about their intention to participate in the case. This means you have the option to include or exclude yourself from the lawsuit if you want to.  

However, when you opt to be part of a class action lawsuit, you waive your rights to file a separate and individual legal action. Thus, if you believe your injuries and damages are more substantial than the other class members, you should talk to a lawyer to explain your legal options. That way, you can avoid experiencing a failed personal injury case when you decide to pursue a separate lawsuit.  

Bottom Line 

With the information mentioned above, it’s clear that filing a class action lawsuit is never easy since there are many things to consider from start to finish. In such a case, be sure to choose a dedicated class action lawyer with whom you can discuss this legal matter efficiently. Using their skills and experience, they can help you fight for your rights against big companies and organizations so you’ll receive the right amount of compensation for the damages you’ve sustained.  

Hopefully, you find this article beneficial in learning how class action lawsuits can help you with your unique situation.  


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