A class-action lawsuit is one in which one or several plaintiffs file and prosecute a case on behalf of many other plaintiffs. This is what may happen, for example, if a chemical factory is accused of polluting a local river that ends up harming hundreds of people. If, alongside many other people, you have been harmed by a common defendant or defendants, then you may receive a notification asking you to opt in (join) or opt out (leave) the lawsuit. Here are five reasons for joining a class action suit:
1. Reduced Cost of Litigation
Members of the class (all the plaintiffs who have opted in) will share most of the costs of the lawsuit. Some of the costs to share include expert testimony fees, administrative costs (related to copying documents, transcription, and document delivery fees), and even miscellaneous expenses such as travel costs for the lawyers handling the case. You have to bear these costs alone if you decide to opt out of the class action and pursue your own remedy.
2. Opportunity to Seek Small Compensations
If you are pursuing a personal injury case, there are costs you will be expected to bear irrespective of the size of the compensation you are expecting. For example, in addition to the legal fees, you may have to hire a court reporter for a deposition, pay court filing fees, or make copies of supportive documents. This is why it may not be economical to pursue a case if the potential compensation is low. With a class action, you share the costs so you can still sue for small cases.
Increased Opportunity of Receiving a Settlement
Consider a case in which a small company's negligence leads to hundreds of injuries. The first people to sue the company (and win) for personal injury are likely to get the compensation they deserve. However, you may not get anything if you are filing your case after tens of plaintiffs have collected their judgments. You may win your case and still end up with nothing because the defendant may lack the means to pay.
A class-action lawsuit eliminates such uncertainty. The judgment won by your attorney is binding to everybody who opted in the class action case. Therefore, you are entitled to a share of the compensation money; it may be small, but it is better than not getting anything at all.
In any situation, confer with a lawyer, such as one from the Law Office of Leslie S. Shaw, before opting into a class-action suit. This is because there are cases for which it is actually best to opt out and pursue your own case. A good example is if your injuries were far greater than those of other plaintiffs, and you believe you are entitled to a greater compensation than them.Share
18 August 2015
When I was injured in a slip and fall accident a few years ago, my family and friends had a hard time relating to the things I was going through. While some people thought that my decision to file a lawsuit was frivolous, others were under the impression that I would walk away as a millionaire. Their lack of personal experience with this type of legal problem left me feeling alone during one of the most difficult times in my life. That is why I decided to start this blog so that accident victims from all over would have somewhere to come to get the information and support that they need. I truly hope that this page can be that place for you.