A class action lawsuit is a serious accusation that could impact hundreds or even thousands of people. If you want to file a class action lawsuit, you need to know what qualifies as a class action lawsuit, how to file the suit, and how to find the people who may belong to the “class.” Continue reading to learn about class action suits so that you can make informed decisions.
What Does a Class Action Lawsuit Entail?
Your search for a class action lawsuit attorney should begin with the reason for the lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is typically brought against a company or entity that has committed to same injustice against a large group of people. Typically, the group is so large that they are spread across the country or even the world.
A class action lawsuit is typically brought against a company or entity that has committed to same injustice against a large group of people.
Class action lawsuits often involve a massive injustice that was perpetrated by the defendant. These suits could show a pattern of behavior that has hurt countless people, or the suit may allege that the company engaged in actions so egregious that the number of victims could never be counted. Only one person needs to come forward with credible evidence for a lawyer to proceed.
How Do You File the Lawsuit?
Your attorney must have substantial evidence proving that your lawsuit has merit. All lawyers have an ethical obligation to drop cases that have no merit. You must present all the information that you have to an attorney, and you must ask the attorney to review the case for you. If the attorney believes that you have a case, the attorney will begin the process of filing the lawsuit.
The Defendant Has a Chance to Respond
The defendant in the case has a chance to respond to your claim, and your lawyer will need to go before a judge to ask for permission to research the case further. The defendant may want to settle the case, or they may prefer to go to trial. If the defendant wants to settle the case, your lawyer will negotiate a settlement on behalf of everyone who would be a member of the “class.”
If you must go to trail, your lawyer may begin searching for more people who belong to your class in the lawsuit. These people could be brought forward at any time to testify, and you may have a number of people join you in the lawsuit. If the defendant has a counterclaim, they may file that at this time. Their claim may be dismissed, or their claim may be allowed to go forward while your lawyer researches your case.
How Large Is the Class?
People who are compensated as a result of a class action lawsuit do not need to be named in the lawsuit. It is very important for you to remember that at least one name needs to be on the lawsuit, but the other people who are compensated may be found after the case is closed.
Your lawyer may want to find as many people as possible to testify as part of the case, or you may ask your lawyer to proceed with few people you have on your side. You may not find all the people who were hurt, and that is why the court often sets a deadline for people to join the class and be compensated as part of the lawsuit.
The people who are compensated as part of the case can be found after the settlement or judgement is reached. Most cases in the modern day result in a website that allows people to get information about the case. In fact, the people who are found during this part of the case may need to wait because the judge may not have made their final judgement yet.
What Happens to the Money?
If you settle the case out of court, you still need to bring that settlement before a judge to make sure that it is satisfactory in the eyes of the law. When the judge signs off on the case, your lawyer will receive the funds, distribute the funds, and make sure that everyone who has identified themselves can be paid.
Your lawyer will use an escrow account to hold all the funds for the case, and they will complete every payment pursuant to the judge the court gave. If you settled the case, the court will ask your lawyer to report all the proceeds from the case, who was paid, and how much. If you are named in the lawsuit, you are likely to receive more money than someone who filled out an online form afr the fact.
When Is a Class Action Lawsuit Appropriate?
Class action lawsuits are incredibly helpful if the people who were wronged simply cannot afford to sue the company or entity that wronged them. Many people go on with their lives without you any compensation for the pain and suffering that they have been through. Some companies do so much damage that an entire community or class of people have been impacted. A class action lawsuit helps unify all these people.
Plus, a class action lawsuit helps to expedite action against the guilty party. If everyone who has a claim against the company or entity hired a lawyer, sued, and went to trial, the cases would create a logjam in the court system. One class action lawsuit ensures that everyone can be represented in a fair manner.
What Sort of Damages Can You Receive as Part of a Class Action Lawsuit?
Class action lawsuits often pay damages to the people who were harmed as a result of illegal or unethical action by a business. However, the class action suit may also request restitution to the families of people who have died, money for repairs in the community, or money for research. For example, a company that dumped toxic waste into the water supply may be forced to pay for research to determine the diseases they have given to unknowing people.
A class action lawsuit if often the only way to give a large group of people the justice they deserve. These people cannot afford to hire their own lawyers, and the courts cannot function if they are clogged with a hundred or more lawsuits against the same company. Because of this, a class action lawsuit can be filed on behalf of all the people who were hurt or killed. The people who were impacted can sign up as part of the “class” for the lawsuit, and they will be compensated when a judgement or settlement is reached. It only takes one person to file a class action suit.