How Exactly Do Class Action Lawsuits Work?
Published on:May 19, 2015

Class Action Lawsuits; How Do They Work?It seems there are several class action suits in the news lately. Often, these class action suits have nothing to do with you or your loved one. However, it is possible that you could be a party in class action lawsuit and you may not even know it. If you think you have a claim or injury similar to the class action, you should seek legal counsel from a personal injury attorney who is experienced and skilled in representing a class of injured individuals. A class action lawsuit is therefore used when a group of people suffers the same or similar injuries and file a lawsuit as a group rather than as an individual. Here are how a class action lawsuit for your personal injury can be handled:

Notice

When a class action lawsuit is filed, anybody affected by the lawsuit is given notice of this filing. Once you have received the notice, you should read the notice and determine if you are correctly identified and considered as part of the class in question. If you have any question about whether you are directly affected by the lawsuit or not, don’t hesitate to contact your personal injury lawyer. However, most class action notices do not require any action on your part to get the benefits.

No notice

If you have not received a notice for a class action, it doesn’t mean that you are eligible. What you need to do is to contact the personal injury attorney representing the class to allow you participate in a class action. Inform the attorney about your claim and ask to be included in the class registry.

Opt In or Opt Out of the Class Lawsuit

Always, members of the class are automatically part of the lawsuit and don’t have to do anything to get the benefits. However, some class action lawsuits may require you to take action to opt in by simply filing a claim form. If you want to opt out, meaning you do not want to be part of the class action lawsuit, you can file your own lawsuit later on. Remember, after opting out, you won’t get any benefit from the class action lawsuit.

The main reason to consider opting out of a group or class action lawsuit is filing a personal claim. Because class action suit is divided among all participants, you might not get the right compensation. Alternatively, you may find the situation of the class action lawsuit does not represent your own interest and experience. Usually, the notice you receive describes what you need to do to opt out of the class, you requires you to simply fill out a web form or make a phone call.

Class Action Judgment

Usually, the decision of the court concerning a class action lawsuit applies to every participant who opted in the class. Everybody who fits in the original definition of a class member by the court is bound by the final decision of the judge, even if he/she never went to the court or participated in the lawsuit. For instance, if the respondent wins the class action lawsuit, the case is terminated or dismissed and any person in the class is prohibited by the law from filing personal or new lawsuits for the issue against the defendant. If the class wins, the judge defines an appropriate formula for compensating all the plaintiffs in the class equitably.

Overall, the class action is a highly efficient and most effective form of civil litigation. If you get injured by a product, environmental spill or any other mass incident in Staten Island, please seek legal counsel from an experienced personal injury lawyer to bring action against the defendant.