You’re in a class of your own. But the court may not think so.
Class action lawsuits are popular on the news. Many people think that they get injured, sign a document, and get involved in a class action lawsuit. But any lawsuit is more complicated than that.
Class action lawsuits are a very special kind of lawsuit. You should understand what it is so you can be prepared if you get injured. Here are five facts about class action lawsuits.
- Class Action Lawsuits Are Very Specific
The definition of a class action lawsuit is narrowly tailored. It is a lawsuit that one or more plaintiffs file on behalf of a large group. Courts allow this because many trials related to one company’s activities would be hard to manage.
Courts follow several rules when setting up a class action lawsuit. All of the class members must share common questions of law. Their representatives must offer claims that are typical of class members.
The representatives must protect the interests of all class members. If separate actions will result in different findings, a class action lawsuit is valid.
- A Class Action Lawsuit Takes Time
Most class action lawsuits take years, if not decades, to complete. Attorneys must determine if they can file a class action in the first place. When someone contacts them, they must research how many other people were injured.
Once they have a class, the attorneys draft their complaint. This complaint describes the class in detail. The judge then must decide if the class is legitimate.
If the judge decides the class is legitimate, the attorneys then perform discovery. They do additional research to build their case. Their trial then takes place.
- A Class Action Lawsuit Can Generate Huge Payouts
With time comes money. Class action lawsuits help plaintiffs because they can share expenses with others. This allows them to turn a profit when they receive a payout.
Once a lawsuit is done, each class member can receive a huge payment. Companies can pay millions of dollars, which is split evenly amongst members of the class. You can receive thousands if you stick with the case.
- But You Lose Some Rights
When you join a class action lawsuit, you give up the right to pursue your own legal action. If the verdict doesn’t address your situation, you have to accept it.
If you can prove that a company harmed you more than other consumers, you shouldn’t pursue a class action lawsuit. You should pursue your own case.
- A Class Action Lawsuit Isn’t for Everything
A class action lawsuit does not cover every offense. If multiple families want to pursue action against a serial killer, the families do not file a class action lawsuit. Since the killer committed criminal actions, their activity goes to criminal court.
Multiple cases create multiple investigations, allowing for greater detail on a person’s behavior. For instance, two different families have filed suit against the rapper YNW Melly. They want to know more about YNW Melly, so they filed lawsuits to determine the nature of his activity.
What’s a Class Action Lawsuit?
A lot of people hear about class action lawsuits from the news. Fewer know what they are. Understand some basic facts before you go to court.
Class action lawsuits have a lot of rules. It takes time to work through those rules and prepare a court case. Lawsuits can reap big payouts, but you will lose some rights in the process.
A class action lawsuit isn’t for every criminal offense. You need to stay informed about your options. Follow our coverage for more information.