A class-action lawsuit occurs when a group of people, who represent a much larger number of individuals, file a claim against a single defendant. All of the victims seek compensation together for injuries they have all suffered at the hands of the same person, company, or corporation.
In a class-action lawsuit, a lead plaintiff initially files the claim against the defendant. Although the name of the lead plaintiff may appear on the court documents, there may be hundreds or thousands of other victims who are part of the lawsuit. These people are known as class members.
The outcome of a class-action lawsuit extends to everyone who the ruling applies to — even the class members who did not file the claim directly. Because there can be thousands of plaintiffs in large class-action cases, compensation can sometimes be very small, because the court will have to divide the settlement amount between so many individuals.
However, if you are seeking justice or monetary compensation for being wronged by a large corporation or company, there are benefits to taking part in class-action lawsuits. A few of these are discussed below.
- The people who file the claims against the wrongful company or corporation are not the only victims who the lawsuit can help.
If the actions of a company or corporation has harmed or injured large numbers of people, not everyone who has been harmed has to file a claim to the courts to receive justice. As long as one person files a claim, everyone who has been wronged can be included in the settlement package.
- You don’t have to pay any legal fees.
Many class actions are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means legal fees are only paid once the case has been won.
- Opportunity to litigate.
Even if the harm done to you by the large company or corporation is minor, and may be too small of a cause to sue individually, you can still receive justice and compensation through a class-action lawsuit.
- Class-action lawsuits combine many individual claims into one, making the legal process more efficient and quicker for all parties involved.
Grouping people who are injured, defrauded, or otherwise harmed by a product, service, action, or pharmaceutical drug together all have been affected the same way. So, class action cases are determined by just one judge in one court. Only one argument is made on behalf of all plaintiffs, and only one decision must be made by the judge.
- More experienced legal representation.
Lawyers who can take on class-action lawsuits must be very experienced. Cases can involve thousands of pages of documents, expensive expert witness fees and years of time to develop. This allows plaintiffs to have the best representation, which they may not have been able to afford if they filed a claim individually.