When you’re injured, you may be able to sue the person or entity responsible for the damages. If you’ve suffered a relatively minor loss, you may have the option to file an individual lawsuit against the at-fault party. But, it may not also be a good option since the potential award you may receive is less than the expected cost of litigation. Luckily, it doesn’t mean you have no recourse under the law. This legal recourse is called a class action lawsuit.
If you think you may be entitled to file a class action lawsuit, below are the four things you need to know about it:
What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?
Primarily, a class action lawsuit refers to a legal action that provides relief to a large number of individuals who were wronged by a person or corporation due to product liability issues, consumer protection issues, privacy breaches, mass personal injury, labor, and employment issues, and many more.
Also, this type of lawsuit is usually filed by one person on behalf of those other persons who were harmed in the same way as the class members. While the class members aren’t the ones who filed the lawsuit, they will still receive a portion of the court award granted to the injured victims of the case.
Moreover, a class action lawsuit can be complicated and expensive to litigate, which is why having an experienced lawyer like the ones at https://www.sadakafirm.com/ can be of great help. They can represent the class’s cause of action and ensure a favorable outcome or compensation for all the class members.
What Should You Know About Class Action Lawsuit?
Now that you know what a class action lawsuit is, the next step is to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of filing such legal action. The following are the things you should learn about a class action lawsuit:
- A Class Action Lawsuit Involves the Named Plaintiff and the Class Members
In order to file a class action lawsuit, it’s important to have the lead or named plaintiff. It’s the person who is filing the lawsuit and whose name will appear on the complaint. Also, the other party is the class members. These are the huge number of people whose legal rights are also affected by the lawsuit and those who will be covered by the judgment or settlement arising from the lawsuit. This means you’ll receive a fair amount of compensation which you may use to recover from the injuries and later on get back to working out post-injury.
- There Are Many People or Entities That Can Be Sued in a Class Action Lawsuit
As mentioned, you can file a class action lawsuit against any person or entity whose negligent, illegal, wrongful, or reckless acts have caused harm to a significant number of people. In most cases, a lawsuit can be filed against the following:
- Employers who are guilty of discrimination against their employees or those who violate the employment laws
- Insurance companies
- Car manufacturers
- Construction product companies
- Banks, mortgage companies, and debt collection agencies
- Manufacturers of appliances and consumer good, and many more
As you can see, there are many entities that can be sued in a class action lawsuit. But in addition to the list above, the government can also be sued for the injuries you sustained as a result of the wrongful acts committed by the government employees and defective machinery or equipment operated and owned by the federal government.
- A Class Certification Is Required Before a Lawsuit Becomes a Class Action
Even though a lawsuit is filed as a class action by the lawyer, it doesn’t officially become a class action lawsuit until the judge assigned to the case certifies it with a class action status. In order to successfully certify a class, there are some things that need to be proved.
For example, the class action lawsuit should consider the size and complexity of the individual claims, the difficulty of locating the class members, the types of claims and reliefs sought, and the ability of the plaintiffs to initiate a separate action. Also, the claims of the class members should involve common questions of fact or law. This means that the class members should show that they don’t only have common claims, but the manner in which those claims arose are common as well.
Moreover, class certification is also proper if the class representative will be able to show that there’s a sufficient connection between their claims and those of the class members. Lastly, the class representative should have the ability to demonstrate that they’ll adequately and fairly represent the interests of the absent class members.
- The Class Members Have the Right to Opt-Out of the Case
After the resolution of the case, the lawyer will issue a notice to the class members notifying them about the settlement or court judgment as well as their right to opt-out from the lawsuit. After issuing the notice to the class members, they will then decide whether to opt-out or continue joining the class. However, in case you decide to opt-out, you’re going to waive your right to file a separate lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Therefore, if you think you can prove that your loss is more than that of the other individuals, then it’s best to consult a lawyer so you can make a sound decision. In doing so, you can safeguard your rights as an injured party.
Typically, filing a class action lawsuit can be a complex legal undertaking that can drag on for years due to the multiplicity of plaintiffs and the circumstances of the case. That being said, it’s important to keep the information mentioned above in mind, so you’ll know whether filing a class action lawsuit is the best legal option for your unique situation.