What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
In recent years, class action lawsuits against pharmacies have gone to trial with claims that the drug industry should be held liable for the nation’s opioid epidemic. Taking on these corporations on your own may be expensive and there is usually strength in numbers when it comes to class action. A class action lawsuit is a type of legal action involving a large group of people (the plaintiffs) that come together to sue the defendant (usually a company or corporation). The people involved in the lawsuit share similar circumstances, injuries, and damages, so all claims are tried in a single court and every individual receives compensation, regardless of how much harm they suffered. When you join a class action, your chances of having a successful outcome increase.
How Do I Join an Existing Lawsuit?
There are certain advantages to joining a class action lawsuit and potential class members may be contacted directly or through an ad after the court approves the case. In most cases, individuals who are notified are automatically added as part of the class and no further action is required on their part. As a member of the class, you will receive any compensation that is awarded. In most cases, individuals only need to get involved by submitting a claim to receive their portion of the settlement or judgement. There are certain advantages to joining a class action lawsuit, such as:
- In most cases, no lawyer fees (If successful, attorneys are paid out of the recoveries)
- The chance to recover small damages
- Strength in numbers
If you believe you should be a part of an existing class action but have not received a written notice, look for more information on the class to determine your eligibility. Joining a class action lawsuit can have multiple benefits, especially for those with limited time and financial resources. If you belong to a class action lawsuit or believe you may qualify to join, contact an attorney for a case assessment.
Can I Choose to Opt-out?
Although class action lawsuits may benefit most, if your loss was significantly greater than those of the other members, you may want to consider hiring your own attorney to represent a separate case. When you opt-in for a class action, you waive your right to file an individual suit against the defendant. If you don’t want to be a part of the case and choose to opt-out, you should provide a written notice about your decision.
How to Start Your Own Class Action Lawsuit
Class action lawsuits can increase the value and viability of what may seem like a small case, and often provide legal relief to a large number of individuals who were harmed by a corporation or company. The first step to starting your own class action lawsuit is identifying other individuals who have the same complaint as you about the defendant. In certain states there may be a minimum of members needed to file, talk to your network to see if others share the same interest in filing a class action lawsuit. The best way to determine whether a class action can be filed is to contact an attorney who will evaluate the case and determine whether a lawsuit can be filed. If you believe you deserve legal compensation but don’t know where to start, talking to an attorney can help you decide your next step.
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Ginni Correa is a Latinx writer and activist living in Orlando,FL. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and double majored in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. After graduation, Ginni worked as an educator in public schools and an art therapist in a behavioral health hospital where she found a passion working with at-risk populations and advocating for social justice and equality. She is also experienced in translating and interpreting with an emphasis in language justice and creating multilingual spaces. Ginni’s mission is to build awareness and promote resources that can help people transform their lives. She believes in the importance of ending stigma surrounding mental health and substance abuse while creating more accessible treatment in communities. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, crafting, and attending music festivals.
- More from Ginni Correa
- Sandvick, C. (2019). How to Take Part in a Class Action Lawsuit. Retrieved on May 27, 2020, from: https://www.wikihow.legal/Take-Part-in-a-Class-Action-Lawsuit
- Classaction.org. How to Join a Class Action. Retrieved on May 27, 2020, from: https://www.classaction.org/learn/how-to-join
- Pitsker,K. (2015). 6 Things You Must Know About Class-Action Lawsuits. Retrieved on May 27, 2020, from: https://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T037-C000-S002-6-things-you-must-know-about-class-action-lawsuits.html