A class action lawsuit is one in which a large number of people have been affected by something from a single person or business entity. This could be an injury or potential injury caused by a medical appliance or a financial loss due to unfair or fraudulent lending practices. You may not even realize that there is a lawsuit or that you are involved in it until you receive a notice from the attorney handling the case for the plaintiff. Here is what you should do once you receive the notice.
One of the first things you should do is contact the attorney listed on the notice. You will want to find out why you have been notified of the suit; why he or she feels you should be included. It is important that you understand what the other plaintiffs (or the "class") have suffered. Next, contact your own lawyer to determine if you have suffered more than the class. In a class action lawsuit, all the plaintiffs receive the same compensation.
Opt-in or Opt-out
After talking to your own lawyer, decide whether you want to be a part of the class action suit by "opting in," or if you will be pursuing your own case and opting out of the class suit. It is important to note that once you opt in, you will be unable to sue for yourself and must take the settlement that is offered to everyone else involved. If you and your attorney determine that you have in fact suffered much more than the others, and should be compensated more you should opt out and start your own suit. No matter which you decide, you must be aware of any deadlines for replying or you may miss out on everything. If the statute of limitations has passed you may not even be able to file your own suit.
Participate as a Named Plaintiff
If you and your attorney have determined that you have been injured more than the others, you may also opt-in as a named plaintiff. In this case, you will hire your own lawyer, one experienced with class action suits, and he or she will work in conjunction with the other attorney. In this case, you may receive more compensation than the average plaintiff. However, you will still be bound to the settlement of the class suit and will not be able to later sue on your own.
Most class action suits do not go to trial. The class action defense attorney meets with the class's attorney and reach a settlement that will be distributed among the class. Sometimes a judge is involved to help determine an appropriate settlement. Even if you did not suffer much, it does not hurt for your to opt-in to a suit. In many cases, after you do, the only thing that you will have to do is cash the check you receive once the settlement is decided.Share
7 February 2017
Were you injured at work and fighting to get the workers compensation that you have paid into each year? Sometimes, getting those payments can be very difficult. What do you do when an employer fights the claim? Do you need a lawyer to help you through the process? How will you pay for a lawyer if you cannot even pay your electric bill? You are probably as lost as I was when I went through the process. Fortunately, you can learn from my experience with the system and find the answers to many of the questions that you have about filing a workers comp claim and fighting the system when it is denied.