Class action lawsuit is an ideal form of litigation for many consumers to file a claim against lenders, debt collectors, credit bureaus, medical organizations and other businesses. The need for these type of lawsuits emerges when a large group of people is affected by the violations of larger companies, corporations or organizations. As far as filing individually becomes impractical, a class action lawsuit comes to seek justice for an entire group of people experiencing the same type of violation by the same defendant.
You may have probably heard about class action lawsuits. Yet, this is not enough to make informed choices on whether to join a pending class action or filing your own lawsuit. You need to know a little bit more about how class action lawsuits work and your rights as a class member. Here are 3 important things you should know about class action lawsuits:
Strength in numbers: A lawsuit needs to be certified in order to become a class action. Here is when the number matters. Officially there is not a set number of people required for a class action to be certified. Still, in most cases class, action lawsuits are approved if there are hundreds of plaintiffs involved. According to California Code of Civil Procedure Rule 382, there should be enough plaintiffs in a class that it will be impracticable to bring them all before the court individually. Generally, a group of 40 plaintiffs is the solid number for having a certified class action lawsuit in many states.
A small amount of settlement: The settlements of class action lawsuits may reach tens of millions of dollars. But it does not guarantee that all the plaintiffs will get a large portion from the amount as compensation. Well, the thing is that there are usually so many plaintiffs in a class action, that even a settlement of millions of dollars becomes extremely small amount when divided among all the plaintiffs. Besides, all the legal expenses, as well as the awards of Lead Plaintiffs are extracted from the settlement amount.
Options to stay in or opt out. Once a class action lawsuit is started, all the potential plaintiffs are notified and asked about their desire to participate. The potential plaintiffs can either stay in the lawsuit or opt out. If they choose to stay in, they will have to respond to letters advising of their eligibility in time. Staying in the class means you’re eligible for compensation, but you do not have the right to file a separate lawsuit anymore. In case you think you can file an individual claim and prove you were harmed more than the other consumers, you have the right to opt out and file an individual claim. Overall, it is more effective to join a class as the legal costs will be divided between a large number of people, making the case more affordable.
The success of a class action lawsuit and thereby, the amount of settlement awarded greatly depends on the knowledge and experience of the attorney representing the class. The skillful attorneys at the Margarian law firm are eager to commit their time and thorough knowledge necessary for the successful representation. We are ready to aggressively fight for your consumer rights against big businesses and reputable organizations so that you will get solid compensation for the damages you suffered.