Have you been harmed by a defective product? Do you know others with the same or similar injuries caused by the same product? If so, you may be wondering how to start a class action lawsuit! A class action lawsuit is a great solution for a group of people who have similarly been harmed by the same defendant or company.
Scroll down to learn more on how class action lawsuits work and how to start a class action lawsuit.
How Does a Class Action Lawsuit Work?
Contact an Attorney
Class action lawsuits are complex. So it’s essential to find an experienced lawyer willing to take on your case. Your attorney will evaluate the potential claim, find out how many other people have been injured in a similar way, and finally determine whether a class action can be filed.
The attorneys at the Margarian Law Firm can help you fight back against big and powerful companies. The firm’s team of skilled attorneys is committed to seeking justice for individuals harmed by corporate negligence, defective products, data breaches, consumer fraud, and other issues affecting large groups of people.
File a Lawsuit
Once you’ve gathered the necessary information and picked a lawyer, it’s time to file your class action lawsuit on behalf of the entire proposed class. Your attorney will submit a document known as a complaint, which outlines the facts of your case, and the damages you seek.
The defendant has a right to respond to the lawsuit. Defendants may object that the class-action requirements haven’t been met or that the lawsuits would be better handled on an individual basis.
Obtain Class Certification
For a class action lawsuit to move forward, the class representative will file a motion to have the court certify the proposed class. To get approval of the class, the class representative and the attorneys representing the class members must satisfy several requirements. For example, they need to prove that the number of people who could be covered by the class action is large enough and that it would be impractical and inefficient to file numerous individual lawsuits.
If the court determines that the requirements for a class action are met, the court can certify the class action.
Provide Notice to Members of the Class
Once the lawsuit is certified as a class action, notice must be sent to all individuals who could be considered part of the class. Notice is sent by direct mailings to known claimants, as well as through the media and the Internet.
Allow for Opting In & Opting Out
Class members have the right to opt out and pursue their own individual lawsuit. For example, injured victims who have different injuries from the other class members, or lost more money than the other class members, may want to opt out of the class action.
Try the Case or Negotiate a Settlement
In most class action lawsuits, the parties reach a settlement agreement before going to trial. This means that the defendant will offer some type of legal remedy that will be available to all class members. If the case proceeds to court instead of settling, the court will determine liability and damages.
Pay & Distribute the Damages
If the class wins, the court will develop a plan to distribute the amount between the class members. Attorneys will receive their percentage of the entire recovery. The lead plaintiff will get paid second (normally a higher share than the other members of the class because of the extra work the lead plaintiff did in handling the class-action case). Finally, the class members will receive the rest of the settlement amount.