A class action is a lawsuit in which a group of people with similar injuries or sustained damages sue one or several people, corporations or other entities. A class action is a good choice for those situations where there are too many potential plaintiffs to be able to include everyone in a traditional personal injury lawsuit. The primary goal of a class action is to recover compensation for damages inflicted by a company’s fraudulent conduct or negligence.
For example, people who have suffered injuries from a particular drug on the market can sue the drug’s manufacturer, or when multiple individuals are injured due to the same faulty product. In these cases a class action lawsuit is beneficial for several reasons:
- Lower litigation costs; the litigation costs are spread among all class members. This provides the opportunity to seek compensation or relief when you do not have the financial resources to do so in a standard, individual lawsuit.
- All plaintiffs will receive compensation for their damages. If every affected party were to sue the defendant individually, the company might go bankrupt after the first few payouts. A class action ensures that all affected individuals will recover compensation.
- Sometimes the damage and therefore, compensation is too small or insignificant to be worth the effort of a standard lawsuit. For example, when a bank charges a $50 extra illegal fee from hundreds or thousands of clients, an individual lawsuit will probably not affect this practice by much and the claim is too small to be worth pursuing. However, a class action will definitely make an impact.
- Judicial efficiency. The case will be handled by one judge which means that it will take less of the courtroom’s time and other resources.
Class Action or Individual Lawsuit?
Individuals also have the possibility to “opt out” of a certain class action lawsuits. This means they will not take part in that particular case and not receive any potential compensation. This allows them to file an individual lawsuit, one they have complete control over. If you feel like you were affected in a different manner by a corporation’s actions and you are in doubt about joining a class action, contact us and we will figure out together whether it is the right choice for you based on your particular circumstances.