You’ve probably heard advertisements on TV or on the radio, or perhaps have gotten invitations in the mail, to join a class action lawsuit. This is a common response to a mass tort, which simply means that the negligent or malicious actions of one party have negatively affected more than one person. Some examples of mass torts would be: defective products, unsafe medications, and traumatic incidents such as plane crashes or building collapses. When one action impacts a whole group of people, they may be able to come together and file a lawsuit, known as a class action lawsuit.
Sometimes, class action lawsuits are used to settle disputes, like those within a business or family group, but most often, they include a selection of unrelated individuals who have all suffered a similar fate. These suits are often set up to award compensatory (monetary) damages to the victims. The most common arrangement is a group of individuals (plaintiffs) pursuing a case against one person or company (defendant), and this is known as a “plaintiff class action” suit. However, some cases may involve more than one defendant, representing a group of defendants, and this would be known as a “defendant class” action suit.
There are a couple of different ways to become involved in a class action lawsuit. You may decide, after consulting with a qualified San Diego attorney, that you may have a case against another party for harm they caused to you. If the injuring incident proves to be more widespread than just your individual case, you can file a suit on behalf of a class of people, as a representative of sorts. Or, you may get word of a class action lawsuit going forward, regarding an incident that affected you, and you may join as a member of the class. No matter how you do it, it doesn’t cost you anything to be a part of a class action suit.
If the case is won in court, the damages will be distributed among the group as a whole, minus the attorney’s fees. If you believe that your injuries were much more substantial than other members of your class group, you may be best opting out of the class action and filing your own individual suit. However, every case is different, so it’s always a good idea to reach out to an experienced class action attorney in San Diego, before deciding on a course of action.
Want to learn more about class action lawsuits? Get in touch with us at Benner Law Firm today and request your free consultation.