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LEGAL Q&A:

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

At one time or another, you may have received a court notice in the mail informing you that you are part of a class action lawsuit. You may have had questions about the appropriate course of action take and whether you should even bother with it.

You’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for people to throw class action court notices in the trash simply because they don’t understand their options. It’s also not uncommon for people to receive nominal checks in the mail for having been a part of a class action – without even realizing it.

Nevertheless, there are both advantages and disadvantages of participating in class action lawsuits. We’ve outlined them below. But first, we’ll start with the definition.

A class action is a lawsuit filed by an individual plaintiff or small group of people, who act on behalf of a larger group with similar claims.

Often class actions are formed after a group of people have been injured or negatively affected by the actions or negligence of a particular company or agency. Notices are then sent to individuals who may be potential members of the class. Notices will typically provide potential class members the opportunity to opt-out of the lawsuit. Otherwise, if the potential member takes no action, they are automatically added to the class action lawsuit.

There are several notable advantages to filing or taking part in a class action lawsuit.

  • Class action lawsuits collect numerous individual claims into one much larger case, making it easier for the case to be presented in court.
  • They can also be much more efficient in their use of time and resources, as litigation costs go down when more people become involved in the case.
  • Class action lawsuits also take up less time in the legal process as all the claims are represented within a single case instead of each victim having to file their claim.

There are also some disadvantages to participating in a class action lawsuit.

  • It is possible that victims involved in a class action lawsuit receive no compensation or benefits for their association.
  • The compensation awarded to class member may be greater if their case was pursued individually, rather than as part of the class.
  • Many class members do not truly understand their rights or know what form of compensation they may actually be entitled to.
  • Class action lawsuits have the ability to make even a simple case more confusing because it is difficult to represent a large number of victims if varying complaints and claims are involved.
  • Class members potentially give up any control over their claim. Once named plaintiffs accept a settlement, it is typically binding for all class members.

Do you have a legal question? Get answers: 855-702-9061.

McDonald Law Firm practices in a variety of areas, including personal injury, defective medical products and insurance claim disputes. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review and find out how we may be able to assist you. We’ll handle your case on a contingency basis, which means there are never any out-of-pocket fees or expenses.

Let’s talk.

Call: 855-702-9061
Text: 817-203-0260

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