A class-action lawsuit is a lawsuit where a group of people, or class, collectively sue a party or organization. This happens when the individual claims of each plaintiff may be too small to build a case, but a group of potential plaintiffs who suffered the same damages can build a stronger one. Class-action lawsuits are often filed against governments, financial institutions, employers, manufacturers, or other retail services.
The lawsuit is normally led by a few or one plaintiff. Before any class-action can proceed, the class must be certified by a judge. This is when the lead plaintiff(s) will show that they can accurately represent all other plaintiffs and have valid claims against the defendant.
Class-action lawsuits can take a little bit of time to organize, especially if the class of plaintiffs is large or the defendant has a strong legal team. However, joining or starting a class-action lawsuit can:
- Provide restitution for those who cannot afford an attorney
- Reduce the number of cases within a court
- Reduce the costs of litigation
- Motivate defendants to settle more quickly
Types of Class-Action Lawsuits
There are several types of class-action lawsuits you can create or join.
This lawsuit is best for those who have lost money through another business’ poor decisions. People who join this class-action may have bought stocks or invested money into a business under false pretenses or improper conduct. For example, if a company concealed or misrepresented certain risks and facts to their investors, they’re illegally hiding information from their investors.
This lawsuit falls under personal injury lawyer’s jurisdiction. It’s filed when a product or service has resulted in harmful side effects to its users. This class-action also falls under mass accidents such as chemical spills.
This lawsuit occurs when consumers or people are harmed by a company’s illegal business practices. Consumer class lawsuits are popular for those who feel as an individual their claims are not feasible, but can be stronger within a group.
This lawsuit is created on behalf of employees that have had their labor laws violated. This can be anything from employers not providing a safe work environment to discrimination.
Filing a class-action lawsuit can prevent every individual from hiring a lawyer to file a separate lawsuit. There are typically at least 30 people in a sustainable lawsuit. Some class-action suits can have thousands of participants. You can either work with a lawyer to create a class-action lawsuit or join one.
Joining a Class-Action Lawsuit
There’s a few things you need to do to join an existing lawsuit:
- Define your damages and injuries, then decide who is responsible for these injuries. You may need to consult a lawyer to see if your injuries have a viable case.
- Look online or ask your lawyer if there is an already existing lawsuit. Most class-action lawsuits will try to publicize or reach out to other affected individuals. Remember that strength is in numbers!
- Research other and pending lawsuits with similar circumstances. This will provide insight into the type of outcome you can expect with your injuries or with the institution you’re suing.
- Contact the head lawyer of the lawsuit, or ask your own lawyer how you can join other class members.
Starting a Class-Action Lawsuit
To start a class-action lawsuit, you may need to work with a personal injury or employment lawyer. For free legal advice, call one of our Premier Partners and they can answer questions about what kind of lawyer you’ll need to contact. The first steps you’ll need to take are:
- Defining your injuries and damages you’ve suffered. Next, find out who is responsible for those injuries and how you should be compensated.
- Find around 30 participants to join your class-action. Network with your group and find as many people as possible to join.
- Advertise to find more information or people who may want to join your cause.
- File a class proceeding with a judge so your class is certified.
Don’t let a large institution get away with their careless actions. You can receive compensation for your pain and suffering even if you don’t believe your damages are significant on their own.