You're So Classy: Understanding Class Action Lawsuits

Many people are a bit confused about why class action lawsuits exist, but many never give it much thought until they find out that they could be a member of one these "classes". This particular type of personal injury claim is reserved for cases where there are many people wronged by the same thing, and combining several cases into one big case has multiple benefits for all concerned. Read on to learn more about class action lawsuits.

What is meant by "class"?

If you were to slip down in a store and get hurt, you would likely have a case for a personal injury suit against the store. You would be the one and only plaintiff and the store would be the defendant. With a class action lawsuit, there are many plaintiffs, all injured by the same thing. It might be a faulty product, unsafe food from restaurant or unfair practices by a company. Anyone harmed by the same thing are members of the class, if they wish to be included in the suit. Inclusion in the class will probably mean giving up your ability to file suit on your own, but you also will have to do very little else to gain compensation if your side wins. Why do class action lawsuits exist? Read on.

Making a change for the better: Harm done in secret can persist for years without being detected. If you get harmed by a bad product and file a lawsuit, it probably won't make the evening news. Class action suits, on the other hand, are well-publicized events. If the target of the law suit is a large, well-known corporation, the bad publicity brought by being named in a lawsuit could be enough to effect permanent and much-needed changes in the way that bad product was manufactured, which benefits many more people than just members of the class.

A less expensive way to be represented in court: When you take something to court, you must not only pay your attorney but you could also be responsible for various court costs. With the class action system, the fees are all folded into the case, just like a contingency fee attorney, but better. The way the deal is set up ensures that you will get top drawer quality attorneys working on the case, without you having to front any money.

Along those same lines, going up against a major corporation (as most class actions suits do) is not recommended for the less-prepared legal professionals. These defendants will fight tooth and nail against the suit and use their considerable financial power to slowly drain poorer attorneys financially. Lawsuits are expensive, and to successfully fight a case you will need to pay for expert witnesses and more. Class action suits give the common person access to expensive litigation specialists for a bargain price. Contact a legal office, like Hodge Law Firm, for more help.