5 Reasons to Join a Class Action Lawsuit
Class action lawsuits are often talked about but rarely understood. People hear the term bandied about but really do not understand much about their benefits. There are numerous reasons why you would want to join a class action lawsuit or even file one yourself. As a possible plaintiff or class member, there are many advantages and very few drawbacks. Accordingly, here are six reasons why you should consider being a part of a class action lawsuit.
They Do Not Cost Anything
Lawyers will take class action lawsuits on a contingency basis. This means that they are not paid anything unless you are successful in achieving a recovery. The arrangement transfers all of the risk to the lawyer, who may end up devoting time and resources to something that leads to no compensation. The lawyer can only file with the court to be paid after there is a settlement that the court approves. You do not need to pay anything out of pocket to the lawyer for filing a litigating case. In a worst-case scenario, you have nothing coming out of your pocket if you do not win.
They Mean Strength in Numbers
Imagine if you feel like you were shortchanged when you bought an appliance at the store and did not receive the product for which you felt you were paying. You would not sue over a $40 blender. It would cost you more than you spent on the appliance just to get into court.
No lawyer would take the case because they would not want to work months to recover a few dollars. What class action lawsuits do is allow a large number of plaintiffs to band together to file a unified case that they otherwise would not have been able to on their own. Since lawyers can receive a larger recovery on an outright basis when there is a class, they will take the case and put the class together. This means that individual plaintiffs have one representation, making their case stronger.
They Are Found Money
As stated above, you would not ordinarily file a lawsuit over such a small amount of money. Unless you are one the early filers or the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit, you will often learn about the lawsuit after the settlement has been agreed to and you receive notice that you can join the class. Many times, the first notice that you will receive of a class action lawsuit is the notice that you get in the mail telling you that the case has been settled and, as part of the class, you are entitled to some money if you fill out the claim form. Always open this letter and fill out the claim form. It is money that you otherwise would never get.
You Get More Time to Join the Class
Only the original lawsuit must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations. If you are not the named plaintiff who filed the first lawsuit, you have time to join the class. So long as the lawsuit is filed in time, all you need to do is to fill out the claim form in time in order to be in line for your money. It does not matter that you joined the class after the statute of limitations expired. However, if you do not join the class, you may not be able to file your claim individually if your timeframe to sue has lapsed. In that case, you would simply be out of luck.
There Are Extra Benefits if You Are the Class Representative
One of the drawbacks of a class action lawsuit is that, as a class member, you have no control over the decisions made in the litigation. However, if you are the named plaintiff and the class representative, you will get more say over what happens during the lawsuit. You will be the one working with the lawyers to help make strategic decisions in the case since you are the client. Thus, there is a greater degree of authority over what happens in the litigation. Moreover, the class representative gets paid for the work that they have done in the lawsuit. They will receive a larger share of the settlement or jury award than every other class member. Thus, there are incentives to speak to a lawyer early if you even suspect that there is a potential class action lawsuit.
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