Frequently Asked Questions About Class Action and Mass Injury Lawsuits

What is a class action lawsuit?

In a class action, one or more people, called class representatives, sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. Together, these persons constitute a “class,” and they are called “class members.” A single court, in a single action, resolves legal issues for all class members, which conserves judicial and litigant resources and ensures consistent legal rulings.

How do I join a class action or mass injury lawsuit?

When one or more people, called “class representatives,” file their class action lawsuit, the class representatives sue on behalf of persons who have similar claims. Together, the class representatives and those with similar claims are called a “class” and are referred to as “class members.”

Importantly, not all lawsuits by large groups of people are class actions. Mass personal injury suits resulting from the use of prescription drugs or defective medical implants are typically numerous individual lawsuits that are coordinated in certain state or federal courts.

Class Action / Mass Injury Lawsuits

If you wish to join a class action, mass action, file an individual suit, or have a general question about a lawsuit, please fill out the form below and our experienced attorneys will assist you with a free, confidential consultation.

Your first step is to determine if your claim, issue, or problem is included in a pending class action or mass injury action. To determine if your claims are part of a class or mass injury action, or to determine if you are a class member, you should read the class definition or description in a relevant complaint. Alternatively, you can simply speak with an experienced professional in class actions and mass injury actions.

Class actions may be limited in several ways. The class may be limited to those persons who live within a particular state. The class may be limited to persons who purchased a particular product during a certain period of time. The class definition and scope is highly case-specific.

If you are part of the class or are a class member, your claims are usually preserved until the court decides whether to “certify” the class. “Certifying” a class means the court permits the case to proceed as a class action, allowing class members’ claims to proceed to trial in a single action or lawsuit.

If the court certifies a class, the court will require notice be sent to all class members. The notice will explain your legal rights and the nature of the lawsuit. If the matter settles before certification, the notice may also contain information on how to obtain compensation. You may have received a class notice in the past via mail or email, or may have read a class action notice in your local paper.

If you are not a class member, you may wish to speak with an attorney to inquire about your individual rights. If you have further questions, please fill out the confidential form below or call us toll-free at 1-800-736-9085.

What is a class action settlement?

In a class action settlement, the court does not decide in favor of any particular party or member. Instead, both sides, called the “plaintiffs” and the “defendants,” agree to settle the case. Settlement avoids delay, significant costs and expenses of continued litigation and trial, and persons affected by the alleged misconduct are guaranteed the settlement relief, if they accept the settlement. To determine if you are entitled to money, relief, or other compensation from a class action settlement, you must first determine if you are a class member.

How do I know if I am part of a class action settlement?

When a class action lawsuit is filed, there generally is a description in the complaint defining the proposed class, or the complaint may describe who qualifies as a class member. When a class action lawsuit is settled, the judge decides those persons who who fit the description in the settlement notice is a class member.

What happens if I do nothing in response to a class action settlement notice?

If you do nothing, you will not receive any money or other relief from the settlement. Unless you exclude yourself from the class settlement, you will be unable to file your own lawsuit, continue a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against the settling defendants concerning the legal issues in the settling class action matter.

How can I get payment from a class action settlement?

To qualify for payment from a class action settlement, you must be a class member and you must send in a valid claim form. You may receive a claim form in the mail. Or you may submit your information via the internet at a settlement website specifically set up for a particular class action. Read the claim form instructions carefully. Follow all instructions on the claim form. Submit your claim on time.

How are the lawyers paid in a class action?

Lawyers for the class typically will ask the court for attorneys’ fees and expenses, and the parties may also seek compensation for the class representatives. The court decides how much to award to class counsel and, if appropriate, the class representatives. The payment of attorneys’ fees and expenses will often be paid by the defendants. Other times, fees and expenses may be paid from the class action settlement fund which also is used to compensate class members.

How does the court decide whether to approve a class action settlement?

The court holds a fairness hearing. At the hearing, the court considers whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are timely objections, the court will consider them. After the fairness hearing, the court will decide whether to finally approve the settlement.

If you have further questions, please fill out our free, confidential case review form or call us toll-free at 1-800-736-9085.