You’ve likely heard about people joining together in a lawsuit against the designer, manufacturer or distributor for their role in a product that harmed them. While the thought of joining such a suit if you’ve been injured may appeal to you, you may wish you had more information about what a class action lawsuit is.
Class action lawsuits are a type of mass tort, meaning in part that they involve multiple plaintiffs joining together in taking legal action against a party instead of trying to do so alone. Litigation can be expensive, but this helps keep legal costs low.
How are class action lawsuits different from those filed individually?
Limiting expenditures is particularly important when the injuries a plaintiff might have suffered from using a product may have been less catastrophic than those others suffered. In cases such as the former, it would potentially be cost-prohibitive for consumers to pursue legal action without sharing the litigation costs with other similarly wronged people.
Plaintiffs who sue as part of a mass tort action end up having to share any award or settlement that they receive after paying any litigation costs. This shared approach often means that individuals litigants seldom end up receiving significant monetary damages. This outcome explains why individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries resulting from their use of a product often don’t join class action lawsuits.
Should you join a class action lawsuit?
No one can decide for you whether you should join a class action lawsuit. You’ll want to carefully review pending litigation regarding the product that injured you and also weigh the harm it caused you before making any final decisions whether pursuing an individual versus a class action lawsuit is right for you.