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What Are Class Action Lawsuits?

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What Are Class Action Lawsuits?

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Sometimes, a large group of people is affected by a common situation. Be it an injury from a defective product or adverse affects of an improperly tested drug, victims may find their common product as the cause of their injuries and may want to sue the company or entity they feel is responsible. A victim may feel helpless going after a large entity, as it can be a daunting situation. This is where a class action lawsuit becomes appropriate.

A class action is a kind of lawsuit in which one or several people, known as class representatives, sue on behalf of a larger group of people, known as “the class” or “class members” who are all affected by the same situation. Class action lawsuits afford many individuals the opportunity to make their claims heard as one plaintiff, rather than filing separately. In doing so, the cost of bringing the entity to court lowers and increases the chances of a higher settlement to those involved.

A class action lawsuit can consist of a class affected in one state or several, and can be initiated on federal or state level, depending on the case. Class actions have various benefits, such as providing a more alternative to individuals who have claims that would be too expensive to file on their individually and grouping together smaller claims that would have otherwise never been filed on their own.

Obtaining Certification

Before a class action lawsuit can continue, the class has to obtain certification in court. This occurs when a judge looks at various factors to determine if a class action lawsuit is appropriate for everyone involved. Some factors considered are whether or not it would be more efficient for each person in the class to sue separately, whether or not the claim is reasonably valid, and more.

If a case gets officially certified as a class action lawsuit, the attorney involved quickly gets to work notifying potential class members.  In cases of a defective product or vehicle, it’s fairly easy tracking down potential class members through warranties and other records. In situations where tracking down all potential class members is less practical / impossible, an attorney may be required to advertise the case to attract potential class members.

Putting together a class action lawsuit may seem like an overwhelming task. But it’s important to note that many class action lawsuits have started and have been successfully won earning class members the compensation they deserve, thanks to the few who initiated action. If you or a loved one has suffered injury or damages due to a defective product or service, you need to contact an aggressive personal injury attorney who can help. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Andres & Berger today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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