A class action lawsuit refers to a legal action taken against a defendant by one or more individuals. There will be times when it’s necessary to file a class action lawsuit against individuals, companies, or groups that have harmed you and several other people. However, the case may drag on for a long time. Sometimes it takes years before a judgment is delivered. Also, the judgment may not be in your favor. So, is a class action lawsuit really worth the effort?
When Should Plaintiffs File a Class Action Lawsuit?
The most obvious reason for filing a class action lawsuit is that the defendant may have harmed several plaintiffs in the same or similar way. It’s a question of rendering justice, especially if the harm required medical treatment or cost money to rectify. Filing a class action lawsuit also becomes important if the defendant is likely to commit the same or similar crimes again in the future. In such a scenario, it becomes a public safety issue since the defendant can be a risk to the community. For more information on class action lawsuits, you may visit sadakafirm.com/class-action-lawsuits.
Advantages of Filing a Class Action Lawsuit
- Less Costly Than Filing Individual Lawsuits Against the Same Defendant – It’s often too costly to file a lawsuit against anyone, even if you have a valid grievance. The money you have to pay for legal representation may be more than the settlement or judgment awarded at the end. However, if there are several plaintiffs who have suffered, their resources get pooled together. They’ll only require one lawyer to represent the group. So, the legal costs get divided.
- Settlement or Judgment Awarded May Be More – If you file a lawsuit against a defendant alone, you’ll not only be paying out of your pocket but you also stand to get a small amount in settlement. The settlement may not be enough to cover your legal costs. This means that you’ll take the financial risk of paying for legal representation on your own without commensurate benefits. On the other hand, a class action lawsuit will benefit more plaintiffs and the settlement amount may be higher because of more bargaining power. You’ll probably get a more substantial amount in settlement as your share. Because of lower legal costs, you’ll gain on a net basis if you file a class action lawsuit instead of going it alone.
- Defendant Will Compensate More Victims Through a Class Action Lawsuit – Sometimes, it makes sense to opt for a class action lawsuit because the defendant may not have enough resources to compensate multiple litigants. The initial litigation may sap the defendant’s resources so that when it’s your turn to file a lawsuit, the defendant may file for bankruptcy and you may not get justice.
- The Court May Welcome the Savings from a Class Action Lawsuit – Judges may recommend the filing of a class action lawsuit rather than a series of individual lawsuits. This is because it reduces the burden on the criminal justice system and lowers the cost to the taxpayer.
- Having One Attorney Will Make Updates Easier to Follow Up – A class action lawsuit will be represented by just one attorney or different attorneys who come from one law firm. Since there won’t be multiple lawsuits to follow up, the group of plaintiffs will be able to stay in touch with their attorney easily and regularly. The attorney will be able to keep track of the lawsuit’s progress on behalf of the plaintiffs regularly. This allows plaintiffs to continue with their jobs and other commitments while the lawsuit is under process in court.
- There Will Be Less “Nuisance Lawsuits” – One major problem in the legal system is that there are “nuisance plaintiffs” who may file lawsuits against a certain defendant simply to harass or inconvenience the latter. In a class action lawsuit, there’s less chance of “nuisance plaintiffs” being able to do that to a defendant. “Nuisance lawsuits” bother the defendant and the judge and waste precious time and resources.
Final Takeaway – Be Open to a Settlement
As discussed above, class action lawsuits can be beneficial in certain situations. You may believe that class action lawsuits, such as those for personal injuries, involve prolonged litigation. But the truth is that the lawyers of defendants in such lawsuits opt to offer a settlement so that the case doesn’t go through a lengthy trial. If you’re a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit, it’s advisable to be open to accepting a settlement. That way, after you receive your compensation, both the defendants and the plaintiffs can return to their normal lives. Most importantly, justice can be delivered without undue delay if the parties accept a settlement.