3 Things to Know About Class Action Lawsuits
If you are interested in going after a company that has harmed you, one option might be to consider filing a class action lawsuit. This could open up the case to not just you but any other consumer who was harmed. With that being said, there are some things you should know about your potential suit before you go down this path. The best course of action would be to speak to a class action attorney.
That Huge Number Applies to Everyone
When you win a class action lawsuit against a company, you might be quite excited at first if the verdict is for millions of dollars. But you have to understand that the number the judge or jury awards you is actually a pool of winnings that goes out to everyone that joined the suit. If there is a 64 million dollar award but a million people in the lawsuit, the payout for most people will only be $64, and even less than that after subtracting court costs.
The person that actually brought the class action initially could be entitled to more, but in general, a class action is a way to get a larger judgement against a company or entity but at the expense of a smaller individual payout for everyone involved.
It's About Sending a Message
If the individual payout for a class action lawsuit will be smaller upon a successful verdict than if you had filed alone, you may be wondering why you should bother. The point of a class action lawsuit is often to send a message as a consumer. If a company has engaged in a business practice that is proven to be quite harmful to not just you but many people, they should be held accountable for their actions. By making the company payout a very large number to a large pool of people, you will be generating press attention for that company and putting them under a lot of pressure to clean up their practices. In fact, many class action verdicts include clauses in which the company involved specifically agrees to change the business practice that got them in trouble.
Expect a Settlement and a Wait
Because class action lawsuits can be bad publicity for the company being sued, many such entities prefer to settle the case out of court instead of going to trial. That said, you should know that going the class action route might still take longer than a trial would. That's because each person that was potentially harmed by the company has to be notified and then the lawyers on each side need to negotiate.
A class action lawsuit could be the right choice for you if you want to send a clear message to a company or entity about their poor business practices. Contact a class action attorney today to get started.