Hudson Potts & Bernstein has extensive experience in both defending and prosecuting class action lawsuits. This includes complex cases involving everything from mass torts and insurance coverage to constitutional claims.
What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit is filed in civil court on behalf of a group of individuals or businesses who have been injured physically or financially as a result of the conduct of the defendant. One individual or entity, typically a law firm, acts as a representation for the injured group. A class action lawsuit can be filed in federal or state court. It would be filed in federal court if the federal laws are involved in the case. When there are many injured parties, it is much more efficient, cost effective, and practical to combine them all and file a class action together.
How do Class Action Lawsuit Settlements Work?
When the class action is filed, the attorneys for both sides begin negotiating a settlement. This is the lump sum that the defendant will have to pay for the damages they caused. Once the defendant sends over a settlement offer, the judge presiding over the case will review it and decide if the amount is an adequate and fair compensation for the injured parties. Once it is approved, the settlement is divided, and the first payments go to the lead plaintiffs and to pay legal fees to the attorneys. The remaining settlement money is then divided among the members of the class. The settlement is not evenly divided. The level of injuries and severity of damages is taken into account, and they are paid accordingly.
How Long can a Class Action Lawsuit Take?
Some class action lawsuits take a few months while others go on for years. Class action lawsuits tend to fall somewhere in the middle, often taking about two or three years to resolve. Some class actions take longer though due to court rulings being appealed. Accepting settlement offers can make the process go a little more smoothly – and faster. If the case goes before a judge instead of agreeing on a settlement, that can increase the time as well. There are other factors that can also cause a class action to take a longer time.
How do I Find Out if I am in a Class Action Lawsuit?
Class action lawsuits are usually published in newspapers, on social media, and on the television once they are certified. Sometimes, the injured party will receive notice of the class action directly. Some attorneys will send an email or even call. Your best bet for finding out if there is a class action that you are qualified for is to look for notices in the newspaper or search online to see if you can find any activity. You can also search Class Action Database to see if there are any class actions that are relevant to you.
Class action lawsuits are filed regularly which means that you could be a part of one and not be aware of it. Get the compensation that you deserve today. To learn more about class action lawsuits in Monroe, Louisiana that may affect you, please call our office today.
Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys by calling 318-388-4400.