Major manufacturers, lending institutions, and pharmaceutical companies are all supposed to work in your best interest. Our society functions on the assumption that they act in good faith, honestly, and ethically. Sometimes, they do not. You are not alone if you or a loved one have been hurt by a major corporation.
Because so many people were undoubtedly affected like you, there is a good chance your dispute could be resolved in a class action lawsuit. Our personal injury firm is one of Atlanta’s largest, and we are dedicated to helping anyone who has been injured by someone else’s negligence.
Class Action Lawsuit FAQs
Class action suits can be confusing, as they often have numerous moving parts. These are a few frequently asked questions about class action cases.
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What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action suit allows people who have been injured by the same party to file a lawsuit for the entire “class” of plaintiffs. The defendant is often a business, financial lender, or manufacturer.
These suits are designed to help people from every income level pool their resources and go up against a powerful entity. Generally, the judge appoints a major law firm to represent the clients. Class action lawsuits not only bring attention to a public problem, but they help compensate for the victims’ suffering.
As personal injury attorneys, we see many people who have been injured by dangerous and defective drug recalls and defective medical devices. The Federal Drug Administration approves thousands of treatments a year. Physicians and patients must take these test results at face value, but devastating results may not show up for years after testing.
How do I File a Class Action Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one would like to start a class action suit, we urge you to contact an experienced class action lawsuit attorney. You have the right to represent yourself in court as an attorney, but you cannot represent other people. Presumably, a case like this would involve others.
You should also contact a class action lawsuit attorney if you would like to join a suit in progress. Even though one law firm fights the case in court, your own attorney can make sure your interests are properly represented and that you get your fair share of a settlement.
Often, these cases are heard in other states or federal courts. We work closely with other law firms and make sure our clients are well represented.
Be wary of any attorney who wants upfront fees or wants separate payments from the main legal team fighting your case. Class action fees come out of a shared fund that the court has set up. If there is no settlement, these firms are supposed to absorb the costs of the case.
How Many People do You Need to File a Class Action Lawsuit?
Each state has different rules about the number of plaintiffs required to start a class action suit, but there is no set number requirement in Georgia. Most class actions take place in federal courts. However, federal courts only require one plaintiff at minimum to qualify, as long as the attorney has good reason to believe numerous people have been injured similarly.
What do You Need for a Class Action Lawsuit?
The requirements of a class action lawsuit are that there be reasonable evidence that a group of unrelated people has been injured by the same event, product, or pattern of treatment. The court must rule that there are so many plaintiffs that it would be impractical for each of them to file a case against the same party.
The court must also rule that the lead attorneys and the “representative plaintiff” will fairly represent all the interests in the class of plaintiffs. You have the ability to opt out of a class action lawsuit and choose to file a separate claim against the defendant. We urge you not to do this before contacting an experienced and ethical class action attorney.
How Can a Class Action Lawyer Help Me?
Class action lawsuits are the great equalizers in court. They are designed to allow the small and powerless to have an equal chance when going up against a large adversary with boundless resources and attorneys.
Even so, in a class action case, you are one of many plaintiffs. The cases take much longer to resolve than normal personal injury claims. A class action lawsuit attorney will take over the responsibilities of the case for you.
Common Types of Class Action Lawsuits
There are multiple types of class action lawsuits, but the general categories tend to be:
- Consumer class action – These cases tend to involve a violation of the Consumer Protection Law, with such actions as consumer fraud, illegal charges, and unfair practices.
- Product liability/personal injury – These are very common kinds of cases concerning defective drugs and medical devices, poorly manufactured cars, toxic spills, and actions that affect a group of people.
- Securities class action – These are lawsuits brought by investors who have bought or sold a company’s securities and have been economically damaged.
- Employment class action – Groups of employees may file a class action suit if they think they have been uniformly damaged by a company’s actions.
What Is a Lead Plaintiff in a Class Action Lawsuit?
The lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit is often called the “representative plaintiff.” This person, or persons, best represents what happened to all who have been damaged by the defendant and is chosen by the lead attorney.
In general, the lead plaintiff is the person who has the most to gain financially from the lawsuit. Lead plaintiff status can be given to an individual or even a group of individuals.
Is There a Statute of Limitations in a Class Action Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations in a class action lawsuit can be quite complicated. Generally, in a personal injury lawsuit, you have two years from an incident to file a claim. However, sometimes you don’t even know you’ve been injured until years later. A good example is the ongoing asbestos claims against manufacturers.
For years, many builders, roofers, shipbuilders, miners, and others were exposed to great health risks in the common uses of asbestos. These victims and their families are still eligible for compensation for their exposure. An experienced class action attorney can advise you if you still have time to join or begin a lawsuit.
What Is the Difference Between a Class Action Lawsuit vs. Mass Tort Lawsuit?
In a class action lawsuit, multiple plaintiffs are represented in one case by one firm. Each plaintiff may have an attorney who works with that firm. In a mass tort lawsuit, one attorney or a pool of attorneys represent multiple consumers in individual cases. This is usually the case for defective medical devices or dangerous drug recalls, as consumers will have similar reactions to the same products.
A class action lawsuit is actually a form of a mass tort lawsuit. Both types of lawsuits are very complicated and because so many plaintiffs are involved, it can be difficult to assign settlements. That is why it is crucial to have an experienced class action lawsuit attorney by your side.
What Is a Class Action Lawsuit Rebate?
You may have received a class action lawsuit rebate in the mail. This is usually a small amount of money or a coupon that is part of a larger settlement. This may mean a coupon to buy a brand of makeup or a $20 check from a manufacturer that illegally labeled a product “natural.”
If a class action lawsuit has already been settled, you may be able to claim your rebate now. A class action attorney from our firm will be able to tell you if your case has been settled and how to get your compensation.
What Can I Get from a Class Action Lawsuit?
In a class action lawsuit, the court sets up a fund from a settlement. It then uses a matrix to decide how much to award each plaintiff. If you have your own attorney throughout the process, that attorney will assure that you are properly paid.
Our Georgia class action attorneys will help you calculate your personal losses from the injuries and fight for your fair share. We know what to look for in a case, and we know what steps to take to make sure you get what you deserve.
How Much do Lawyers Make in Class Action Lawsuits?
When handling your lawsuit, we want you to get the compensation you need, and we don’t want to charge you any up-front fees. Our class action lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, which means they only get paid when you win your compensation.
The fact is, our lawyers get paid as much as the plaintiffs will agree to. When they take on a case, our attorneys will set up a certain portion of the class action settlement that will compensate them. The rest will go to the class’ recovery.
How do I Choose a Class Action Lawyer?
When choosing a class action lawyer, you want to look for three factors:
- Experience: A class action attorney should have years of experience handling not only individual cases, but also class action lawsuits that can be much larger.
- Tenacity: Your class action lawyer should be willing to fight for your settlement, doing everything in their power to secure compensation for everyone involved in the lawsuit.
- Transparency: Any lawyer needs to be transparent about their payment and how they’re handling your case, but that is even more important in a class action lawsuit.
When you choose a lawyer from our Georgia class action law firm, you are choosing someone with all three of these. We have been serving clients for years, and we will make sure you are treated fairly.
How Can John Foy Associates Help Me in a Class Action Lawsuit?
John Foy & Associates only practices one type of law—personal injury. That means protecting people like you. For more than 20 years, we’ve helped people who have been injured by someone else’s negligence.
You may only be involved in a class action lawsuit once in your life. Let our experienced attorneys help you. We’ll take care of the details and stay abreast of the case, while you get back to recovering from whatever damages have been caused. Contact John Foy & Associates today to get your free consultation.