Have you recently suffered because a big company broke the law? Suing the company yourself might be too expensive. But joining a class action could be the way to get justice.
What exactly is a class action though? What are the benefits of class actions? And how can I choose the best class action lawyers to represent me?
Read on for our guide on how to choose the best consumer class action lawyer for you.
What Is a Class Action?
In a class action, one plaintiff represents a larger group in court. This larger group is known as the class. Rather than each individual in the group suing the company, the class sues the company together.
Every member of the class will have to submit evidence that they have been affected by the defendant’s actions. But in court, only the lead plaintiff will try the case.
For the case to come to court, it must first be certified by the court. This means that the court decides that a class action is the best route for addressing the claims raised.
The case must meet the criteria set out in the legal rule known as Rule 23. If it meets the legal criteria for a class action, the lawsuit can proceed.
If the lawsuit is successful, everyone in the class receives a payout. This may not be the same for everyone, as other factors may determine who gets what amount.
What Are the Benefits of Class Actions?
The benefit of a consumer class action is that it allows ordinary consumers to take action. The loss you have suffered may be relatively minor. For example, a company may have overcharged you by $50 and refused to refund it.
However, if this happened to 1,000 other consumers, the impact is considerable. For each affected person to take the company to court is not feasible. But a class action will make it possible to bring the company to book.
Another benefit is that it can shine a light on unlawful practices going on in companies. This can help companies to change their ways, thereby protecting other consumers in the future.
How Can I Choose the Best Class Action Lawyers?
We’ve just looked at class action law in a very brief nutshell. As you can imagine, class action law is very intricate and complicated. It also varies from state to state.
With all of this in mind, you need to use class action lawyers who thoroughly understand the process. Legal mistakes could be very expensive in this kind of case. How can you find a class action attorney that fits the bill?
Experience of Class Action Lawsuits
Now’s not the time to hire a fresh-faced lawyer who’s just hung up his shingle.
For a consumer class action, you need a class action lawyer who has experience as the lead counsel in class actions. Don’t be fooled by law firms that advertise that they accept class actions, but refer them to another firm. Don’t be afraid to ask the consumer class action attorney about their experience.
Why is experience so important when choosing a class action lawyer? As mentioned earlier, for a class action to get to court, it has to meet a number of legal criteria.
You need a lawyer who understands the certification process, and the merits of your particular case. You need a lawyer who will be able to give accurate advice from day one about how likely your case is to get to court.
Experience in the Affected Jurisdiction
Class actions often affect people who live in a wide geographical area. This may mean that the case is not tried locally. You need to work with a consumer class action attorney who has experience across jurisdictions.
They will need to understand how to represent a class action in higher courts. You will also need to hire a class action attorney who can determine where jurisdiction lies for your particular case. This can be very complicated, which is why experience is so important.
It’s wise to choose a firm with experience in both local and federal class actions. At Financialjusticenow.com you get the combined experience and resources of specialist attorneys in both Washington and New York.
Class action lawyers need to understand very complicated areas of law. Class action suits can be brought for a number of diverse reasons. These include:
- Pharmaceutical fraud
- Personal injury due to defective products
- Civil rights violations
- Consumer rights violations
Lawyers may specialize or have experience in certain areas of class action law. One way to check your class action lawyers are up to the job is by looking at their results. You can see whether they delivered for plaintiffs in previous cases.
Class action lawyers may use a variety of fee structures. The important thing is that you are fully aware of what you are agreeing to before you sign a contract.
A common form of fee structure for class action lawsuits is the contingency-fee basis. This means that you will only pay legal fees if the firm wins your case.
However, don’t assume that this is the basis your lawyers are working on. Even if it is the case, make sure that you are happy with the level of fees they will charge if they win the case.
Ask them to go through their fees and discuss ways to streamline costs if you have concerns.
Choose the Right Class Action Lawyers for You!
Finding the right class action lawyers can seem overwhelming. When making your choice, prioritize experience, expertise, and transparency. The best class action lawyers will be open and upfront about your chances of success.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and feel empowered to find the right class action lawyer for you! For more hints and tips, head over to our Business and Law sections today!