Would you go through a lawsuit if the damages were $100 or even $1000? In fact, some decide to go through the process for a cause but most people don’t. Individual lawsuits are expensive and may be very nerve-wracking. Instead, people join in a class action that allows a lot of people to recover their damages even in case of relatively small individual claims. What are the benefits of a class action from a plaintiff’s perspective? Here are some advantages that you should know if you are just about to join a class action.
Benefits from a Class Action
There are a number of benefits for plaintiffs who wish to pursue a class action rather than litigate their claims separately. Here are some of them.
Lower cost to litigate: it’s commonly expensive to file a lawsuit and you would probably not be able to file a claim individually even if you consider only the attorney fees. Instead, the costs to litigate the claims are spread across many plaintiffs and may be at no cost to you in most cases. It is even rare that the class representatives have out-of-pocket expenses. The charges are spread across the group after they win the case and are compensated. If the plaintiffs do not win a case, their attorneys do not receive compensation either. This is known as working on a contingency basis.
Higher likelihood to receive money: even if the award is small, you still have higher chances of getting compensation with a class action. Suppose an individual claim is filed by several people. Those who file earlier will recover their damages while the defendant may go bankrupt and not be able to pay everyone. This means that the earlier plaintiffs gain advantage whereas those that file later will end up with nothing. This is not so in a class action where damages are spread amongst plaintiffs.
Likelihood of hiring a more experienced attorney: if you file an individual lawsuit, chances are that you wouldn’t afford high-cost attorney services. In a class action, it is possible to hire an experienced attorney since the costs are shared among the plaintiffs or even paid by the defendant.
Fighting for a cause: sometimes people join a class action because it is a way to achieve justice. Instead of going through a long and costly process of an individual lawsuit, they join a class action for a cause without paying out of pocket.
What Am I Losing?
Before you join a class action you should be aware of some limitations of a class action. While joining a class action lawsuit will cost you nothing, you relinquish your right to recover damages individually. You cannot file an individual lawsuit if you join a class action. Sometimes this may mean thousands or millions down the road.
It is also a good idea to know in advance of what to expect. Suppose some 5,000 plaintiffs join in a lawsuit against a small company. In that case, chances are high that you may end up with just a few dollars.
Therefore, you need to discuss your case with a lawyer before you decide to join a class action lawsuit.
How Can I Find a Class Action Lawyer?
If you are considering joining a class action lawsuit but you have questions and concerns, call the Margarian Law Firm today at (818) 553-1000 for a free consultation. The attorneys at the Margarian Law Firm have a long standing in class action lawsuits and can help you with your case. Our staff speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French, Armenian and Russian.