A class action lawsuit is a type of litigation that occurs when numerous people are injured due to the negligence of an organization, company, or person. Those injured band together to file a single suit instead of pursuing cases separately. Every year, hundreds of class action lawsuits are filed in California. If you live in Santa Ana, California, you may have, at some point, received notification in the mail to join one.
When you have injuries and believe that others may have the same experience as yours, you have the legal right to seek relief from the liable parties. Call Ben Crump, PLLC, today to learn how a Santa Ana class action lawsuits lawyer can help you explore your legal options for compensation. Reach out at (800) 709-1441 to speak to a team member for a free case evaluation.
Understanding Class Action Lawsuits
Aside from being filed by a group of litigants, a class action lawsuit is similar to a personal injury lawsuit filed by just one person. Under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §378, multiple persons who have a similar or common injury may join in one legal action as plaintiffs. For example, this would apply to consumers who were harmed by a defective product, unsafe drug, or environmental hazard.
A class action lawsuit involves many plaintiffs, sometimes numbering in the thousands. However, the overwhelming majority of them will be unnamed in the proceeding. As such, class representatives are appointed to speak for all group members. Often, these representatives are the ones who first contacted the attorney about the legal matter. However, the court has the final say as to who can represent the class.
Determining representatives of the class is a crucial step in the legal process. However, a Santa Ana class action lawsuits lawyer must first show the court that many suffered adverse effects because of another party’s negligence or misconduct. The lawyer also must demonstrate that pursuing individual cases is impractical and inefficient.
For a class action to hold up in a court, all cases must share similar facts or questions of law. For instance, if the attorney asserts that the members of a class were victims of fraud, they must show commonality among the members regarding how the fraud occurred and who perpetrated the fraud.
Bear in mind that class action lawsuits only address civil liability, not criminal charges. Injury victims may bring forth a case in federal or state court, depending on the surrounding circumstances. Before the suit can progress further, the court will have to certify the class based on the requirements of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23, as affirmed by the Legal Information Institute (LII).
For a free legal consultation with a class action lawsuits lawyer serving Santa Ana, call 800-709-1441
Class Certification Is the Most Crucial Step
Filing a class action lawsuit is not enough for the case to proceed—the court has to certify the class first. It will determine if the group meets the general requirements, such as numerosity, commonality, typicality of claims, and adequacy of representation.
A judge may also consider that pursuing separate lawsuits will likely result in inconsistent rulings, and a class action is the best recourse to resolve multiple disputes. However, obtaining class certification is not as simple as ticking off the right boxes. Since a judge can exercise discretion over the matter, they can reject the motion, leading to the case’s dismissal.
Arguing for class certification is often complicated and drawn out. But once certified, the liable party faces a valid lawsuit. A Santa Ana class action lawsuits lawyer from Ben Crump, PLLC, can guide you through the entire proceedings. To get started, call today.
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Reasons to Participate in the Lawsuit
Class action lawsuits offer plenty of benefits to those who choose to participate—it does not matter if they joined late or early. The following are reasons you may want to join the lawsuit:
Higher Chances of Financial Remedy
Generally, the more participants there are, the stronger the case will be. It also increases the possibility of receiving awarded damages since class actions intend to distribute the settlement equitably among the injury victims.
Lesser Risk of a Different Ruling
Class actions allow injury victims with similar circumstances to recover awards in the same manner. With individual lawsuits, there is always the possibility of a different ruling that could impact related cases in the future.
Lower Litigation Costs
Many injury victims do not pursue litigation because of the legal costs, which may exceed the recovered amount. Class action lawsuits divide the expenses and fees across claimants, minimizing the financial burden and allowing others the opportunity to seek justice. Moreover, class action lawsuits are usually taken on by legal professionals who handle such cases, a benefit that you might not be able to afford if you file a case as an individual.
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You Can Opt Out of a Class Action
When you receive a notice to join a class action lawsuit, you can refuse the offer and pursue a separate case. Despite its advantages, class actions can also have their downsides. This kind of case limits a claimant’s options and control over the matter.
If you believe you deserve a higher settlement for suffering catastrophic or life-changing injuries, consider filing a legal action independently of the class. Such action also applies if your circumstances are different from the group’s. A Santa Ana class action lawsuits lawyer can help give you a better understanding of the situation.
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Legal Support in Class Action Lawsuit
If you are interested in exploring your legal options, consider starting sooner rather than later. A Santa Ana class action lawsuits lawyer with Ben Crump, PLLC, fights for clients’ rights and will fight for yours. They will need time to review your situation and advise you of your next steps. To initiate a class action lawsuit, call us at (800) 709-1441 today for a free consultation.
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