Some class action lawsuits can take as little as a few months and as long as several years. These kinds of cases can typically take around two or three years to be resolved, while others can take even longer. When court rulings are appealed, the process gets further prolonged.
You can potentially avoid these long waiting periods if the company, or defendant, decides to accept a settlement offer. The lead class representative can vouch for all of the plaintiffs involved in your class action lawsuit, and they can also work with your group’s attorney to gather as much evidence and people as possible to support your claim.
With more similarly affected people and evidence, your group’s attorney may have a case that is worthy of a settlement with the defendant to avoid litigation. Ultimately, however, there is no telling exactly how long your case will be. While class action lawsuits are designed to be more efficient for the courts system, there is still the chance that plaintiffs will not get their financial compensation right away. There are several reasons why class action lawsuits do not always move along quickly, and these are implications that can impact claims of varying sizes.
Why the Class Action Lawsuit Process Can Take Time to Complete
One reason why these kinds of lawsuits do not move quickly is that lead plaintiffs have to get their complaint certified by the courts. This is a process in of itself, as it starts with the lead plaintiff filing a complaint. Other victims who faced damages from the defendant will then have to be notified through an attorney and the lead plaintiff once the court certifies the case.
How long your class action lawsuit takes depends on a number of factors. Reaching out to other plaintiffs, known as the class members, can take a long period of time. The lead plaintiff and their legal team can do their part by sending out notices, but with larger cases against high-profile defendants, this process can be timely. Notifications may be sent through the U.S. mail, but it could take a while for responses to be submitted. Large cases may take even longer so legal teams can create advertisements to reach large audiences of similarly affected people.
Next, both the plaintiffs and the defendant will start to prepare for a trial. Both sides will have legal teams that might have to spend long periods of time to gather evidence and find witnesses, yet a settlement can be reached at any time. Plaintiffs do not have to accept any settlement offer, but their legal team may advise them to in order to avoid a costly trial. In addition, as trials take more time to prepare for, the defense may be willing to submit a favorable settlement worth accepting by the plaintiffs.
If a settlement is not reached, the case will be ruled on by a judge. The judge will then determine if the plaintiffs can receive any financial compensation. Judges also decide how much money the plaintiffs can be awarded. If the plaintiffs receive a favorable judgement, the funds will be submitted to the lead plaintiff.
After legal fees, the lead plaintiff helps distribute the funds to all affected members of the class action lawsuit. The judge will also create a plan and system to ensure class members can attain their awarded funds.
Some class action lawsuits end with the creation of settlement funds or disability benefits funds to compensate eligible victims. One example is the mesothelioma trust fund, established by asbestos companies to pay current and future asbestos claims. Another example comes from our Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer who helps victims file benefits claims. Veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 to 1987 who suffered injuries and disabilities because of the camp’s tainted water can now receive compensation through the VA. If they qualify, they can receive monthly payments.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-709-1441
Check Case Statuses and Stay Connected
When class action lawsuit class members check their case’s status, they will be up to date on the legal processes, settlement news, and whether a judge has been called in to rule on the case. There are online databases that class members can access to research their case at any time. When you use these databases, you can search the claim based on the defendant’s name. You can also search cases that are currently open, pending, or even closed.
These databases are also a great way for potential class members to research a claim if they have not been contacted yet. If you search for a defendant that harmed you or caused damages, you may discover that there is already an open claim that can be joined. In some cases, class members will first learn of their case’s fate through a television advertisement. Other class action lawsuits might have their own website that details their case and includes steps to join as a class member.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Help to Hold Big Companies Accountable
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we fight against injustices. When big companies harm innocent people, our firm can fight for your cause and support a lead plaintiff in their legal battle with defendants. Ben Crump Law, PLLC will not back down from the largest of corporations, the most powerful citizens, or even local governments when seeking justice for your cause.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-709-1441 to explain your damages against the defendant and begin planning your class action lawsuit.