Class action refers to a lawsuit filed by a group of people who have suffered from similar damages caused by the same act.
Being part of a class action means sharing any settlement or judgment with other participants.
Receiving a notice of a class action lawsuit usually indicates your involvement in a particular case and that you might receive a possible compensation for the damages they caused.
Many of these types of cases are the result of a defective product, you can learn more here about the most dangerous Defective Product Recalls in 2019.
Notices can be sent at various times in a class action lawsuit. It’s even possible to receive one at the time of the settlement. Once you receive one, it’s essential to review all the details before taking any action.
The First Step to Take After Receiving a Class Action Notification
The first thing you need to do is to read the notice very carefully and check if the class definition applies to you. The information within the document usually explains the class definition near the beginning of the notice and lays out who is included in the class.
A proper class action settlement notice will describe these options in a language that even a nonlawyer can understand. A class member just needs to read the notice carefully and follow the instructions depending on the three possible options they can choose from.
Participating as a Class Member
In most instances, an individual who fits the description of the class and does nothing upon receiving the notice of the class action lawsuit will become automatically included as a member in the lawsuit.
By participating in this manner would mean giving up any right you might have had to file your own private lawsuit. The affected will have no other option to independently pursue a case against the defending party with a private claim.
When the person no intention to pursue a lawsuit on your own, participating in a class action does little harm in the situation.
Those who decided to participate as a class member and do nothing will eventually be notified about the settlement or recovery and will be told how to collect their portion of the recovery.
Participating as a Named Plaintiff
As a qualified class member, you have the option of hiring your own attorney and participate in the case as a named party.
While there’s little to lose by becoming a class member, playing a more active role in the entire class action suit might be necessary for those who are not happy with the way the case is being handled.
Participating as a plaintiff is a viable option if you receive extensive damages and want to be more active in the lawsuit.
In most cases, a class member has a series of decisions to make and at the top of the list is to either stay in the settlement or opt out. This is an important decision that requires careful consideration of several factors.
There are several reasons why people might want to opt out of a class action lawsuit. Most people who consider opting out of a class action suit might want to file a personal claim as opting out keeps your right to sue individually.
They might not receive the proper compensation they think they deserve since the class action suit is divided among all participants.
Alternately, they might also find that their situation is different from most members and their interests wouldn’t be addressed by the class action.
A class member who doesn’t want to participate in the lawsuit can just read the notice to receive which should describe what needs to be done to opt out of the case. This usually requires sending back a notice to the settlement administrator stating that you don’t want to be included in the settlement.
Not everyone can follow class action settlement notices as they’re not all written in straightforward, everyday language. Before making a decision to whether participate as a class member, a named plaintiff or opt out, you should consult with an experienced class action attorney.
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