When one person is injured by the negligence of another person or company, the injured person often has the option to file a personal injury lawsuit. In some situations, however, one company’s negligence can result in hundreds or even thousands of people suffering injuries from a defective product or another careless act. When this happens, a class action lawsuit may be used to protect the legal rights of an entire group of people injured by the same negligent acts.
In a class action lawsuit, a few injured people bring the case to court on behalf of everyone similarly injured, in a group known as a “class.” The purpose of class action litigation is to streamline the process of determining liability and distributing compensation, instead of forcing every injured plaintiff to bear the cost of a full trial to get compensation.
Your options for joining a class action lawsuit vary, depending on whether or not you’ve received notice as a member of the class:
You may hear about a class action lawsuit by receiving notice in the mail of the lawsuit. If the notice indicates you are a member of the class, you don’t have to do anything to join the case: you’re already part of it. You will receive an update when the case is settled or when a judgment is rendered.
Another way many people hear about class action lawsuits is through news reports or advertising about class action lawsuits. If you discover a class action that you believe applies to you, you may be able to contact those involved or speak to a lawyer who can help you determine whether or not you are a member of the class.
If you’ve been injured by a company’s negligence and you suspect others are in the same position, an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether class action lawsuits have been filed, become involved if needed, or create a class in order to hold negligent parties accountable.