What to Look for in a Class-Action Lawyer
Most class action lawsuits involve one party filing a claim against a company for damages on behalf of themselves and also on behalf of everyone who has been injured by that company’s specific practice. This may include hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people who have been affected negatively in the same way by that defendant.
Bringing a class action enables many people facing the same circumstances to receive justice fairly and efficiently. However, it is often difficult to tell if you are the only one or one of many affected by the same error or misconduct.
The best way to find out if you have an individual claim or whether it is in your best interest to pursue a class-action lawsuit is to contact an experienced class action lawyer. The team at wh Law has nearly a century of combined experience in legal matters.
Experience in Class-Action Lawsuits
When it comes to your case, you want to find a lawyer who has experience in class action litigation, and who has a record of being appointed by courts as “class counsel.” In order to represent an entire class of plaintiffs, a court has to approve an attorney as class counsel and authorize them to litigate on behalf of the entire class of affected people. Importantly, the court needs to make certain that the lawyers have the experience, skill, and commitment to represent the class. Lawyers at wh Law have been appointed as class counsel in litigations throughout the United States
Experience with Your Kind of Case
Class actions encompass a wide variety of different cases. These include:
- Violations of consumer rights, such as unfair or undisclosed fees and deceptive business practices
- Defective products
- False advertising
- Violations of privacy rights, particularly by Big Tech
- Violations of civil rights
- Employment discrimination, housing discrimination, and other forms of discrimination
- Misadministration of retirement benefits
- And much, much more
Experience in Appropriate Jurisdictions
One of the complexities of attending class-action litigation is how wide the geographic distribution of people within the class may be. Courts only hear cases within their jurisdiction, and the efficient resolution of any legal matter depends on identifying where jurisdiction in the case lies and filing the claim with the correct court.
Depending on the jurisdiction, class actions may be tried in a state or federal court. So, it is beneficial to hire an attorney who has handled proceedings across a range of courts and understands where jurisdiction may lie in prosecuting claims on behalf of a class.
One of the key distinctions between individual lawsuits and class actions is that the vast majority of people in a class will have no involvement with the case until it is resolved. The one exception is the lead plaintiffs or “Class Representative” in a class-action lawsuit.
If you are the first to bring a claim and hire a lawyer, and the court certifies the case as a class action, you will be considered the Class Representative. As Class Representative, you and your lawyer will maintain consistent communication throughout the case regarding settlement offers and other matters.
Because of the important role you play in the class action, it is important to find not only an experienced attorney but also one who values your input, answers your questions thoughtfully, takes your concerns seriously, and responds to you in a timely fashion. The same is true for members of the law firm staff who are also involved in your case.
Reasonable Costs and Fee Structure
The Class Representative in a class-action lawsuit is responsible for evaluating the fee agreement as part of choosing an attorney. In most cases, class actions are tried on a contingency fee basis; if a settlement is reached, the lawyers in the case are paid a portion of the recovery.
The exact percentage an attorney charges as part of the contingency fee agreement may vary. Each lawyer you meet with should be upfront about their fees.
Due to the complexity of class action litigation, investigating and trying these cases can be expensive. In addition to a reasonable fee agreement, it is in your best interest and the interest of the class to find a law firm that emphasizes cost management. Cost-effective representation is generally efficient representation, improving the likelihood of a favorable settlement in a timelier fashion.
What Is a Class Action Litigation?
A class-action lawsuit can happen when a group of people have had similar injuries when they used the same product. It could be about injuries from a defective medical device, a piece of auto equipment, household appliances—anything that has caused harm to many people.
In a class-action lawsuit, one person or a small group of people represents the larger group who has been injured. The lawsuits can happen in federal and state courts.
For a class-action lawsuit to have grounds, it needs to include the following:
- A legal claim against the negligent party.
- A large group of people must have similar injuries. So, if people used a defective medical device but had different side effects, they wouldn’t be able to file a class-action lawsuit.
- The person or small group leading the class action lawsuit needs to have a reasonable plan and seek equal outcomes for the members of the class.
One kind of case that is common in class action lawsuits is product liability cases. Whenever a product is faulty or dangerous and it causes harm to someone, they can make a product liability claim. If a large group of people used the hazardous device and all got similar injuries, they may try to file a class-action lawsuit.
What Are the Advantages of a Class Action Lawsuit?
Class action lawsuits work a bit differently than lawsuits brought forward by an individual. There are a few advantages to a class-action lawsuit that could help inform you about if this direction is right for you and your case.
Advantages of class action lawsuits include:
- Raising Awareness of the Issue. A class action will unite many injured parties. There’s a chance this will get more attention and exposure than an individual bringing their case forward.
- Corporations May Take You More Seriously. There is always strength in numbers. A defendant won’t be able to ignore a class action lawsuit, even though they often ignore their individual customers.
- Stronger Claims. When people speak up about their similar injuries, it shows how dangerous and harmful the defendant’s conduct is.
- Lowers Costs. Expensive court costs may deter individuals from filing a claim. In a class action, class members can divide the costs of litigation. Critically, no class member (including the Class Representative) pays for the litigation. Costs are paid by your lawyers. We don’t get paid unless you win.
- Chance That All Class Members Are Allowed to Recover Damages. If individuals come forward and win cases, the company may not be able to afford the costs of the damages. While some individuals may get a favorable settlement, those who file claims later may not get a fair settlement because the company can’t pay them. A class-action lawsuit means the class will all have the opportunity to receive some portion of the recovery.
But you should also be aware of the limitations that come with a class action case. You may not have control over the decision-making process. This also includes when to settle or when to continue with the case. If you have an incompetent representative who doesn’t have valid claims, this may hurt you and your legitimate claims.
Get Help from a Class Action Attorney at wh Law
Your life shouldn’t be put on hold because a company made a dangerous product or took advantage of you. While you may have to take time to heal, you shouldn’t have to bear the burden on your own. The company needs to be held accountable for its bad acts. You may find that others have had similar experiences as you and also want to seek justice.
You deserve to have your best options laid out so you can make an informed decision about whether to take part in a class action case and who will be your legal representative. wh Law will help you find the course of action that will benefit you. Call wh Law today for a free strategy session to discuss your case.