What is a class action lawsuit?


You might have heard the term class action lawsuit being thrown around on courtroom dramas or in the news, but might not be sure what it means. A class-action lawsuit is when people harmed by the same company come together and file a lawsuit collectively. All these people will have the same grievances, such as injuries or losses.

If you think this may apply to you, read the following information.

Do I need a lawyer?

Do I need a lawyer for a class action lawsuit? This is a question that you might be wondering if you have experienced an injury or loss and think you could potentially be part of a class-action lawsuit. Generally, in class action lawsuits, there will be a lead plaintiff, who files the lawsuit on behalf of the entire group. There are no lawyer fees and, if the case is successful, the attorney is paid out of the recoveries. Class action lawsuits generally cover injuries or accidents that are quite minor, were paying for an attorney and covering the legal processes might not be worth the expense (see these 4 easy ways to cut back and save money right now).

What will happen?

Whilst every class action lawsuit is different, there are certain steps that your lawyer will follow. Generally, the company involved will be sued – this is called the investigation, or discovery phase. This is where all investigations and documentation will be considered and individuals will be questioned. Then, it will be determined whether the case will be settled or go to court. A settlement is generally the best outcome because it prevents a lengthy court case before a jury. It is still possible for the case to settle during the trial, but if it does not, it will be up to the jury to decide whether the company or class members are in favor.

Tips for survival

Being involved in a class-action lawsuit can be stressful and overwhelming, whether it goes to trial or not. Whilst you are part of something bigger than your own injury or loss, you might feel like a small cog in a big machine. This is why it’s important to look after yourself and make sure you are finding ways to relax. This might include:

  • Taking a long bath
  • Going out for a walk
  • Reading a book
  • Seeing friends
  • Getting a good night’s sleep

It’s important not to isolate yourself during a class action lawsuit. Whilst you won’t be able to discuss the case with others, you need to make sure that your entire life doesn’t revolve around the case. Making sure you have a normal routine and getting plenty of sleep is essential in reserving your health – both mentally and physically. You may also wish to speak to a counselor or therapist during the period of the class-action lawsuit, where you can be open and honest about your concerns and not worry about any confidentiality.