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But, if you think you may have an injury or claim similar to the class action, how do you join? How can you find out if there is a class action lawsuit for your injury?
Class actions cases usually start out as a lawsuit filed by one plaintiff for a common injury that many other people may also have a claim for.
The people filing the class action will try to find and notify all eligible members of the "class" who may have the same claim. If you are eligible, you'll often get a notice in the mail explaining the litigation and your options.
Opt-in or Opt-out
Read the notice carefully. Usually, members of the class are automatically part of the lawsuit and do not have to do anything. However, some class actions may require you to take action to opt-in by filing a claim form.
More commonly, you won't have to take any action unless you want to opt-out, meaning you do not want to be included in the lawsuit. If you opt-out, you won't get any benefits from the class action lawsuit, but you can file your own lawsuit later on.
If you haven't received a notice for a class action, it does not necessarily mean that you are not eligible. If you think you may be eligible to participate in a class action, you will need to contact the attorneys representing the class. Notify them of your claim, and ask to be put on the class registry.
Is There a Class Action Lawsuit Out There?
If you are wondering if there is a current class action suit relating to your injury, there are online databases that maintain a list of pending class action suits, such as Consumer-Action.org and ClassAction.org.
If you have an injury and would like to pursue an individual lawsuit or class action lawsuit, an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you assess your options.