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You may have heard the term 'class action lawsuit' before, especially when it comes to large companies being sued by a bunch of disgruntled customers. While the majority of lawsuits are filed by one party against another single party, a class action allows many parties who are similarly injured or situated to bring one lawsuit, for the sake of consistency and efficiency.
For example, one person injured by a defective car could sue the car manufacturer, but if the defect is widespread and causes many injuries, all of those affected could sue the car manufacturer collectively, under a class action claim. Class actions can be confusing, so here are four of the biggest questions regarding class action lawsuits, along with some answers.
If you've been injured by a defective product, you might be thinking you're not the only one. But there are specific rules for certifying a class action lawsuit, and it's more complicated than just having a lot of aggrieved plaintiffs.
If a class action lawsuit has already been certified, or is in the process, you may be wondering if you can hop on board. In many cases, you will receive a notice and be given the option of opting in or out of the class. But you may still be eligible for a class action, even if you haven't received a notice.
If you did receive a notice of a pending or completed class action lawsuit, you have a couple options. You may be able to join the lawsuit, but will be bound by whatever rulings, settlements, or judgments in the case. Or you can opt out, and you may be able to reserve your right to sue separately.
All lawsuits have time limits before which they must be filed. But class actions may pause the countdown on similar lawsuits, even for those not included by the class.
Class action lawsuits can be complicated -- if you have more questions, contact an experienced personal injury attorney near you.