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How To Choose a Class Action Lawyer

You may have received a mail or email notice to join a class action lawsuit. You have probably seen ads on TV about class action suits against large corporations for product liability claims, such as asbestos or pharmaceuticals. In a class action lawsuit, you will not be the lead plaintiff. Someone else has already started the legal action, and these notices are letting other possible victims know they can join the case.

Class action litigation begins when a group of people have individual lawsuits against a single defendant. If their claims are similar enough, the attorneys petition the court to combine or "join" the cases into a single class action case. One individual is the class representative, and the remaining cases become members of the class. The representative brings the claim on behalf of all class members, even the ones who join later.

Most people involved in a class action claim learn about the case long after it starts. Some types of cases can take years to resolve. For instance, victims are still filing and settling asbestos claims. Courts prefer class action suits when a claim involves a large group of people because it reduces the number of individual lawsuits.

Other types of class suits are mass torts and multidistrict litigation (MDL). Whatever the type of litigation, you need an experienced class action lawyer to enter such a lawsuit. Choosing the right attorney is essential to join these cases. This article reviews how to find a good class action attorney and what to know about class action law.

Compatibility

Compatibility level is one of the most overlooked aspects of choosing an attorney. This isn't like a dating app where you need to be a 100% match. However, your lawyer must meet your needs and the needs of the entire class. It's likely that your attorney will represent other clients in the class action or mass tort, so you should be comfortable with your choice.

The attorney should explain the case clearly without "legalese." If you have questions, you should get answers within a reasonable time. If the attorney will not manage individual cases directly, which often happens in class action lawsuits, you should know who is responsible for your file. Knowing who you can contact for case updates is essential in feeling comfortable that your claim is being handled properly.

Fee Structure

Part of the attorney-client relationship is attorney fees. Understanding your legal costs upfront can help ease some of the tension surrounding this issue. In general, class action attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that the attorneys only get paid if the case succeeds or settles. The lawyer's fee is a percentage of the award or settlement fee.

You should receive a written fee agreement before you join a class action lawsuit or mass tort. A good attorney will recommend that you seek other legal advice before signing any fee agreement.

Experience in Class Action Suits

Experience is essential. Class action lawsuits require expertise that includes filing the appropriate paperwork, proving the class exists, choosing the best member(s) to represent the class, and much more. Ideally, your future class action lawyer will have tried class action lawsuits before. An experienced attorney should have filed cases in your subject, such as product liability. Ask if the attorney will handle the case personally or if associates will manage your individual claim.

Location

A class action lawsuit has a wide range of plaintiffs. While all plaintiffs must have suffered a similar injury, they can come from different locations. Defective products, for instance, can span the country. A person in Florida can be just as eligible to be in the class as someone from Alaska. Your potential class action lawyer must be able to represent the interests of the class. A case filed in federal court will need an attorney certified in federal law.

How To Choose a Class Action Lawyer: Related Resources

Learn More About Class Action Lawsuits

Class action lawsuits are complicated, whether for a faulty product or pharmaceutical issue. If you have questions about class action lawsuits or mass torts, talk with a plaintiff's class action attorney today.

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