Class action lawsuits differ from other legal claims. In most cases, they arise when numerous people file individual lawsuits against the same defendant. In some situations, a single plaintiff who has suffered damages due to unfair business practices, wage and hour violations, or another widespread problem can start a class action complaint on behalf of everyone.
Regardless of how you’ve arrived at the prospect of joining a class action lawsuit, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth your time. Here are some points to consider.
Pros of Class Action Litigation
- There are no upfront fees: It doesn’t cost you anything to be a class member in a lawsuit. Lawyers typically collect their fees from settlement or judgment. You are also protected from retaliation for participating.
- You may receive compensation: Depending on the outcome of the case, you may receive financial compensation. Sometimes, the first group of plaintiffs to file are the only ones who are eligible. It may be in your best interest to join in sooner rather than later.
- It’s a good alternative to pursuing litigation alone: It may not be financially viable for you to file an individual lawsuit. That can certainly be the case if your monetary damages are small. A class action lawsuit may be the better choice.
- It usually requires minimal effort: Lead plaintiffs must actively participate in the case. However, most class members don’t need to do anything after receiving a Notice of Class Action Lawsuit. In some cases, you may need to opt-in to participate. However, opt-out conditions are far more common.
Cons of Class Action Litigation
- You could forfeit the chance to file your own lawsuit: You’ll be subject to the resolution of the class action. You’re likely to lose your right to bring your own suit against the defendant over the same allegations.
- You have little control over the decision-making process: Class action lawsuits aren’t very democratic. Members who are not the lead plaintiffs don’t have much say in how things play out.
- You might get overlooked: Notices will be provided to every class member who can be identified through reasonable effort. However, it’s possible to be overlooked as a potential class member. To avoid this, you may need to check the legal notices in your newspaper and search online for existing classes.
- The case may take several years: Some class action lawsuits settle quickly. Others go on for years. How long any given case will take is unknown.
Contact Our Chicago Class Action Attorneys for Free
If you believe that you have a new class action claim or should be included in one of our current lawsuits, please call our office at 888-517-9115 for a free consultation. While located in Chicago, our attorneys handle cases throughout Illinois and the nation.