The best way to tell whether you have a mass tort case or a class action suit is to speak with an attorney; these are complicated areas of the law and require an attorney with experience handling torts (liability cases). Mass torts and class actions both aim to streamline litigation, but they each possess different characteristics and are handled in different ways.
Understanding Class Action Lawsuits
A class action suit is civil lawsuit filed on behalf of an entire group of people who have experienced similar harm. This may be the case if a company had misleading labels, wrongly billed clients or had other unfair business practices, for example.
When a settlement is reached, it is dispersed to all the plaintiffs in the settlement, minus fees from the representing attorney(s). While plaintiffs historically receive very low settlements for class action lawsuits, these types of claims can be used to initiate important corporate change that helps save other consumers from similar damages.
In order to qualify as a class action, the case must go through the certification process in which the court determines if the individual cases are similar and substantial enough to group into a class action, as well as whether or not the attorney is professionally capable of handling the huge endeavor.
Overview of Mass Tort Cases
Like a class action, a mass tort also involves a large group of individuals who have a claim against a company. However, a mass tort comprises numerous individual claims handled by one attorney or numerous lawyers – they are merely grouped together for a brief time, primarily for reasons of discovery.
Mass torts are usually related to cases such as pharmaceuticals that cause harm to a large number of people. Because the injuries the plaintiffs sustain can vary, filing a class action suit won’t be appropriate because divvying up the settlement isn’t practicable. One person may suffer headaches as a side effect of a product, while another person may have developed severe brain damage.
To help the large number of cases move through the system quicker, mass torts allow the attorney(s) representing all the individual parties to investigate and pool their research and discovery findings with each case.
Discussing Your Options with an Injury Lawyer
Both mass tort cases and class action suits are extremely complicated areas of the law, and some plaintiffs come away with very little to show. If you recently sustained an injury because of a company’s negligence, it may be in your best interest to file a personal injury claim.
To determine your legal options and what types of compensation you may be entitled to, contact an attorney in your area. We invite you to contact our team at Hensley Group. Call us today and schedule your FREE no-obligation consultation at (317) 472-3333.