The term “class action lawsuit” has been referred to in news reports and other instances, but the average person is often unaware of what a class action lawsuit is or how it works. While class action lawsuits can be complex, a brief explanation will help you understand their purpose.

Definition of a Class Action Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit is brought about when multiple people are injured by the same event or act. It often occurs with a larger company, such as in the case of defective products that may have been contaminated or those that have an error in their creation, which causes injury or health problems for the user. When an attorney discovers that the act of negligence impacted numerous people, they may decide to file a class action lawsuit against the company. Everyone who has been injured by the product joins in the lawsuit rather than have hundreds of lawsuits over the same issues.

What Happens in a Class Action Lawsuit?

An attorney will act on behalf of all the people who have contacted them about an injury. They will file a lawsuit which names those people as well as all others who have been injured in the same situation.

The judge for the case is the one who must certify the class or label it as a class action lawsuit. To determine whether to proceed in this way, the judge must consider if it is more practical to have individual suits or one combined lawsuit. He will also need to determine if the same defense can be employed against all plaintiffs and whether the named plaintiffs accurately represent everyone who may file a claim.

If the case is determined to be a class action lawsuit, the attorney must notify everyone who may have a reason to bring a claim against the defendant. This requirement may mean contacting everyone who would be involved, or it may mean publicizing the case on television, in a magazine, or in other ads.

Those who are eligible to be part of the lawsuit have the right to opt out, which means they can file their own lawsuit. If victims choose not to opt out, they will be bound by whatever decision is received on the class action lawsuit.

Do You Need a New Orleans Class Action Attorney?

A class action lawsuit is one way of holding a company accountable for its actions when the individual lawsuits may not be large enough for pursuit. Anyone who believes they have a valid claim against a company should contact an experienced attorney to help them determine their next step. However, don’t wait to call our office.  Even though this is a class action lawsuit, you must file your claim before the deadline expires or you lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries.

Compensation may include medical expenses, lost wages, emotional suffering, physical pain, and other damages specific to your case. Call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation with a New Orleans class action attorney.