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What is a class action suit, and how could it help you?

If you and other people are injured by a product or business, something you might consider is a class action lawsuit. Class action lawsuits are lawsuits that are brought against one or more defendants for the same purpose. The individuals, each called a class member, have the same or similar injuries related to the defendant’s actions or inactions.

For example, several people may have injuries from a defective gardening product, and then those people may opt to file a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer. The goal? To hold the defendant accountable for any harm or injuries that they caused.

Are there specific guidelines that make a lawsuit into a class action lawsuit?

Not all lawsuits are class action lawsuits. To be a class action lawsuit, the lawsuit must:

  • Have so many individuals filing a lawsuit that it would be impractical for each of them to file independently
  • Have commonality between individual cases
  • Have claims and defenses that are typical of members of the class
  • Have adequate representation. This refers to the lead plaintiff’s ability to fairly protect and represent the interests of all other plaintiffs in the class

If you decide to pursue a class action lawsuit or are considering joining one, you should make sure that:

  • Anyone in the class action lawsuit has been injured in the same manner
  • The defendant can be sued and is not shielded
  • The class action suit is practical compared to bringing an individual lawsuit
  • There are many similar lawsuits with similar allegations that can come together to form the class action lawsuit
  • The lawsuit is set to be filed within the time limits set by law

Class action lawsuits are usually used in major cases involving large groups of people. For cases involving smaller numbers of people, individual cases may still be a better choice.

A class action lawsuit might be a good choice if you know that there are many people going after the same defendant for similar problems. Instead of trying to bring your case separately, there is sometimes power in numbers. This is something you may consider as you look into making a claim for injuries that you’ve suffered.