What is a class action lawsuit and how does a class action law suit work?

Thousands of class action lawsuits are filed every single year, but many people are still unsure of exactly what this legal process entails. If you have recently received a class action lawsuit notice, then read ahead for a closer look at the basics of these suits and what you can expect in the coming weeks, months, and years.

At its core, a class action lawsuit is a relatively straightforward legal process. What sets a class action lawsuit apart from other lawsuits is the fact that a large number of individual plaintiffs are lumped into a single group. One common example of this would be a group of employees filing a class action lawsuit against the company that they work for due to unsafe working conditions.

These lawsuits generally begin with a single individual speaking with an attorney or legal firm about building a case. If the acts that they believe to have been committed affect a large group of people, then the firm or attorney might suggest developing a class action lawsuit. The suit is then filed against the defendant and all parties that could have been affected will be contacted. In most cases, a single attorney, firm, or group of attorneys will work together to represent the plaintiffs.

Once the group (class) of plaintiffs have been identified, they will then receive a letter asking them if they would like to be a part of the lawsuit. In some cases, the plaintiff will remain a part of the lawsuit unless they specifically state that they would not like to be included. Other cases will require the plaintiff to fill out a short form or speak with the legal representative(s).

For those that would like to opt out of being in a class action lawsuit, they can still bring a civil case against the party in question. Anyone that would like to be a part of the class will be awarded damages if the case is won. The amount of compensation that is awarded will generally be much larger in a class action lawsuit, but it will be split between more parties including the legal representatives.