When many different people experience the same issue with a person or company, they can join together to file either a class-action lawsuit or a mass tort against the party responsible for their injuries or losses. Many people feel skeptical about class-action lawsuits, in part because joining one involves waving your individual rights.
While it is true that participants in a class-action lawsuit do not have the option of bringing individual action against the same defendant later, the plaintiffs may have a better chance at success with a class-action suit as opposed to individual lawsuits, often because a class-action effort allows for the shared expenses associated with taking legal action.
Class action helps spread out the cost of legal action
When you have a complex case involving personal injury or breach of contract, you want to work with an attorney who has experience and knowledge in these difficult areas of law. Unfortunately, the best and most experienced attorneys usually have rates that reflect their skill. If you lost a few hundred or even a couple of thousand dollars, the loss could be less than the cost to hire your own lawyer.
As an individual struggling with a recent financial loss, a large retainer for the top attorney in a particular area of law may not be feasible or a reasonable use of your money. However, when there are multiple plaintiffs splitting those expenses or when an attorney feels so strongly about the potential for success in a class-action case that they waive upfront charges, plaintiffs can connect with legal representation that they may otherwise struggle to afford.
Your case will help the claims of other plaintiffs and vice versa
When you bring an individual lawsuit against a person or business, you must use your own experience to create a sound legal argument and convinces the courts with a preponderance of evidence that supports your version of events. When the case comes down to your testimony versus the testimony of another person, you may struggle to convince the courts that your version of events is the more accurate accounting of what happened.
However, when there are multiple other people whose stories have details that support or corroborate your claims, an experienced attorney will be able to use those details to convince the courts that the evidence supports your claim to compensation. You will need to split the total compensation with the other parties involved in the class-action lawsuit, but the courts will consider the total number of plaintiffs and their individual financial losses when determining the amount of compensation.
Despite the potential complexities and pitfalls involved in a class-action lawsuit, many plaintiffs find that class action efforts simply make more sense for their current legal situation.