You may be a part of a group of people who have suffered financial losses or sustained harm in a similar manner due to the actions of another person, organization, or company. The number of people affected by this situation can be very large, and it may not be feasible for everyone to file their own lawsuit against the responsible party. This is where a class action lawsuit comes in handy.
A class action lawsuit allows all those harmed by the same act or omission to join together as plaintiffs and seek compensation from the defendant(s) on behalf of themselves and other class members. Such a lawsuit is often used when the same event or practice has injured many people. It may also prove helpful if the damages caused by the injury are challenging to calculate individually.
But how many people do you need for a class-action lawsuit, and why should you consider pursuing it?
How Many Plaintiffs are Needed for a Class Action Lawsuit?
The size of a class action lawsuit depends on several factors. One factor is the number of people harmed by a company’s negligence or wrongdoing. If you think thousands of people were hurt by the same problem, you might consider pursuing a class action lawsuit. Other things that affect the size of a class action include:
- How much money was lost by each person (or family) who suffered harm
- Whether the harm happened over time or at once
- Whether the damage is easily measurable
- Whether the cause of the harm is easy to identify
- Whether the defendant has already paid out settlements to some people
- Whether the defendant is willing to settle the case
- Whether the defendant’s insurance company is likely to pay out a lot of money
- Whether the defendant’s insurance policy covers the damages claimed in the lawsuit
- Whether the defendant belongs to a trade association or industry group that has resources available to defend against the lawsuit
You don’t have to wait until all these questions are answered before deciding to file a class action lawsuit. But you do need to keep them in mind when thinking about how many people you need to join together to file a class action.
That said, there’s no such thing as a class action minimum number, and it can involve thousands or even millions of people, provided there is a definite pattern of evidence to support it. However, if only a handful of people are pursuing the lawsuit, it may make more sense to file individual claims.
Understanding The “Class” in Class Action
A class action lawsuit involves more than just you suing an individual or corporation. You’re joining others who were harmed by the same thing. That means you become part of a larger case that’s filed in court.
For example, if you’ve purchased a car through a dealership, you could sue the car’s manufacturer, but you’d still need to show that you bought the car from the dealer in your complaint. If enough people bought cars from that particular dealer, they would be considered a class — and you could bring a claim on their behalf.
Why Should I Consider a Class Action Lawsuit?
There are several benefits of pursuing a class-action lawsuit instead of filing an individual claim. Here are a few:
- A class action lawsuit allows you to recover compensation from a single source rather than having to sue each individual responsible for causing your injury.
- It also makes it easier to recover damages because the total amount awarded will be divided among everyone who filed a claim.
- Class actions allow you to avoid duplicating efforts and costs associated with proving liability and damages.
- They also allow you to seek justice without proving that every other person involved in the incident was negligent.
- In addition, class actions often result in large awards for plaintiffs. That means you could receive a larger settlement than you would get individually.
How Do I File a Class Action?
To start a class action lawsuit, you must determine whether your state has laws allowing such lawsuits. In some states, only a few types of cases qualify as class actions; in other states, any kind of lawsuit can be a class action. Even if your state doesn’t allow class actions, you may still be able to file a federal class action suit. Federal courts hear most civil suits involving claims under federal law, including consumer protection laws.
Once you know which state’s laws apply to your case, you’ll want to contact a reliable lawyer experienced in handling class action lawsuits. Your attorney will help you determine whether you qualify to pursue a class action lawsuit in your state. We will also advise you about what steps you should take next.
If you decide to move forward with a class action lawsuit, we will work with you to determine the best way to proceed. One option is to hire us to represent you in court. Another is to submit your claim to a private mediator. Mediators are neutral third parties who evaluate your claim.
Elrod Pope is Your Go-To Class Action Lawsuit Firm
If you want to pursue a class action lawsuit, Elrod Pope Law Firm is here to help. We have been representing clients throughout South Carolina since 1980. Our team includes attorneys with experience handling cases involving personal injuries, wrongful death, medical malpractice, car accidents, workers’ compensation, and more.
Contact our firm or call us at (803) 599-3080 to schedule a free, no-obligation class action case review.
Class Action Lawsuit FAQs
Do I have to give up my right to go to trial if I choose to participate in a class action lawsuit? Can I opt out later?
No, you cannot opt out of a class action lawsuit once it’s been certified. The law requires you to remain a class member unless you ask to leave. If you decide not to continue the lawsuit after it’s been certified, you’ll lose your rights to future payments.
What happens if someone else joins me in the class action lawsuit?
If another person files a claim in the same lawsuit, they will automatically become part of the class. They will then share in the award based on their percentage of fault. If no one files a claim in the lawsuit, you will be able to collect 100% of the money awarded.
Is it possible to win a class action lawsuit? What kind of proof does the plaintiff need to establish liability and damages?
Yes, it is possible to win a class-action lawsuit. To prevail, you must show that the defendant caused your injuries by violating a specific legal duty owed to you. This includes showing that the defendant had a duty to protect you against the risk of harm posed by their negligence.