When you have been hurt by a government agency, university, or large corporation’s negligence, you may feel like getting justice is a hopeless consideration. Their enormous financial resources and armies of lawyers can be intimidating to an individual person.
However, if you believe you were not the only one affected by this entity, call a Buffalo class action attorney at Morelli Law Firm to discuss the circumstances. You may discover that you are one of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people suffering because a giant organization is violating everyone’s rights. You may be able to pursue justice through a class action lawsuit.
Is It Worthwhile to File a Class Action Suit?
It is important to file a class action lawsuit to hold negligent organizations responsible for their actions. Negligent parties should be brought to justice and people should be compensated for their losses. The benefits of a class action involve containing legal costs, having issues resolved sooner, and improved chances of getting results simply because there is strength in numbers.
- Cost – It is extremely costly for individuals to fight powerful defendants with big legal teams. Even if your complaint seems relatively small, if it causes harm to many people, launching a class action lawsuit can provide millions of people with the opportunity to be compensated. Class actions can force companies to improve their products or the way they do business.
- Time – If all the individuals harmed were to file separate suits on their own, the courts would be completely overwhelmed with cases and that would take decades to resolve. In cases where lots of people are being cheated, harmed, injured, or sickened by an organization, class action filings let the world hear the complaint before the trial even begins.
- Getting results – In some cases, companies will admit mistakes were made and offer settlements to the individuals or change behaviors, policies, and practices that caused the issue. Simply filing the suit with a Buffalo class action attorney places companies on notice.
Overview of the Steps of Filing a Class Action Lawsuit
If you are considering a class action suit, you may be wondering where to begin, what it takes to file, and how to proceed. Here is a brief overview of the actions that will take place when beginning your case. When you seek legal counsel, your Buffalo class action lawyer can walk you through the process more thoroughly.
Designate a Primary Plaintiff
There can be more than one primary, however, someone must begin the steps and have their name(s) designated as the primary plaintiff(s) in the case. These individuals undertake a big commitment of time and energy by participating in the legal proceedings.
They must commit to clearing their schedules for depositions, consulting on the case, and generally participating in the class action proceedings overall. The primary plaintiff can be entitled to a larger share of the compensation.
The lead plaintiff hires the class action attorney, but usually does not have to pay legal fees as class actions are usually brought on a contingency basis. Any expenses you incur related to the case are likely to be reimbursed.
Following the selection of your primary plaintiff, it is necessary to become certified as a class. The paperwork is filed and a judge decides whether or not to grant the class certification based on several factors. Your class action lawyer does the filing and guides you through the process.
First, the judge determines if there are enough plaintiffs to join individual cases. There is no hard and fast number regarding a minimum number, but over 20 is preferable. All the plaintiffs must share the same type of complaint, and the lead plaintiff and counsel must be able to represent all of them adequately.
The court will approve the certification so long as it can be determined that the legal action is in the pursuit of justice and that there are enough similarities between the parties to outweigh differences.
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Choosing a Class Action Lawyer to Represent You
When considering this type of legal undertaking, choosing the best class action lawyer to suit your needs should be your goal. Here are some guidelines to help you to determine what kind of attorney will be the best match for you and your peers.
Jurisdiction and Location
Your case may be tried in state, district, or even federal courts depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances of your case.
In cases that meet certain criteria, the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) of 2005 allows defendants to remove class actions to federal court. If they meet the minimum standard for class members and monetary value in controversy, the case can be removed to federal court.
It is critical to hire an attorney experienced with working in higher courts because of the vast procedural differences between higher courts and municipal courts. A good class action lawyer will understand jurisdictional possibilities and have the experience to navigate the system.
Class Action Lawsuit Experience
It is critical to find an attorney who serves as the lead counsel in class action cases. Pleading and proving class certification and knowing how to find the best possible representatives in your class to represent the group are components of the expertise that is specific to class action filings.
An experienced class action lawyer in Buffalo will evaluate your case and offer guidance on filing a suit by yourself or filing a class action.
Having a good working relationship with your attorney contributes to a smooth running process. Consider the following questions when you are selecting the attorney for your case.
- How do you get along with the lawyer?
- How available is the attorney?
- Are concerns responded to within a reasonable time?
- Are your questions answered in a way that is understandable to you?
- Can you talk comfortably and openly with the attorney about the case?
If you think of these questions as you are considering a law firm, it can save you trouble down the road. Find a class action law firm that values your input, and respects your concerns.
Costs and Fees for a Class Action Attorney
Usually, class action attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they only get paid if your case is successful. However, it’s important to clarify fees to avoid any issues in the future. Choose a lawyer who is open and transparent about their fees, and get it in writing. Not having to worry about unexpected charges lets you focus on the case.
If there are any questions about fee structure don’t be afraid to ask. They should be happy to discuss any concerns you may have. Our firm’s practice is to accept class action lawsuits on a contingency basis with no cost up front, and no payment due unless the case is won or settled.
Call Today to Learn More About Your Legal Options
There is no need to feel intimidated by giant organizations. You have the right to pursue legal avenues to obtain compensation for your loss. Whatever the cause of a class action case you may be involved in, our Buffalo class action lawyers are here to help you explore your legal options.
The attorneys of Morelli Law have decades of experience handling complex class-action litigation. We are committed to obtaining justice for clients who have been harmed due to the negligence of another. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.