A corporation’s negligence rarely harms a single person. Rather, defective products, civil rights violations, and data breaches tend to impact a large swath of people. While each of these people, yourself included, are entitled to legal action, it can be easier to pursue that action as a group.
This is the benefit of class action lawsuits. When you work with a class action lawyer in New York, you’re not bringing a corporation up on charges alone. Instead, you and your peers can work with Morelli Law Firm to present collective evidence of harm to an area judge.
What to Expect From a Class Action Civil Complaint
Before you reach out to a local attorney, it’s natural to ask yourself questions about your upcoming case. How do consumer class action lawsuits work, after all?
Class action lawsuits help you bridge the power gap between yourself, your peers, and the institutions that do you wrong. That said, the process through which you can file a class action complaint mirrors that needed to file a personal injury complaint.
As you bring your case together, you can look to a class action attorney to manage your expectations. In general, the process includes the following steps:
Building Your Class Action Complaint
You can’t request class action compensation without first building a complaint. County clerks and judges alike use complaints to gauge the extent of the damages you endured before moving your case forward.
With that in mind, your complaint needs to comprehensively describe the conditions or losses that you and your peers endured. It must also identify an allegedly-liable party, all the while backing that allegation with evidence.
Liability in Class Action Lawsuits
When you bring a class action suit to court, you’re challenging a larger group of people to take responsibility for the wrongs done to you. While this larger group may be a corporation, it can also be a manufacturer, an advertiser, or a pharmaceutical institution. So long as the group you’re challenging is larger than your party of plaintiffs, you qualify for class action.
Establishing liability, however, can be trickier than determining your eligibility for a suit. You’ll want to work with an attorney to gather evidence backing your assertion of responsibility. This is easiest to do when you’re actively proving duty of care.
So long as a New York class action attorney can indicate that a liable party owed you a duty – the responsibility, that is, to provide you with reasonable care – you can turn to medical records, witness reports, and third-party medical opinions to support your claim.
Your Class Action Suit’s Deadline
Class action lawsuits will have different deadlines, or statutes of limitations, based on the conditions that you’re challenging. In general, you can refer to CPLR § 214. This statute gives you three years from the day the primary plaintiff was injured to take legal action against a larger institution.
Unfortunately, managing this deadline can be tricky, especially as the number of plaintiffs attached to your case grows. You can work with an attorney to establish a primary plaintiff and subsequently outline your timeline during an initial case evaluation.
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Issuing a Summons in a Class Action Case
If a county clerk and attending staff determine that your case holds water, it’s time to reach out to the liable party. You can do this with a summons. A summons encourages the liable party to respond in kind, either in person or via a form.
Your summons lets the liable party know that you intend to take them to court. In turn, the liable party’s answer will let you know whether they’re open to negotiations or if they expect to see you before a judge.
Optionally Negotiating for Class Action Compensation
You do not have to commit to negotiations when you first file a class action lawsuit. In some cases, plaintiffs may be too frustrated with the allegedly-liable party to engage in negotiations. However, this process does allow you to avoid the stress of a trial. It may even see you receive compensation for your losses faster than you might otherwise.
New York, NY, class action lawyers can even do all the negotiating in your case on your behalf. So long as you’ve calculated your alleged compensation ahead of time, you can present a coherent estimate of your losses and back each with evidence indicating the liable party’s responsibility.
When you work with Morelli Law Firm, you can count on our team to fight for your maximum compensation. As such, we’ll work to avoid compromising in such a way that endangers the financial support you and your peers may be entitled to.
Going to a Class Action Trial
When most people think about a class action lawsuit, they think about going to trial. While it’s not necessary to go to court to get the compensation you desire, the process isn’t as intimidating as you might think.
Our attorneys can prepare you for the process of discovery, or the step in trials that precedes your visit to a courtroom. Throughout this process, both you and the defendant can exchange information regarding the claim on the table. A class action lawyer in New York will make sure that the information delivered is within the letter of the law but also backs your case’s claim.
From here, it’s a matter of undergoing opening statements, witness examination, and cross-examination. Once everyone has had the opportunity to go on the stand, a judge and jury will deliberate and come to a verdict. We’ll stand with you throughout this process, tooling and retooling our approach to make sure the court understands the weight of your losses.
Dividing Class Action Compensation
When trials and negotiations go in your favor, it’s time to celebrate. There are some practicalities to consider, though – like how compensation needs to be divided.
Class action suits always require one plaintiff, known as the primary plaintiff, to file the initial complaint on the party’s behalf. Because that plaintiff attaches their name directly to the case, they also receive more compensation should the case go in their favor. At the same time, all plaintiffs will be entitled to some percentage of the available financial support.
All applicable plaintiffs can determine how to divide their compensation prior to the beginning of a suit. With that in mind, don’t hesitate to discuss what this division might look like during an initial case evaluation.
Morelli Law Firm Guides You Through Class Action Lawsuits
Organizing the losses of several different plaintiffs is no easy task. While the participation of these multiple plaintiffs can make it easier for you to pursue the compensation you deserve, you need someone on your side who can help with the wrangling of cats. Our New York class action attorneys can step in when you’re in need.
So, don’t let a multitude of plaintiffs or an overwhelmingly large corporation keep you from the financial support you deserve. Call or contact our team online to choose a date for your case evaluation. Morelli Law Firm is here for you.