The courts often determine how much lawyers will get in fees from a successful class action lawsuit. This figure is usually around 25% to 35% of the total settlement amount awarded to the class of plaintiffs. However, the fees can be higher if the case is unusually complex.
While this percentage might seem like a lot, the reality is that it’s not—particularly when you consider that the lawyers typically assume all the responsibilities in these legal actions. The plaintiffs usually have to make little or no effort, while the lawyers take on the bulk of the risk.
To benefit from a class action suit, all the plaintiffs have to do is join the class action and hope for a good outcome. So, if you’re thinking of joining one, our Texas civil litigation lawyers at the Buzbee Law Firm can provide informed legal counsel and representation.
Should You Join a Class Action Lawsuit or File an Individual Case?
The requirements for a class action lawsuit under Rule 23 are often different from that of an individual personal injury case. That depends on a few things:
- The nature of your case
- If there’s already a class action in place
- If you suspect that you might be able to get more money in a personal injury lawsuit than in a class action suit
- If you’re open to doing minimal work (you don’t need to do anything in class actions)
- Whether you have time or not
- The plaintiff is aware that they won’t be able to file an individual case if you join a class action
- The goal of the case (for example, if you’d rather see a car manufacturer take measures to prevent accidents caused by a faulty car component from re-occurring instead of taking monetary compensation, a personal lawsuit might be better suited to your needs)
- The kinds of damages you want to seek
Your answers will determine the best course of action for you. Sometimes, plaintiffs in class action lawsuits may get limited compensation, compared to people who go the individual route. Which brings us to another important note: joining a class action means that you’ll automatically give up the right to file an individual personal injury lawsuit.
So, if you’re intent on filing an individual claim, just know that you may lose out on some of the benefits that class action claimants can get. If you’re unsure of what to do, a class action lawyer will be in the best position to advise you on the best course of action for your particular case.
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How Long does a Class Action Lawsuit Last?
If you’re looking for a fast resolution to your case, a class action might not be the best option for you. This is because class actions can take anywhere from months to multiple years before they are resolved.
For example, the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was eventually settled about 19 years later with the company spending over $3 billion on clean-up efforts and claimants’ settlement. Please note, however, that the Exxon case was an outlier. Many class actions don’t drag on for that long.
Factors that often indicate how long a class action will last include:
- Number of plaintiffs or class members
- The complaints certification process in the state and federal courts
- Settlement amount that the claimants’ lawyers are asking for
- The defendant’s willingness to settle quickly
- How fast the plaintiffs’ lawyers are willing to resolve the case
In general, claims with a higher number of plaintiffs and sizable settlement amounts take longer to resolve than those with fewer claimants and lower financial compensation.
How Much Will I Get if I Join a Class Action?
Again, this depends on factors such as
- How much the class members are requesting as settlement
- Number of members
- Number of injured claimants
So, it’s totally possible for the defendants to pay millions in settlement money, while the claimants only get a small portion. That’s because after the lawyers’ fees and payments to lead and injured plaintiffs, the rest will be shared among other class members. So, if there are so many people, they may not get a lot of money.
Every action is different and unique. So, if you would like to know exactly how much you’ll get as compensation from your class action, speak to our experienced class action lawsuit attorneys about your case.
Can You Become the Lead Plaintiff in a Class Action Lawsuit?
Yes, you can; provided you’re the first or among the first set of individuals to approach an attorney about the possibility of filing a civil action. If after reviewing your case, the class action lawsuit lawyer determines that you and/or other plaintiffs have a case, your lawyer will file your case with the court.
Here, the attorney will ask the court to certify your claims. If the court sees the request as reasonable, it will do so, making you and/or others, the lead plaintiff(s) in the case. Just remember that as the lead plaintiff, you’ll have to do considerably more work than other injured victims who eventually join the claim.
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Contact a Class Action Lawsuit Attorney
Experience, skill, dedication, and resources are crucial to the success of any class action. These qualities also justify the percentage a class action lawyer takes. Therefore, you can’t just hire any law firm to handle your case. You need a law firm like the Buzbee Law Firm in your corner.
This is because most class actions are typically filed against large corporations that have both the legal manpower and financial resources to bury a small outfit in paperwork for decades. Our firm has both the resources and manpower necessary to fight the large and powerful companies that you’ll likely bring legal action against.
So, if you’re thinking of filing a class action, contact us today. You can either fill out our free case evaluation form or call our office line to speak with an experienced class action lawsuit lawyer for free.