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What are the benefits of joining a class-action lawsuit?

If you watch television, then you're bound to have seen a commercial about some type of class-action lawsuit being filed against a pharmaceutical company. One of the primary reasons people join these types of mass lawsuits is to hold those responsible for manufacturing either drugs, vehicles or other consumer products accountable for injuries they've suffered from using them.

Those who often join class action lawsuits generally have different experiences from those who file their own one-off personal injury cases.

In most cases, injuries that plaintiffs in class-action cases lawsuits have suffered seem to similar and relatively minor. In contrast, when one-off lawsuits are filed, it's more common for the injuries that the plaintiff has suffered to be far more serious and distinct from one case to the next. An individual may have even been killed after using the dangerous drug or defective product.

Plaintiffs tend to join together to file class-action lawsuits as it's more cost effective to do so. If they were to try to file a case on their own, then it's likely that significant resources would be spent on procuring witness statements and in preparing cases. This would greatly eat into a plaintiff's ability to recover any damages in their case.

By taking part in a class-action lawsuit, it allows for a consolidation of resources which keeps costs low for each individual plaintiff.

There are many ways injured individuals may find out about joining class action lawsuits. Perhaps one of the most common ways notifications occur is through media sources, whether it's the radio, the internet, a television or the newspaper. Once notified that legal action is being taken, an injured party can either elect to respond to, or "opt in" to the advertisement or disregard it, a process known as "opting out".

In class-action cases, a final settlement amount is distributed either flat rate or on a percentage basis according to the "plan of distribution".

If you've been harmed after taking either a dangerous or defective drug, then a pharmaceutical injury attorney can advise you of your right to join a class-action lawsuit in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Class action cases," accessed May 25, 2018

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