Class Actions FAQs
How can I find out if I have a new class action claim?
If you think you have suffered some physical or economic injury, and you believe that there may be others out there like yourself, contact Klein Lawyers, for a free consultation. Please note there are limitation periods within which you must file your claim. If too much time passes after your injury or loss, you may lose your right to sue for compensation.
How does a class action work?
First, a class is defined and a representative plaintiff chosen. A Statement of Claim is then filed in court. Next, for the claim to proceed as a class action, a court must first permit, or “certify” the case as a class action. Once certified, the lawsuit begins.
How does a class action become certified?
Certification is granted where the court is satisfied that:
- There is a lawful claim against a defendant.
- There is an identifiable class of affected persons.
- There is an appropriate person to represent the class members.
- The class action procedure is preferable to other procedures available to claimants.
What is a representative plaintiff?
A representative plaintiff is the class member who agrees to act on behalf of the rest of the class. The representative plaintiff works with the lawyers to ensure the interests of the class are fairly represented and diligently pursued. Representative plaintiffs are also required to attend certain legal proceedings, such as court hearings and trials.
How do I become the representative plaintiff?
The representative plaintiff is usually selected prior to certification. No special skills or qualifications are required to serve as a representative plaintiff, only the desire and ability to effectively represent the interests of fellow class members.
What advantages does a class action have over a regular lawsuit?
Class actions have many advantages over conventional lawsuits:
- Class actions allow people to file a claim as a group, when individually they cannot afford to do so.
- Class actions create strength in numbers.
- Class actions force large corporations or entities to be held accountable for wrongdoing.
- Class action legislation extends the limitation period before which an individual action must be filed.
- Class actions place fewer obligations on class members than conventional lawsuits.
- Class actions are cost effective and increase judicial efficiency because they unite several plaintiffs under one case.
- Class actions run on contingency fees. That means your lawyers receive a portion of any settlement awarded. Class members are not required to make any payments. The more your lawyers win for you, the more they get paid. It’s in their best interest to gain the best settlement possible.
How do I know if I am a class member?
If you think you might belong in one of our class actions, choose the appropriate class action, and read the information provided. If you think you qualify to be a class member, complete the relevant ‘Do You Qualify’ form. If you have any questions, there are contact details associated with each class action.
If I am a class member, how do I join the class action lawsuit?
If you fall within the class member definition of a certified class action, it’s important that you complete the ‘Do you Qualify’ form or contact us as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the particular class action, you may have rights that allow you to opt-in to the class or opt-out of the class. Once again, it’s important to contact us as soon as possible as these rights are time-limited.
As a class member, what are my responsibilities once the action is started?
While class members may have some responsibilities at the outset of a case, they have few responsibilities during the ongoing claim. It is very important however, that class members contact us as soon as possible in the initial stages of the class action. That’s because important records might need to be gathered immediately. The sooner we hear from a class member, the sooner we can begin work on their individual claim within the class action.
How much will it cost?
One of the great benefits of class actions is that they are run on contingency fees. This means your lawyers will receive a portion of any settlement awarded, but otherwise class members are not required to make any payments. The courts ensure all fees are fair and reasonable.
How long does a class action lawsuit usually take to settle?
Since class actions are usually brought against large corporations and involve complex legal issues, they can take years to settle. Fortunately, class members have very few responsibilities while a claim is ongoing, and they are free to move on with their lives.