A mass tort is a civil lawsuit involving multiple plaintiffs suing a common defendant for compensation for injuries suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Mass tort lawsuits are also referred to as class action lawsuits. There are many types of lawsuits that can qualify for mass tort litigation, such as lawsuits based on injuries caused by medical devices like vaginal mesh implants.
The idea of strength in numbers is one reason for an injured person to join a class action lawsuit. Class action lawsuits allow a group of injured people to pool their resources together in order to pursue the lawsuit against a defendant like a large corporation. For people with common complaints, joining together to reduce the fees and costs that would be associated with filing the lawsuit makes sense.
In most personal injury cases, the injured plaintiff hires an attorney on a contingency basis, which means that the plaintiff is not responsible for paying most of the fees for the case unless the lawsuit is successful and the plaintiff wins monetary damages. The attorney agrees to take a percentage of the damages. This kind of arrangement can take away some of the incentive for a person to join a larger class action lawsuit because he or she is afraid of getting a smaller award once the money is divided amongst the class members.
However, there is still a benefit to joining a class action suit, which is that it becomes easier to prove causation. In a class action lawsuit, the information that is gathered for the cases in discovery is shared to the benefit of all the plaintiffs. In addition, joining a class action suit allows a person who is injured in a less severe manner that other plaintiffs to get legal representation and receive damages, too. This may be harder to do if the person is filing a lawsuit alone.
Before a group of people can sue together in a class action, a court has to agree to certify the group as a class. This usually happens when the court decides that there are enough similarities in the allegations made by the individual plaintiffs. Georgia rules on how a class is certified are based on the federal rules.
No one can be forced to be part of a class action lawsuit. If a person has injuries that are more serious than an average person’s injuries by the same product, it may be more advantageous to file a personal injury lawsuit with his or her own lawyer. Making the decision to join a class action is something that needs to be done after considering the pros and cons as to an individual case because it can mean losing some rights to proceed individually even if you think the case is not going well.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
In order to determine the best way to proceed with your case, it is best to first discuss your case with an experienced attorney who can advise you on the best cause of action. To learn more about how you can file a personal injury claim or join a class action lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., to speak to an attorney today.