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Alabama Class Action Lawyers

When you learn that you are one of many who suffered similar physical or financial injuries because of the same or similar conduct by another party, then you should speak with our class action lawyers. You may be part of a class action lawsuit, yet there is no way to know until an experienced lawyer investigates and analyzes the circumstances.

After you are in an accident or harmed by some other person or business’s actions, you may learn you are not the only victim. The defective product that burned you may have burned hundreds of others. The unfair business practices by a major retailer may have caused you and thousands more to over-pay.

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Contact our class action lawsuit attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. to schedule a free consultation at 205-933-1500. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our attorneys can quickly travel to investigate your case and may be able to help you obtain compensation.

What Are Class Action Lawsuits?

If you were injured and suspect that many others are also victims, you may be wondering: What are class action lawsuits? A class action is a lawsuit filed by a representative plaintiff who pursues the legal claim on behalf of a class. The class includes everyone who was similarly injured because of the at-fault party’s conduct, except the parties who have voluntarily opted out of the claim.

If a class action lawsuit is resolved through a settlement or jury award, then after the legal team is paid, the remaining amount is divided amongst the members of the class. How the compensation is divided varies depending on the case. Each member may receive equal amounts or certain members, who were more seriously injured, may receive a greater portion than class members with minor injuries.

The “Class” in a Class Action

A class must be certified by a judge. It is not something a plaintiff and their lawyers can simply say exists. The potential representative plaintiff must ask a judge to review the circumstances, agree there is a potential class action lawsuit, and certify the class. Then, potential class members must be notified of their rights and the suit.

You may receive a letter or email that says you are class member because you fit certain criteria. For instance, purchasing a certain defective product during a specific time period may make you part of a class regarding harm caused by that product. The letter or email usually states that if you wish to retain your own right to sue the defendant or do not wish to partake in a future judgment or settlement, then you may opt out.

To learn more about being a class member, do not hesitate to call us and schedule a time to speak with one of our class action lawyers.

The Representative Plaintiff

The representative plaintiff in a class action lawsuit is the individual, or small group of people who personally deal with the lawsuit. If you are one of the first people to determine that you may be part of a class action, then you may be in the position to choose to be a representative plaintiff.

During a class action lawsuit, the representative plaintiff and their class action attorneys must prove the other party’s actions were illegal and caused each person within the class the same or a similar harm.

Common Types of Class Action Lawsuits

There is no doubt that there is power in numbers when it comes to civil lawsuits. One of the most extraordinary advantages of filing a class action lawsuit relates to saving money. If the plaintiffs of a class action lawsuit were to file individually, the cost versus benefit would be too prohibitive; hiring an attorney might be more than the potential award. When victims band together in a class action, however, the cost of hiring a single legal team is worth the potentially massive payoff.

The types of incidents that can lead to a class action lawsuit vary. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Medication Side Effects – Defective drugs are all too common in the United States. When a drug is found to have dangerous side effects, thousands of people may be affected. The injuries caused by defective drugs, contraceptives and medical devices warrant financial compensation.
  • Environmental Exposure – Polluted water, unsafe foods, and unclean air often cause health problems for many people. In the past, class action suits have been successful in holding corporations accountable for the effects of being exposed to environmental toxicity.
  • Defective Products – Unfortunately, many products are not tested properly prior to their release to the public. Whether an object comes with sharp edges or the tendency to short circuit, defective products have the ability to negatively affect millions of people.
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Class Action Versus Mass Tort

While most people have heard of class action lawsuits, the term “mass tort” may be less familiar. These distinct lawsuit types are often lumped together and for good reason. In many cases, the cost of filing several lawsuits may not be worth the award that each person will receive. By sharing one legal team, mass tort and class action lawsuits dramatically decrease the cost of taking legal action. Having one team of federal class action lawyers also eliminates mountains of paperwork. Additional similarities include:

  • A large number of people who have been harmed in some way
  • The lawsuit itself is one action, as opposed to many individual lawsuits
  • One defendant or a group of defendants are accused of causing harm

However, class action and mass tort lawsuits differ in how clients are treated, the types of accidents that are involved, and the number of people who band together to file the lawsuit. For example, class action lawsuits typically involve hundreds of plaintiffs, whereas a mass tort lawsuit may be comprised of far fewer people. In a class action lawsuit, the individual needs of each victim are not attended to. In most cases, one person is elected to represent the group who was harmed. Once an amount is awarded in court, each plaintiff receives an equal cut. With mass tort lawsuits, the unique injuries of each victim are considered. Although one lawsuit is being filed, each person might receive a different award.

Another major difference between class action and mass tort lawsuits involves how a group of people was harmed. A group of 5,000 people who all received minor injuries from a defective razor blade, for example, might file a class action lawsuit. On the other hand, hundreds of victims who were hurt in train crash might opt for filing a mass tort lawsuit. In most cases, class action lawsuits involve injuries that were caused by a defective product, such as drugs, vehicles, or medical equipment. Mass tort lawsuits, however, often involve a devastating event in which severe injuries are sustained.

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We’ve successfully represented clients who have suffered many types of injuries, and we’ll do our best to pursue maximum compensation for your losses. We will deliver the attention you deserve and take care of all the details of your case so you can focus on recovery.

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Recoverable Damages in Class Action Lawsuits

In some ways, class action lawsuits are very similar to cases that involve a personal injury. Both involve a party being held responsible, and both have the potential to yield financial benefits for victims. Whenever a person is harmed due to another person’s negligence, they are able to fight for damages in court. Simply put, damages are financial awards that are assigned for losses suffered by a victim.

In a traditional personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for several individual losses that can be calculated, including lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, property damage, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and more. However, in a class action lawsuit, the overall losses of the total group of plaintiffs is considered. A large award is made and split among all plaintiffs. Thus, you get a portion of the total recovery.

Case Results

$25,000,000

Settlement in a Bad Faith/Fraud Case

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$13,500,000

$13,500,000 Settlement in a Product Liability Case

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$13,000,000

Jury Verdict in a Distracted Driving Case

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$12,500,000

Jury Verdict in a Commercial Truck Crash

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$8,800,000

Settlement in a Personal Injury Case

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Let Our Alabama Class Action Lawyers Help You

We have successfully obtained significant jury awards and settlements in class action cases, including a $5 million jury verdict in an environmental contamination lawsuit and $1 million settlement in a separate environmental contamination case. You can see through our track record of success that we will work diligently to obtain you the best possible outcome in your case.

If you believe you may be part of a class action lawsuit or you have been contacted about being part of a class, the best thing for you to do is contact an experienced class action attorney at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. We will review your situation, explain your rights and legal options, and offer you our opinion on your best course of action. If you have discovered a new class action claim and wish to pursue it, then we can guide you through the class action legal process.

Contact our Alabama personal injury lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. via our online form or by calling 205-933-1500 to schedule your free initial consultation.