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How are Awards from Class Action Suits Allocated?

A class action lawsuit is a specific type of lawsuit in which all of the people who claim to have been harmed as a result of the defendants’ actions are grouped together and represented by a small group of people or a single member of the group. The different individual parties that are represented in the suit do not need to be present in the courtroom: instead, all of the wrongs that have been suffered by each of the individuals is presented in one court case, thus avoiding having to proceed through numerous court actions and present the same evidence of the same wrongdoing over and over again. Notification of the lawsuit is generally sent out to the various members who have been harmed by the defendant’s actions, and they are given the opportunity to either join the suit or opt out so that they can pursue litigation on their own. Though they may be able to get a larger amount of compensation by filing a claim of their own, doing so will be time consuming, and can be costly. If you have been invited to join this type of lawsuit, you may wonder how awards from class action suits are allocated. The attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are happy to explain.

Class action lawsuits have different settlement structures. These include:

  • Money being distributed automatically to all class members who do not opt out, without them having to fill out any claims forms
  • Money being distributed automatically to all class members who do not opt out and who did fill out claims forms showing that they are entitled to compensation
  • Fixed payment settlements where a specific amount is distributed from a fund to all class members who do not opt out. This may or may not require that a form is filled out, and any money that is left over is returned to the defendant
  • Coupons or discounts are offered to all class members for them to use against future purchases of the defendant’s products
  • Funds are given to a nonprofit organization instead of to class members
  • Relief is provided in a nonmonetary way, such as changing the offending business practices

There are advantages and disadvantages to being involved in a class action lawsuit. The advantages include that the cost of pursuing the lawsuit is lower because it is split between all of the members. It is also a good way to get compensated when the injury that you suffered is relatively inconsequential and would not lead to a large enough amount of money to pursue a lawsuit on your own. It is also a more efficient way for a lot of people to pursue the same wrongdoing at once. The biggest disadvantage of a class action lawsuit is that you lose control of the decisions that are made. If you would like to discuss whether you should participate in a class action lawsuit or whether it would make more sense to file a claim on your own, contact the personal injury attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today to set up a convenient time to discuss your case.

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