Class action lawsuits are designed to allow larger groups of people to pursue their claims against a single entity, usually a large corporation or organization. In class action proceedings, a few of the injured parties serve as named plaintiffs in the case and serve as representatives for the entire class of plaintiffs. These large-scale legal actions can provide help for individuals who have been injured or who have sustained losses due to the negligence or willful actions of the defendant. To be tried as a class action, a legal case must meet four criteria:
- Numerosity — The number of potential plaintiffs must be large enough to justify the use of class action proceedings.
- Commonality — The plaintiffs must share materially the same complaints and claims so that their cases can be considered together and addressed in the same legal proceedings.
- Typicality — The individuals chosen as named plaintiffs or as representatives of the class of injured parties must have had substantially the same or similar experiences, damages, and losses resulting from the actions or negligence of the defendant as other members of the class.
- Adequacy — The named plaintiffs or class representatives must be capable of representing the class of injured parties and acting on behalf of all members of that class.
Many class actions involve prescription drug issues, medical malpractice claims, industrial accidents, product liability or catastrophic losses. The BP oil spill lawsuit, for example, generated a class action lawsuit against the oil company for its negligence in failing to safeguard workers and the environment against this devastating accident. BP oil spill lawyers represented small business owners and workers who suffered losses as a result of the oil spill to ensure fair settlements for all parties involved in the class action lawsuit.
Advantages of Class Action Lawsuits for Plaintiffs
Participating in a class action rather than filing an individual lawsuit can provide significant benefits for potential plaintiffs. For events affecting a large number of people, enlisting the services of an oil rig platform injury attorney or a railroad accident lawyer on an individual basis could create significant backlogs in the court system that could delay the receipt of compensation for a considerable period of time. For those not named as class representatives, class action lawsuits offer a mechanism for achieving a fair settlement without the time and inconvenience of a formal court appearance. The settlement negotiated in a class action suit applies to all members of the class who do not request exclusion from the settlement agreement. Some BP oil spill victims, for instance, chose to retain the services of a Houston industrial accident attorney to seek separate settlements for their damages.
At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, our team of Houston personal injury attorneys can provide real help for members of class action lawsuits and those seeking individual settlements. If you have been injured on the job, our Houston work injury attorneys have the experience and expertise necessary to achieve fair compensation for your claims. By working with the knowledgeable legal professionals at Burwell Nebout, you can ensure the most effective representation for your case and can reach a settlement that meets your financial needs.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation and to begin the process of obtaining compensation for your personal injury case.