How to Join a Class Action Lawsuit Should You

How to Join a Class Action Lawsuit? Should You?

Periodically, you may receive a postcard in the mail that tells you that you are eligible for money in a lawsuit. You may throw it out, thinking that it is too good to be true. However, this isn’t always the best thing to do. The postcard is really telling you that you can join a class action lawsuit and receive money that you were not expecting.

Why Are There Class Action Lawsuits?

If you purchased a product and it did not live up to your expectation, would you really file a lawsuit and go through a court process for what may turn out to be a small amount of money? You may not even be able to find an attorney who would want to expend the time and effort to fight in court.
A class action is a way for a number of smaller plaintiffs to join their cases together into a larger case in order to make their case easier. If you are wondering, “Should I join a class action lawsuit?” imagine what it would be like to walk into state or federal court for a case that may not be for a high dollar amount. You would need to secure a lawyer, witnesses and evidence in order to make your case.

Class Action Lawsuits Allow Many Plaintiffs to Go to Court Together

When you join a class action lawsuit, every plaintiff in the case is working together with the same set of attorneys. They are all banding together as one legal action in order to not duplicate efforts. This means that each plaintiff does not have to work on their own for something that may not be worth their time.
A class action lawsuit is a way to lower your own costs and get back money that is due to you. Imagine if you had to do everything that was outlined above. It could cost you thousands of dollars or even more. You simply would not take the time and invest the money to go to court. The class action lawsuit gives you a way to get to court for a hearing that you may not have otherwise gotten.

Don’t Ignore the Lawsuit

Many times, if you do not end up joining a class action lawsuit, you are leaving money on the table. While the class action lawsuit is meant to pay you back for an aspect of the product that you did not receive, it is still free money in some respects. You have already paid for the product and likely used it, so this is a way to get some of the money back for your purchase. The money is spent anyway. Thus, joining class action lawsuits is a way to get some extra cash.
This money could be as little as a few dollars, or your settlement can reach into the hundreds of dollars. Even something as small as a coupon toward your next purchase is money that you did not have before.
Don't Ignore the Lawsuit

Make Sure That You Submit the Paperwork

For those who want to know how to join a class action lawsuit, there is often little that you need to do before the case settles. You may get some extra money for being the one who files the lawsuit, but you do not have to be the named plaintiff in order to receive money.
In fact, you are automatically included in the class for most lawsuits. The only way that you are not included in the class is if you affirmatively opt out. You will receive a notice in the mail that you are a part of the class and giving you information about how you would opt out of it.
There are some cases that would require you to opt in to the class. These are wage and hour cases that relate to labor claims. You would need to make an affirmative decision to join these cases.

Always Read All of Your Mail

In some instances, you are part of the class and would just need to submit a claim that documents your right to the money. In other instances, you will simply receive a check because no claim is necessary. It is vital to open up all of your mail, even if you do not recognize the address of the sender. Some of what may look like junk mail may actually be a surprise check or notification that you will receive a check.
It is vital to not overlook submitting the claim. Many people do not take the few minutes necessary to return the claim form and are giving up money. When you get one of these claim forms, it means that a lawsuit has already been settled and you are entitled to the money. However, you may not receive anything if you do not submit the claim.
In order to join the class and receive your money, you will often need to submit documentation that shows that you are part of the eligible class. The problem is that many people do not have the information that is necessary. While this may not be an automatic bar to your receiving money, not having the information can make filing a claim more difficult.
Make sure to keep documentation of your purchase, especially when you have purchased a more expensive product. You are able to certify under penalty of perjury that you purchased a product if you do not still have the documentation.
One important thing to know is that you cannot automatically assume that you will be covered by a class action lawsuit. Certain harms, such as injuries from pharmaceutical and medical devices, require an individual lawsuit in order to get your day in court. You are best off checking with a lawyer to see whether you will need to file your own lawsuit.
Always Read All of Your Mail

Do Some Research on Your Own About Class Action Lawsuits

You should also do some internet research on class action lawsuits to join. While you may automatically be joined to the class, it is best to stay informed about your options and to know when you may be entitled to payment. Some experts have estimated that you become eligible for a class action settlement each week. However, people often do not know of the existence of the suit.
Find some websites to monitor so that you can stay on top of the possible settlements that you can receive. Sometimes, people only find out after it is too late that they were even eligible for a settlement in the first place. You may even be able to receive a newsletter that gives you regular information on lawsuits that could apply to you.
Class action lawsuits could add to your bottom line each year. Even if it is not a large amount of money, every bit you receive helps. Thus, you should always join one. If you want to learn more about class action lawsuits, reach out to us at today.