What to Know About Class-Action Personal Injury Lawsuits in NC
When a large number of people suffer the same or similar harm, they can file a class-action personal injury lawsuit.
Class action suits are complex, but with the proper legal representation, you’ll have a chance to win damages for everyone harmed.
How Does A Class-Action Personal Injury Lawsuit In North Carolina Work?
When there are multiple plaintiffs, a standard personal injury lawsuit no longer presents as the best legal option. North Carolina law dictates that not every plaintiff needs to be heard individually when each case is so similar.
Regardless of how many plaintiffs exist, one or a couple will file as “representatives” of a class-action personal injury lawsuit. Other members of the potential class will be notified and have the option of excusing themselves from the class action. If they were to opt-out, they wouldn’t share any of the damages or settlement.
If the representative plaintiffs settle or win the trial, all class members who did not opt-out will get a percentage of any funds. If there are too many potential class members to distribute the funds accurately, class members will need to demonstrate they were harmed by the defendant’s actions and then can receive some of the funds.
What Are Some Key Steps In A Class-Action Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Once the representative plaintiffs file a lawsuit with their legal team, the class must be certified to allow the class-action lawsuit to continue.
To be considered for a class action:
- the representative of the class must have suffered the same personal injury as the other members of the proposed class,
- the class can be defined clearly enough to determine who is and is not a member,
- there needs to be about 40 or more members,
- Having 40 or more plaintiffs makes the class action suit the best and most efficient way of resolving the claims, either for the plaintiffs or for the defendants,
- a common legal interest exists in illustrating all of the members’ alleged injuries.
Judges are given broad discretion on certifying a class, as are lawyers with their arguments when trying to prove or discredit a class. If the class is not certified, the entire case is dismissed; this is why it’s essential to have proper legal representation to allow the class to move forward.
What Should I Do If I Feel I Have A Class-Action Personal Injury Case?
If you feel your personal injury has multiple plaintiffs and requires a larger class-action case, reach out to Hyland and Padilla’s legal team. We’ve represented thousands of clients in personal injury cases and won millions of dollars.
A class-action case has multiple layers, and our legal team can represent you, making the setup and contact of other plaintiffs easier.