New drugs and medical devices seem to appear on the market every week. It can be hard to keep track of which ones are safe and which ones are not. While watching television, you could see a commercial for a new drug one moment followed by a commercial notifying you of a new class action lawsuit the next. It can be hard to ignore these advertisements when you are bombarded with them day in, day out. However, there are times when you may be the person looking to join a class action suit. The problem is that you have no idea how to do that.
Here, we’ll discuss the different ways you can join a class action lawsuit. We’ll also explain what options you may have if you don’t qualify for the class action lawsuit.
Is the Class Action an Opt-In or an Opt-Out Case?
Joining a class action suit may be a lot easier than you think. It all depends on whether the case is an “opt-in” or an “opt-out” case. Most class action lawsuits are opt-out cases. This means that everybody who would ordinarily qualify for the class are automatically included. The only way to not be included is to specifically request that you be excluded.
Typically, you’ll receive a notice in the mail (or via email) letting you know that a class action lawsuit has been filed. It will then offer you the chance to opt out of the class. For example, you may not have used the product that is the subject of the litigation. Perhaps you purchased it for somebody else or bought it and then discarded it when you heard that the product was dangerous.
The second type of class action lawsuit is an opt-in lawsuit. In these cases, you must actively join the class if you want to take part in the litigation. If you opt-in, you’ll still have a rather passive role in the case. If you fail to contact the lawyers for mass tort cases in Arkansas, you won’t be included. This means that you won’t be eligible for any of the settlement proceeds when the time comes.
How Does One Qualify for a Class Action Lawsuit?
In order to qualify for a class action lawsuit, you need to demonstrate several things. First, you must show that you used the defective product that is the subject of the class action lawsuit. Alternately, you must prove that you were involved in the accident or traumatic event that gave rise to the lawsuit.
Once you can demonstrate that you used the product, you must show that you were injured. For example, if there’s a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of a dangerous drug, it’s not enough that you took the drug. You must also demonstrate that you were injured or suffered an illness after taking the drug. Finally, as with any other negligence case, you need to prove that your injuries or illness was directly caused by the dangerous drug.
Once you’ve demonstrated these things, you can attempt to join the class action suit.
How Do You Know if a Class Action Lawsuit Has Already Been Filed?
Even if you can prove that you have standing to sue a particular defendant, you need to determine if a class action lawsuit has already been initiated. One simple way to do this is to look it up online. Usually, once a class action lawsuit has been filed, they’ll be a notice posted online.
Another way to find out if there’s an open class action is to call one of the lawyers for mass tort cases in Arkansas. For example, a few times a week, we get calls from would-be clients asking if we’re handling certain class action lawsuits. If we are handling the case, we would have you come in for your free, initial consultation. That would give us a chance to review your case and decide if you can join the litigation.
It’s important to remember that, just because you feel you have a strong claim, that doesn’t mean you should join a class action. We may decide that you’d be better off filing your own personal injury lawsuit against the company who has wronged you. Either way, we’ll either be able to handle your case, or we’ll refer you to someone who can.
What Happens if You Wait Too Long to Join the Class Action Suit?
Just like any other personal injury case, you only have a certain amount of time to file a civil suit. In Arkansas, for example, the statute of limitations is only years. If you miss this filing deadline, your case will be dismissed. There won’t be another chance to pursue the defendant.
Because there is a strict filing deadline, you don’t want to wait too long to contact one of our lawyers for mass tort cases in Arkansas. If you wait until the last minute, they won’t have enough time to properly prepare your case. You want to give them at least a few months and even that is cutting it close.
We recommend that you contact our office as soon as you realize you may qualify to join a class action lawsuit. This way, you don’t risk missing the filing window. You also give your lawyers plenty of time to prepare your case.
Contact an Experienced Mass Tort Lawyer in Arkansas Right Away
If you believe you may qualify to join an existing class action suit, you don’t want to waste any time. Contact our office so you can meet with one of our associates regarding your class action suit.
We do offer our clients the chance to take advantage of a free, initial consultation. This gives us a chance to review your case and determine if you qualify for any open class action lawsuits. If not, you may still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. If that’s the case, we can either handle the case ourselves or, if the situation warrants it, refer you to another associate in our firm.
Call today and schedule your free, initial consultation. As with any other personal injury case, you don’t pay your attorney anything until your case settles. You truly have nothing to lose.