Class Action Lawsuit FAQ

You likely have heard of class action lawsuits, but not everyone has been a part of a class action lawsuit or understands what it is.  Our attorneys at Anderson + Wanca are experienced providing representation in class action lawsuits regarding TCPA violations, data breaches, biometric data security, total vehicle loss, and defective product claims. 

This page contains answers to the most common questions people ask about class action lawsuits.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us to get more in-depth information.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is a type of lawsuit that combines common claim(s) of many people and pursues them in a single lawsuit. 

This process creates a method for addressing relatively small claims that might otherwise be too costly to litigate on an individual basis to obtain a much bigger settlement that is then divided between the class members.  C

lass action lawsuits also  promote judicial economy by allowing multiple suits to be consolidated into one case.

What Do You Call the Parties Involved in a Class Action Lawsuit?

The party bringing the case to court is the plaintiff, often referred to as the lead plaintiff or class representative.  The lead plaintiff is not only filing a lawsuit for themselves, but also on behalf of all other people in the same claims as them. 

The other claimants who are not named as the plaintiff are considered class members.  The “class” is the group of people who have been harmed by a common act, design, or wrong.  The other named part in the case is the defendant.  The class action lawsuit is brought against the defendant.

How Do Class Action Lawsuits Work?

Generally, a lead plaintiff will file the lawsuit on the behalf of the class of persons who are similarly situated. 

The lead plaintiff will work with the class action attorney to navigate the case and communicate with the class to keep all of the class informed. 

Who is Eligible to Act as a Class Representative?

Anyone who has valid legal grounds for a lawsuit and believes that many others have been wronged just like them can act as the class representative or lead plaintiff. 

A class representative can be a person or entity.

What are the Obligations of the Class Representative?

The class representative, or lead plaintiff, must be willing to testify at a deposition, attend settlement conference(s) and a trial if necessary. 

They will be kept informed through the attorneys about the progress of the litigation and assist class counsel when needed.

How Do I Start a Class Action Lawsuit?

You can start a class action suit by talking to the attorneys at Anderson + Wanca about your claim. 

We will file your claim with the court and formally request certification of the class from the court. 

How Do I Join a Class Action Lawsuit?

In many cases, you will be automatically included in a class action lawsuit if you are a potential claimant in the suit. 

You do not have to do anything to join the suit in these cases, and you have the option to “opt out.”  If you receive a notice of a class action lawsuit, read the notice to see if you meet the conditions to be a claimant. 

Typically, you will need to submit a form to collect your share of the settlement after the case settles.

For some class action lawsuits, you will not be automatically included but instead have to “opt-in.”  If you receive a notice for this type of class action suit, it will include instructions on how to join the lawsuit.

Do I Have to Pay Legal Fees to be Part of the Class?

Our attorneys at Anderson + Wanca work on a contingency basis.  This means that you do not have to pay fees to join the class, and our firm doesn’t get paid unless there is a settlement or judgment. 

Our firm will obtain its attorney fees and expenses from the money paid by the defendant at the successful conclusion of the case.

What is an Incentive Award for Class Action Plaintiffs?

An incentive award, also known as a service award, is typically given to the lead plaintiff that represents the class in court to compensate for their work, time and expenses in representing the class. 

These incentive or service awards are determined by the court.  Class counsel petitions the court for a service or incentive award to be determined by the court.

How Long Does a Class Action Lawsuit Take?

The length of time it takes to settle a class action lawsuit will vary by case. 

It is possible for some cases to be resolved in several months, while some may take several years, especially if there is an appeal.