You have probably read about numerous product liability class action lawsuits against major manufacturers that were settled for millions of dollars. So if you have been injured by a defective product, you are probably wondering if it would make sense to look for other consumers who were injured by the same product to team up and sue the same manufacturer together in a class action lawsuit.
But are there actually any benefits to filing a class action lawsuit as opposed to an individual lawsuit? And how long will it take to settle a class action lawsuit in California? Our Los Angeles product liability attorney from the Compass Law Group, PC, is going to answer these questions in a bit.
How long does it take to settle a class action lawsuit?
There is no definitive answer to this question, because each class action is unique and how soon you and the rest of the class members will be able to settle it depends on a plethora of factors and circumstances. There is no standard or specific timeframe within which every product liability class action lawsuit is settled, but it is fair to say that as a rule of thumb, class action lawsuits take more time to settle than individual lawsuits.
“In fact, the fewer the number of class members in your class action lawsuit and the simpler the case, the sooner it will be settled,” explains our experienced product liability attorney in Los Angeles. “It is not uncommon for such class action lawsuits to be completed within months even though an average class action takes years to settle.”
What’s the advantage of filing a class action lawsuit?
When it comes to suing a major product manufacturer in a class action lawsuit involving hundreds or even thousands of consumers who have been injured or affected by a defective product, this type of lawsuit may take at least three years to settle. Remember: if you are filing a class action lawsuit, do not expect a quick resolution. Do not expect that you will be able to obtain compensation for your injuries faster.
“So what is the point of class action lawsuits? I’d be probably better off filing an individual lawsuit on my own!” you are probably thinking. Do not get me wrong, but there is another side of the coin to consider. The biggest advantage of filing a class action lawsuit is that you are guaranteed to get a portion of the settlement if you are a class member and the judgment is in your favor.
By filing an individual lawsuit, you could end up with no compensation whatsoever if the manufacturer goes bankrupt before your case goes to trial.
What makes product liability class action lawsuits so long and complex?
Discovery of evidence and settlement negotiations are the two factors responsible for the length of every class action lawsuit. The more class members attached to the class action lawsuit, the more evidence there is to be discovered, collected, and shared, and, in turn, the more witnesses there is to depose and interview. All of these can take several months or even years.
Even though a class action lawsuit is usually spearheaded by one legal representative of the plaintiffs (class members), settlement negotiations could take a while since the Los Angeles product liability attorney will have to take into account the best interests and circumstances of each class member. Given that manufacturers are never willing to give up easily and mount various defenses to dispute the claims and lower the settlement amount, these negotiations could take months or even years. If no settlement has been reached, the class action case will proceed to trial, which will even further expand the lawsuit’s longevity.
Consult with our lawyers from the Compass Law Group, PC, to find out more about class action lawsuits in California. Let’s discuss your particular case and determine whether filing a product liability class action lawsuit is your best legal strategy.