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Who Gets The Most Money In A Class Action Lawsuit
Contrary to the picture presented in the media, most of the money in a class action settlement goes to the injured plaintiffs. While the class' attorneys typically take a percentage, the court will restrict their payment to a reasonable amount.
Reasons For Small Class Action Payments
In some cases, the individual payments made to each plaintiff will be relatively small. However, this does not mean that the class' attorneys are absorbing all the profits; there are a number of legitimate reasons that a settlement might provide only for small payments, including:
- Minor injuries - By aggregating large numbers of plaintiffs, class action lawsuits allow plaintiffs to recover for injuries that would otherwise be too small to warrant filing a lawsuit. In these cases, although the company is forced to pay for its misconduct, the individual payments will still be small.
- Expenses of litigation - Many class action lawsuits involve such huge sums that the defendant company would be forced into bankruptcy. As a result, the company is willing to pay millions to defend the suit, forcing the class' attorneys to invest heavily in the lawsuit to ensure victory.
- Concessions to encourage settlement - If the defendant has a strong case, the class' attorneys will have to make concessions. Ultimately, the plaintiffs might have to accept smaller payments to avoid the risk of losing outright.
Ensuring You Are Fairly Compensated
If you are a member of a class action lawsuit, the law protects your right to recover for your injuries. Before the case can be closed, the court will conduct a fairness hearing. If you are dissatisfied with the proposed payments, you can notify the court of your objections. Judges can not approve a settlement until they are convinced the plaintiffs are being treated fairly.
Consult An Attorney
If you are interested in joining a class action lawsuit or are concerned about the progress of an existing suit, you should consult a class action attorney. Class actions are complex, but an attorney can ensure that your rights are protected.