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.
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:
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.
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.