There is no definitive time frame to resolve the legal conflicts at the center of a class action lawsuit. Several factors can influence how long a class-action lawsuit takes.
The Average Length for Class Action Lawsuits
Class action lawsuits have a reputation for lasting a long time. In some cases, these lawsuits last for several years, especially if they go to court. However, not all class action lawsuits end up going to court. In some cases, lawyers manage to settle these claims outside of court. Generally, it takes less time to settle a case, though this is not always true.
If you settle a class-action lawsuit, you could receive compensation within a year. However, keep in mind that this is only an estimate. Some cases take much less time, but you may wait much longer for a resolution in other situations.
Factors That Contribute to the Length of a Class-Action Lawsuit
Several factors contribute directly to the time it takes to resolve class-action lawsuits around the country.
The Size of the Class
Class action lawsuits involve multiple plaintiffs by nature. Sometimes, a few dozen people band together to bring the case against a company. In other situations, the class could include thousands of people. It takes longer to resolve class-action lawsuits with larger groups of plaintiffs in almost all cases.
Potential Procedural Delays
Almost all forms of litigation involve some procedural delays. However, significant disputes about the case’s facts often add more time to the case.
Parts of a Class Action Lawsuit
Class action lawsuits often take a significant amount of time because they require complicated legal processes. Each part of the lawsuit takes time to complete. We will review the steps in a class-action lawsuit now.
Filing a Complaint
A single plaintiff must file a complaint to begin a class action lawsuit. The court system must then certify the case. The case becomes a class action lawsuit after the court certifies it.
Notifying Other Victims
Once the court certifies a class-action lawsuit, the initial plaintiff and their lawyer can reach out to additional victims. These victims become the class for the case.
The notification process often takes months, depending upon the size of the class. In addition, the method used to contact other potential victims also impacts the time it takes to complete this step.
While notifying other victims, lawyers also work on the discovery portion of the case. They gather evidence during discovery. They also:
- Speak with expert witnesses
- Review evidence to build a case
- Share pertinent information
During the discovery phases, lawyers may discuss the option of settling the claim. Settling a claim means you do not have to go to trial to seek compensation for your losses. Eventually, this period ends as the trial date approaches.
Not all class action lawsuits end up going before a judge and jury. In many situations, the defendant agrees to settle the claim.
However, if both parties cannot settle, the case gets tried in court. Depending upon the amount of relevant information and witnesses associated with the case, this process could take months or even years.
Learn More About Class Action Lawsuits
A lawyer in Florida can help you learn more about the time frame for a class-action lawsuit. Attorneys may also provide additional information about other factors in this legal action. Getting more information can help you prepare.
How are Class Action Lawsuits Paid Out?
You receive payment only if a class action lawsuit ends in your favor. The court provides you with a portion of the award or settlement in this situation. Depending upon the court’s decisions, you may receive a structured settlement or a lump-sum payment.
Generally, you can expect a single lump-sum payment if you receive a smaller payout.
Who Gets the Most Money in a Class Action Lawsuit?
Many people worry that their lawyers receive most of the compensation from a class action lawsuit. On the contrary, the injured plaintiffs receive most of the balance. However, lawyers do receive a percentage of the settlement.
Is a Class Action Lawsuit Worth it?
If you are wondering if a class action lawsuit is worth it, you must keep in mind that each situation comes with unique factors. Per the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), you do not have to join a class action lawsuit.
You Can Secure Legal Help for a Class Action Lawsuit
If you are considering whether to start a class action or join one, you can get professional and responsive legal care that helps you decide. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine is ready to help you throughout your potential case.
Contact our personal injury lawyers and find out how long class-action lawsuits take and other essentials you need to know during a free consultation. You can learn more by calling us at 1-800-747-3733.
We Can Help.