If you’ve been wronged by a faulty product or service, you may have searched for a Texas attorney to help you receive compensation for your losses, damages, and medical expenses. Specialized attorneys that practice law in these types of cases are often known as a class action or mass tort lawyers. While their practices are similar, these two lawyers are actually different and depending on your case, you may be better served with one or the other. Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas (LRS) can help you find a personal injury lawyer near you that may handle these areas of law.
The Difference Between Mass Tort and Class Action Attorneys
In both mass tort and class action cases, the plaintiffs are a group of people with the same general complaint against a common defendant. The individuals may have different attorneys at the outset; however, these attorneys can collaborate and bring the case to trial or settlement as one entity, instead of many similar but smaller cases. The main difference between a class action and mass tort lies in how the plaintiffs are treated.
Mass torts involve a smaller number of plaintiffs from the same general geographic area. Class action cases, on the other hand, can reach nationally, including dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of individuals all affected by the same complaint. The large group of plaintiffs is considered a “class” and each class within the group is treated as one individual.
Which Type of Attorney is Right for My Case?
The first step when you’ve been injured or had property damage is to consult with a personal injury lawyer. These attorneys can determine if you have legal grounds to file a complaint. While personal injury lawyers have experience fighting for their clients’ rights, they may not be equipped to take on a large corporation or government entity. In this case, you may be referred to a class action or mass tort group that the lawyer is affiliated with.
What Types of Cases are Represented?
Mass torts and class action cases are often, but not limited to:
- Pharmaceutical companies producing harmful drugs
- Manufacturers producing defective products
- Health Care facilities
- Environmental exposure, including fracking and water contamination
- Medical malpractice
The Class Action Experience vs the Mass Tort Experience
Class action plaintiffs all have the same problem from the same cause. They share a defendant, and each member of the lawsuit must be notified of their role in the class. Mass tort lawsuits are filed when the plaintiffs share a common defendant but have differing injuries or complaints. In these cases, mass torts are filed when the condition for a class action is not met. For example, in mass torts, the plaintiffs may have different factual situations and do not share enough common characteristics to proceed as a class action.
Your personal injury attorney can explain to you the timeline of filing your class action or mass tort lawsuit, including the specifics of what to expect and what role, if any, you will have in testifying about your experience. The Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas can help you find the correct type of attorney for your personal injury case. LRS intake counselorswill listen to your personal injury scenario and will let you know how we can help.