Can you join an ongoing mass tort lawsuit? The answer to that question requires understanding mass tort claims and multi-district litigation (MDL). While you cannot directly join the current lawsuit, you may join the MDL formed to handle the mass tort claims in some cases.
The federal court system handles many mass tort claims through MDL, allowing a single court and judge to handle these similar cases while providing individual attention to each plaintiff. Find out more about your options with a mass torts lawsuit lawyer from Zanes Law.
You can call or fill out our online contact form to get the information you need.
Who Can Join a Mass Tort Claim?
Joining a mass tort claim requires you to meet eligibility requirements for the case. Therefore, the eligibility requirements vary for each claim. Generally, you must have documentation that shows that you experienced the same losses as other plaintiffs in the tort.
For example, let’s say lawyers develop a tort to help individuals who develop cancer after taking medication with undisclosed and dangerous side effects. The tort aims to help these plaintiffs seek compensation from the company that manufactured the drug.
You may join the tort if you used the medication and developed the same medical condition as other plaintiffs.
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How do You Join a Mass Tort Claim?
Joining a mass tort claim can prove complicated but may allow you to seek compensation for your financial losses. If you suspect you may qualify to join a mass tort case, you can contact a lawyer who will assess your situation.
Attorneys can see how neatly your circumstances align with other plaintiffs involved in the mass tort. Depending on their findings, the law firm may recommend that you file a claim as part of the mass tort, especially in cases involving multi-district litigation.
What’s Multi-District Litigation?
Multi-district litigation makes it easier for the federal court system to handle large numbers of claims with very similar plaintiffs who all have a complaint against the same defendant. The process allows one court and one judge to handle the claims.
This setup allows the judge to become familiar with the facts of the cases, handling them more efficiently than judges across the nation trying to work through similar cases. MDL can address dozens or even hundreds of cases.
You may have a chance to join ongoing MDL depending upon your eligibility to join the claim.
What If You Want to Start a Mass Tort Claim?
You may discover that you’re at the front of an emerging situation involving many plaintiffs and one defendant. In this situation, you may work with a lawyer to discuss beginning the mass tort process and encouraging other plaintiffs to join you.
Note that you must have a valid mass tort claim to proceed.
The process of identifying plaintiffs can take a significant amount of time, especially as they may have to legally show they qualify to participate in your mass tort case. A lawyer can provide more detailed information about your options in this situation.
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What If You don’t Qualify to Join a Mass Tort?
What if you try to join a mass tort and find out you don’t meet the eligibility requirements? In this situation, you may still have a chance to file a claim for compensation. A law firm may suggest a personal injury lawsuit instead, for example.
Personal injury claims can allow you to seek compensation against a negligent party without proving that you’ve experienced the same losses as many other plaintiffs. This factor can allow you to proceed forward with an attempt to secure compensation.
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What Happens If You Join Mass Tort Litigation?
If you join a mass tort, you can expect to face several complicated legal challenges. These claims often take a significant amount of time to resolve due to the large number of plaintiffs and the resources available to the defendant.
You can expect lawyers to conduct an extensive period of discovery, looking for evidence that backs up these claims. Attorneys also negotiate with insurance agents and lawyers representing the defendant, attempting to settle the claim.
Eventually, cases begin moving through the court if the defendant refuses to settle. Judges hear many of these claims, often starting with bellwether trials.
What Are Bellwether Trials?
Bellwether trials act as a kind of test of the court’s disposition towards mass torts. These claims go through the system first, and lawyers assess their results to determine how to proceed with the rest of the cases.
Sometimes, very successful bellwether trials encourage the defendant to offer better settlement deals to the rest of the plaintiffs. If you join a mass tort, your case could end up being one of the bellwether trials.
Can You Get Compensation Through an Ongoing Mass Tort?
Joining a mass tort may allow you to seek compensation for losses caused by another party’s negligence. In this situation, you may receive funds to cover your:
- Healthcare expenses
- Long-term medical care
- Lost wages and diminished earning potential
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
A lawyer can review your situation to determine if you qualify to receive funds for your losses. Your attorney can then represent you in and out of the courtroom, standing up for you even if the defendant files an appeal.
Learn More About Joining a Mass Tort with Our Team
Can you join an ongoing mass tort lawsuit? You may have a chance to participate in an ongoing mass tort if you meet eligibility requirements to file a lawsuit alongside other plaintiffs injured by the same defendant. A lawyer from our team at Zanes Law can assess your situation now.
Fill out our online contact form or call us to learn more.