A class action lawsuit is basically when more than one person or a group of people who have suffered the same injuries or damages bring a lawsuit against a single defendant.
The lead plaintiffs in the case need to request a class action certification from the court in order for it to be deemed a class action suit. These types of lawsuits are only related to civil action where monetary compensation is being claimed for injuries and damages that the plaintiffs have experienced.
The burden of proof is on the plaintiffs to provide evidence that the defendant is liable due to their negligence, direct or indirect actions. In other words, it needs to prove in a court of law that the defendant is at fault in causing the damages or injuries.
The plaintiffs may be represented by more than one lawyer or attorney in a class action suit. However, the case needs to be brought as one suit and be represented as such. This means that all the plaintiffs need to be in agreement regarding the best way to bring the case to court.
If the lawsuit is successful, the compensation lawsuit awarded by the court will be shared among the plaintiffs. Some plaintiffs may receive more or less depending on a number of damages, medical or other expenses that they may have incurred.
Lawyers and attorneys normally take on class action civil suits on a contingency basis. This means that they require no payment for their services and will receive a portion or percentage of the settlement amount or compensation awarded by the court. The remainder of the claimed amount will then be shared among the plaintiffs.
If the case is not taken on a contingency basis, the law firm may require a retainer. This is an amount that will need to be paid upfront to cover the initial fees and charges related to the case. Future charges will need to be paid on an ad hoc basis in order for the legal representation to continue.
This can become quite and expensive exercise, especially in class action cases that are complicated and drawn out. Class action suits are by nature complicated and it is necessary to plan for future legal expenses. The plaintiffs may club together to pay the retainer as well as other expenses from the legal team representing them.