What Constitutes A Class Action Law Suit?

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.

As A General Rule, The Government Will Not Tax A Personal Injury Settlement

Have you been awarded a settlement in a personal injury lawsuit for your severe car accident injuries? Now that you have your money, you may be wondering are personal injury settlements taxable? The last thing you need is to get in trouble with the IRS because you missed a necessary tax payment.

Most personal injury proceeds are not taxable either under state or federal law. It also doesn’t matter if you settled before filing the lawsuit or after, the settlement is still probably not taxable. It also doesn’t matter if the award was decided between the two parties and their attornies or awarded by a jury or judicial decision following a trial.

The general rule when it comes to personal injury settlements is that the Federal government will not tax any damages that were received because of physical sickness or personal physical injuries. These are not included in the gross income of a taxpayer.

The reason for this is that personal injury damages are considered as compensation for such things as pain and suffering, emotional distress, medical bills, lost wages, attorney fees, and loss of consortium. These monies are not to be taxed as long as they are compensating for a physical sickness or personal injury.

A physical sickness is defined as one that occurred because of the negligence of another. For example, if a person is exposed to something that made them sick, damages recovered would not be taxable.

There are some exceptions to this general rule. If you receive damages that were a result of an injury caused by a breach of contract, they may be taxable if the breach of contract is why you filed a lawsuit.

If you receive punitive damages, they will be taxable. Your attorney should always ask the jury or the judge to separate any damages into punitive and compensatory awards. This means you can prove to the IRS that part of your award is not taxable.

If you have received a tax benefit on anything that relates to this case, your new settlement may be taxable. A good example is if you take a deduction for your out-of-pocket medical costs on your tax return, the monies awarded as part of the personal injury settlement for these costs will be taxable.

For the most part, any monies you receive as part of a personal injury settlement will not be taxed. It is best to check with your accountant or your lawyer to determine if you need to pay taxes on any of the monies you receive.