Recently, many electric cars containing batteries made by LG Chem have caught fire. These include the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Hyundai’s Kona Electric line. Across the nation, plaintiffs affected by these fires are joining a lawsuit against the car manufacturers, and they are using a class-action lawsuit to do so.
In this article, we will explain what a class-action suit is and how it can be used to hold car manufacturers accountable for their defective vehicles.
WHAT IS A CLASS-ACTION SUIT?
Sometimes, many people are similarly harmed by a product. Imagine a car that was made with defective brakes. Across the nation, drivers experience comparable neck injuries from driving this car. In a class-action lawsuit, they can join together as one plaintiff and sue the manufacturer.
Class action suits treat all plaintiffs as part of a collective. They are not individuals bringing unique complaints to court. One person represents the entire group in court, simply for the sake of expediency.
When the plaintiffs win, they split the damages equally. Often, class-action suits ask for a substantial amount of damages from the defendant. Since the plaintiffs are splitting the winnings, they must be properly compensated. Imagine the damages are $1,000,000, but there are 500,000 plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Even if they win, each person walks away with only $2.00. This isn’t enough to make the lawsuit worth anyone’s effort, so the plaintiffs will sue for a much larger amount.
A class-action suit could help you in a complaint against a car manufacturer. You are probably not the only one affected by the bad vehicle. If too many people try to sue at once, they could be put on a waiting list. This would keep you from receiving compensation for quite a long time, putting you in a deeper financial hole while you wait. At worst, courts could deny your lawsuit, claiming they simply don’t have enough resources to handle the workload. Also, the car company could lose many cases, making them incapable of paying for all those damages. By joining a class-action suit, your case will move more quickly, and you can be sure of receiving compensation if you win.
An option similar to a class-action lawsuit is multi-district litigation. In this suit, many plaintiffs have a complaint against a car company, but they all suffered different injuries. Imagine the cars described above, the ones with the flaming batteries. Some people could suffer burn injuries from the fires. Others may have noticed the flames and quickly exited their vehicles only to be hit by oncoming traffic.
To save time and money, a court may allow several suits to be rolled into one. However, unlike a class-action suit, multi-district litigation plaintiffs are treated as individuals. Their cases are tried together, but if they win, they are compensated independently, based on their specific claims.
If you were harmed by a defective car, multi-district litigation could be an appropriate option. Ask your attorney to investigate similar claims against the company. If there are several unique injuries, your lawyer may be able to reach out to other attorneys and plaintiffs, creating a multi-district lawsuit.
JOINING A CLASS-ACTION SUIT
Class-action lawsuits are often highly publicized. Attorneys try to collect as many clients as they can to join the action. If you were harmed by a defective car, try an internet search for the make and model of your vehicle. Chances are, someone in your area is ready to take action.
Our firm can represent you in a defective product lawsuit against a car manufacturer. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we can start reviewing your options. Our number is 918-492-7674, and we can also be reached online.