Opting Out of Participation in a Class Action Lawsuit
Why You May Want to Consider Opting Out | How It Affects Your Rights
A class action lawsuit can offer a number of benefits, but your participation in such a lawsuit can also come at a cost. It’s important to understand that, with respect to the class action, you have a number of options:
- You can elect to participate as a member of the class
- You can choose to “opt-out” of the class, hire your own legal counsel, and file a separate lawsuit
- You can decide to opt-out of the class action and do nothing
Reasons for Participating as a Member of a Class Action
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A class action can offer a viable way to pursue damages when your claim is relatively small, and might not be worthwhile on its own. You may not choose to take legal action for $500 claim, but if there are a thousand others with same claim, you now have an aggregate claim of $500,000. A class action allows you to pursue your smaller claim without having to assume full responsibility for things like filing fees and other costs of litigation. In a class action, you can also benefit from the “strength in numbers” argument. Your attorneys may find it easier to convince a jury of wrongdoing if a large number of people had the same experience.
Why You Might Want to Opt Out of a Class Action
As a general rule, unless you affirmatively opt out of a class action, you will be included as a member. Typically, when you receive the initial notice of the class action, it will include instructions regarding how to opt out—note that there will usually be a cut-off date by which you must opt out.
There are a number of reasons why you may choose not to participate in a class action:
- If your losses were significantly more than other members of the class
- If the facts of your case were different and you are concerned that the class action might not address all your interests
- If you lack confidence in the attorneys or lead plaintiffs in the case
Contact Buchanan Law
At Buchanan Law, we have protected the rights of individuals in employment law and personal injury claims for more than 20 years. Attorney Deena Buchanan brings extensive local knowledge and experience to every case she handles, with a thorough understanding of the laws and the court system in New Mexico. A trial lawyer with decades of hands-on experience handling complex legal issues, she’s known for her poise and composure in even the most pressure-packed situations. Deena has extensive experience in both the state and the federal courts.
A Buchanan Law, we understand that every legal matter offers a distinct set of facts and circumstances. We’ll listen carefully and ask the right questions so that we can learn the details of your case, and tailor our counsel to get the results you seek. To learn if you qualify for a free initial consultation, call our office at 505-900-3559 or send us an e-mail.
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