Mass Tort FAQs
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Everything You Need to Know
Although the phrase, “mass tort”, may seem foreign, you’ve more than likely seen a commercial for one. You’ve probably seen a lawyer on TV say, “Have you or a loved one been hurt by…”. Then you’ve seen a mass tort. However, even though these types of cases are common it can be hard to figure out if it’s worth joining and what happens in the process.
You should probably also be on the lookout for potential scams. After the Equifax data breach many sites claimed to be part of a mass tort but were in fact collecting sensitive data about the victims.
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Video Guide to Mass Torts
Have you or a loved one been injured by ...?
What are Mass Torts?
A mass tort is a lawsuit that you go into with several people. Normally it begins with a defective product that has injured people who have used it. For example, RoundUp was thought to have caused cancer in those that had daily exposure to the weed killer. After a link was made to the product, lawsuits began that collected people who had been affected.
Yes and No. The concept is the same. Gather a bunch of people with the same complaint together into one lawsuit. However, the way the plaintiff is treated is different. In a Mass Tort case the people in the group are treated like individuals and not as one plaintiff in the case.
Crimes can be torts but torts are generally more to do with a negligent action. Although the “tortfeasor” may have caused the harm their actions may only be negligent and not criminally negligent.
There are many well known examples of mass torts. The most talked about is Asbestos that caused mesothelioma. Although there are many others such as RoundUp, Hernia Mesh, and baby powder.
Mass Tort Types
is it worth joining a mass tort?
You Make More from a mass tort than a class action lawsuit
A class action lawsuit is what most people think of when they see a mass tort. A class action is a type of mass tort but a mass tort is not a class action. In a class action lawsuit one person is representing a group as the main plaintiff in the case. All members of the class action have to have roughly the same experience. In a mass tort all people involved are treated as individuals and get their own chance to explain their case. People in a mass tort case get their own settlement and don’t split a lump sum.
Mass torts can take years to finalize. There is a set number of plaintiffs required for a mass tort
Your settlement amount will change depending on the damages you’ve accrued from the negligence. For example let’s say that the mass tort is for a defective replacement knee. You got the knee and had it for several years and suffered permanent damage to your leg. Someone else in the mass tort has also had this knee but only for a month and they just want it to be replaced with a functioning knee. In this instance, you will be making a lot more than the person who only wants the replacement.
Class Action VS. Mass Tort
Is it hard to join?
What is the Process for Joining a Mass TOrt?
Joining a mass tort is easy. In fact it may be even easier than a personal injury claim on your own. The case is already established unlike a new case. Looking out for websites that talk about a mass tort or just reaching out to a lawyer in your town. However, it is good to not expect to have the same lawyer you talked to. Many firms acquire cases and give them to firms that specialize in Mass Tort cases.
What are my odds of winning?
How is it different than filing the Case Myself?
In a lot of ways the standard mass tort is already like filing yourself. However, your odds of success is higher because there are other people who’ve experienced the same thing. You will be treated as an individual plaintiff though and will need to still provide evidence and proof of your injuries.
When DO I Need to Join a mass tort?
You may join a mass tort if you’re not comfortable pressing a lawsuit on your case alone or if you see that your injury matches those caused to others. You are more likely to succeed in a mass tort but it can take a long time in court.