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Class Actions in Illinois
A class action is a type of lawsuit that allows many plaintiffs to resolve similar disputes with a company through a single court case based on a representative claim. Under Illinois rules, a class action lawsuit is appropriate when the facts of each person's claim are similar and it would be inefficient to try each case individually. Speak to a class action attorney today if you have a dispute that would most appropriately be resolved through a class action lawsuit.
Class action lawsuits are commonly used to resolve disputes related to:
- Personal injury, particularly injury cases associated with defective drugs and medical devices
- Employment issues
- Securities fraud
- False or misleading advertising
- Products liability
- Bank fraud
- Environmental issues
- Antitrust issues
- Financial issues, such as bank fees
When Should You Join a Class Action Lawsuit?
After class action lawyers file a lawsuit in federal court, Illinois court or another state's court, the judge assigned to the case will hold a hearing to determine whether to certify the case, that is, allow it to proceed as a class action. Each court has its own set of class action rules listing the criteria a case must meet to qualify as a class action.
At some point after a class action is certified, lawyers will attempt to notify everyone who's potentially a member of the class, giving each plaintiff the opportunity to join the class and file a claim for compensation (if the case is resolved in the plaintiffs' favor) or opt out and file an individual lawsuit against the company.
How plaintiffs are notified will depend on the nature of the case. If a company is sued in an employment class action, the company should have a list of employees and job applicants who should be notified. But a defective products case, for example, could have thousands of unknown plaintiffs, so attorneys might advertise on television or in the newspaper.
If you are a potential plaintiff in a class action, you need to decide whether it is cost effective and efficient to join the class and file a claim. This usually boils down to a few key questions:
- Is the class being offered a fair amount of compensation? Does it cover, or come close to covering, your losses?
- How much would it cost you to hire your own attorney and file your own lawsuit against the company? What is the likelihood that you'd win? Would you win enough to pay legal fees and still receive more in compensation than you'd receive from the class action?
- How much time would it take to file and resolve an individual lawsuit? Sometimes cases can take years to wind through the courts.
Find & Hire Local Illinois Class Actions Attorneys
Attorneys.com offers a free service that can help you locate class action lawyers in Chicago, Aurora, Springfield and elsewhere in Illinois. Simply call us at 877-913-7222 or complete the form on this page. After you answer a few brief questions, we'll quickly match you with a class action lawyer in your area.