Illinois Class Action Law Firm Fees
A class action is a form of lawsuit in which a large group of people collectively brings a claim to court to be decided in a single case. In a class action, the issues in dispute are common to all members of the class, and the persons affected are so numerous that it would be unsuitable to bring them all before the court. Having 50,000 people file the same separate lawsuit just doesn't make sense.
Examples of class action lawsuits include claims by: a group of residents affected by a toxic spill in their neighborhood; consumers who are fraudulently denied a warranty; patients prescribed medicine with certain undisclosed, life-threatening side effects; or a group of employees who have wrongly been denied overtime benefits. Anything where a group of people suffers the same harm has the potential to be a case.
Class action lawsuits are efficient. They bring together and dispose of hundreds or thousands of individual claims at one time that would be impracticable to litigate individually. The judge decides who wins with regard to an entire group of people who suffered similar injuries. If the class wins, the amount recovered is divided among the class members according to the amount each person lost.
In a class action, the attorney is paid on a contingency basis. In contingency fee cases, the attorney's fee is based on what is awarded in the case. The attorney agrees to take on the case without being paid upfront or charging an hourly fee. If your case loses, the attorney is paid nothing. Alternatively, if your case wins, the attorney is awarded a certain percentage.
Rather than the typical 1/3 of the recovery attorney's fee, the Judge, on a case-to-case basis, determines the attorney's fee in class action suits. The amount of the fees awarded is based on a number of factors, including, among others, the quality of the work, the difficulty of the case, the nature of the result, the amount of time spent on the case, and the risks involved. As a percentage of the gross settlement or recovery, the fee amount can vary greatly within a wide range depending on the factors the court takes into account and the weight it attaches to each of them.
Not surprisingly, there are many people involved in a class action lawsuit, however typically only one or two plaintiffs are actually named. The named plaintiff's attorney, called the lead attorney, represents the class and does the majority of the work. The lead attorney's fee is paid out of the money recovered on behalf of the entire group, before it is divided among the class members.
If you have been injured by a product's side effects or an environmental spill in your neighborhood, the best means of compensation is a class action. Accordingly, you should not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your unique situation or would like an Illinois attorney referral. Because class action lawyers work on a contingency basis, you should be able to consult with an attorney for free to discuss your case and ask questions. Clients come to us because we are lawyers in Illinois who will talk to you for free, answer your questions and give an unbiased and independent recommendation of a law firm that is the right fit for you.