Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers

Oklahoma Class Action Lawyer

At Ylla Gosney, Attorneys at Law, we help Oklahoma injury victims in any situation. We don’t just represent individual people, but also groups in class action lawsuits that have been harmed or injured. To learn more about your legal options in this situation, contact us today for a free consultation.

Do You Need a Class Action Lawyer?

Whenever there’s a situation where a lot of people are injured in similar circumstances, it raises a lot of questions. In terms of your legal options, you and the others in this group have the ability to file an injury claim, but the main question involves an efficient use of the court system’s time and resources. The way that Oklahoma approaches this is by consolidating the claims into one case, known as a “class action” lawsuit.

With that established, you’re probably wondering if you need a lawyer. The answer, as with any injury situation, depends on your needs. Obviously, being part of a large group makes the process more complicated, but our lawyers have a great deal of experience in making the claims process efficient for everyone. Moreover, we can use our experience and resources to investigate what happened, gather the necessary evidence, then represent everyone’s interests to reach an acceptable result for the group.

Why Would You Need to be in a Class Action Lawsuit?

Obviously, if you’re in a car accident or slip and fall, it only involves you and a small number of responsible parties. A class action lawsuit, though, is different in that it involves a large group of people harmed under similar conditions. Typically in Oklahoma, class action lawsuits come out of things like:

  • Defective or dangerous products – When a defective product causes harm to numerous consumers, either due to a manufacturing defect, design flaw, or inadequate warnings or instructions. Some of the more common examples involve defective or recalled vehicle parts, medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs, or household items.

    Consumer fraud – This includes cases where consumers are deceived or misled by false advertising, deceptive marketing practices, or the sale of defective products. Usually, it involves things like misleading labeling, false claims about how effective or safe the product is, or undisclosed fees.

  • Environmental hazards – Instances where pollution or environmental hazards cause harm to residents of a particular area of the state may result in a class action lawsuit. This could include cases involving water or air pollution, toxic waste disposal, or chemical exposure.

Who’s liable in a class action?

These aren’t the only situations where you would need to be in a class action lawsuit, but this shows you the potential things that can happen. In terms of responsibility, it depends on the circumstances. Legally speaking, negligence is still the determining factor, where the party responsible breached their duty of care to keep you and others safe.

In a typical class action lawsuit, liability can fall on any of the following:

  • Companies – When a company commits fraud or puts out a dangerous or defective product, they’ll carry most of the legal liability when a group of people get hurt.

  • Government agencies – Similarly, when there’s harm caused by environmental issues that they facilitated, the government agency that oversees things could carry some of the responsibility.

  • Individuals – Executives, employees, or others within the particular company can also be liable, especially if they have decision-making power.

  • Third parties – Suppliers, distributors, or contractors may also be liable if they contributed to the harm suffered.

In a class action suit, it’s just as important to figure out all of the liable parties, because it’s them who will be paying damages to the group.

Are Damages Different in a Class Action?

Being in a class action lawsuit is indeed a bit different than a normal lawsuit. However, you’re still able to recover damages for your injuries. The main difference, though, is that the available damages are distributed among the group. So, strictly speaking, the legal damages that are available in a class action claim aren’t different from a normal lawsuit. In fact, they often include the same categories of losses, like:

  • Medical expenses and care costs
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship or enjoyment of life

In an individual case, damages are based on what happened to you, specifically. But in a class action, there’s a set formula for damages that applies to everyone in the group.

It’s crucial to have skilled lawyers to ensure everyone in the class gets the help they deserve under the law, but it’s also important to understand the process of a typical class action.

How Does a Class Action Lawsuit Progress?

In Oklahoma, a class action lawsuit follows a similar process to an individual lawsuit, but with some unique steps due to its collective nature. Here’s how it works:

  • Class certification – The first step is to ask the court to certify the class. Plaintiffs must show that the proposed class meets specific criteria, like having too many members to feasibly join as individuals, sharing common legal or factual questions, having claims typical of the class, and having adequate representation.

  • Notice of class – Once the class is certified, the court orders notice to be sent to all class members. This informs them of their right to participate or opt out of the lawsuit.

  • Naming a class representative – In a class action lawsuit, one or two members of the class, typically those who first filed individual lawsuits, are chosen as “class representatives.” They represent the class throughout the legal process, including answering questions, providing evidence, and making decisions about settlement offers on behalf of the entire group.

  • Discovery – After certification and notice, both sides gather evidence to support their claims through written requests, depositions, and document requests.

  • Litigation – Either party can file motions during the litigation process, such as to dismiss the case or to decertify the class.

How a class action case resolves

In an individual lawsuit, the decision to settle or go to trial rests solely with the individual. However, in a class action, the class representatives make decisions for the entire group. Settlement offers are presented to them, and they decide whether to accept on behalf of the class.

If not, we’ll prepare and go to trial and things will proceed as normal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the deadline for filing a claim in a class action lawsuit?

It depends on the claim, but if it’s for an injury, the normal statute of limitations applies. This means the class has two years from the date of the injury to file the claim.

How do you join a class action lawsuit?

This also depends. If you’re one of the first to bring up the issue, you could be named a class representative once the court certifies the class. If not, you’ll receive a notice in the mail or your email that will give you instructions on how you can join the lawsuit.

How long does a class action lawsuit take?

It depends on how complex the case is and the number of class members involved, among other factors. Some class actions may be resolved in a matter of months, while others can take several years to reach a settlement or verdict.

Free Consultations For Oklahoma Class Action Lawsuit Members

At Ylla Gosney, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers are well aware of how certain things can harm a large group of people. In these situations, it helps to have experienced guidance. If you or someone you know wants to pursue a class action lawsuit, we’ll be there to help. For a free consultation, contact us today.