Class action lawsuits are a relatively common legal process. They allow a group of affected individuals to band together and seek out a single, large judgment for all who were harmed or mislead by a company. Many people are eligible to participate in at least a few class action lawsuits. However, a surprising number of potential participants usually aren’t aware of the lawsuit’s existence. While the information is typically public. You sometimes have to actively track it down yourself. If you want to make sure you can find class action lawsuits you are eligible to join. Here’s where to look.
Your Mail or Email
Sometimes, those who may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit are notified directly. This could include a letter or postcard in the mail or even an email.
Usually, this only occurs when it is clear that you are likely eligible. If your name, address, and/or email are associated with a particular purchase or service, and a related class action arises, a law group may reach out using those details. For example, those who were impacted by the Yahoo! data breach may have received an email through their Yahoo! email address about their potential eligibility.
In general, this is not the most common way to find class action lawsuits that you may be able to join. However, it can happen, so it’s important to keep your eyes open. Just make sure that you confirm the message is legit, particularly before using any links or contact information in the email or letter.
Sometimes, when there is a massive class action lawsuit involving a significant portion of the population, it makes headlines. One prime example of this was the Equifax data breach in 2017, which was one of the biggest stories of the year. Approximately 147 million people were impacted, so, once the settlement was announced, news outlets all across the country reported on it.
Typically, a class action lawsuit has to be substantial for it to garner this kind of attention. However, it’s still a way to find out about litigation that you may be able to join.
Class Action Lawsuit Databases
Through these databases, you can usually search by a wide range of criteria, including product categories, company names, or product names. This allows you to find class action lawsuits that you might be eligible to join, as well as details about the suit, how to file claims, and various cutoff dates that may be in place.
You can also scan through all of the available records. While this can be time-consuming, it does ensure that you don’t overlook a class action suit by mistake.
It’s important to note that these sites aren’t operated by a government entity, but by private companies. That means they can earn money through the websites, such as through affiliate links or referral arrangements. As with any other way of learning about class action lawsuits, it’s best to exercise caution before clicking on any links or completing any contact forms. Make sure you understand what may occur if you do. Otherwise, you may open yourself up to solicitation or other issues.
Television, Magazine, or Newspaper Ads
Many people have seen at least a few television, magazine, or newspaper ads focused on class action lawsuits. Ones for mesothelioma settlements may be the most prolific, though there are others as well. Some focus on medical side effects or defective medical devices, for example.
While these are technically a way to learn about class action lawsuits – either those that are underway or a potential one that is trying to be built – it may not be the ideal approach for possible participants. Usually, any website or phone number goes to an attorney, even if it doesn’t look like it will. Some consider the practice deceptive, as it isn’t always easy to tell that you may be contacting an attorney, but it isn’t necessarily illegal.
If you spot an ad for a class action lawsuit, it may be wise to seek out details through other means. For example, you could use the databases above to find out whether something is in progress.
A Word of Caution
It may seem like doing a search through Google or another search engine would be a great way to learn about class action lawsuits. The issue is, this approach could open you up to scams.
Some scammers create fake class action lawsuit claims websites to try to trick you out of your personal information. They may have you fill out a form to make a claim, only to use those details to steal your identity. At times, they’ll say you have to pay to file, trying to convince you to put in your credit card information so that they can put through a bogus charge or steal your card number.
Alternatively, your search results could also include a ton of search results from law offices like the ones who back the commercials. In many cases, those aren’t the best option either, especially if you only want more information.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use a search engine to find out about class action lawsuits, just that you need to be careful if you do. Otherwise, you could end up the victim of a scam or on a lawyer’s marketing list.
Have you learned about a class action lawsuit another way? Tell us about it in the comments below.
- What to Do with Your Class Action Lawsuit Settlement
- Here Are 4 Class Action Settlements You May Be Eligible For
- Are You Owed Money from the Equifax Breach?
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