Things to consider before joining a class action lawsuit

People in Hawaii could receive notice in the mail that they may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit when they were not even aware that they had been taken advantage of by a business or put at risk by a defective product. FindLaw explains that these may result in judgments in the millions. Even if they only provide a small payout when divided among the hundreds or even thousands of individuals involved, people may want to consider opting in.

By filing a class action lawsuit rather than individual claims, the legal costs of suing may be much lower. Not only are there fewer attorneys involved in the case, the gathering of evidence and witnesses may take less time. This type of litigation could move much more quickly through the court system. 

According to Kiplinger, it still could take a while to reach a settlement with the company, so people who have opted in may need to be patient. Appeals are possible, and even once an agreement is reached, it could take months for people to receive their portion.

Often, people find themselves automatically involved in class action lawsuits without ever having to join. This could be good because some people may miss the news that the litigation is moving forward. On the other hand, someone who suffered a more significant amount of harm than others in the group may not want to be included. Typically, he or she would not be able to file another lawsuit against the company, as well. In these cases, it may be more beneficial to opt out.