Mass Tort FAQ
How does this process work?
The first step in filing a mass tort claim is to contact us and go through a questionnaire. Our questionnaires are designed to make sure you meet the minimum requirements to file a claim. If you meet the requirements, your information is passed along to a legal professional to review your answers.
If the legal professional determines that you have a claim they will send you a retainer agreement; a legal contract which states that you are hiring the law firm to represent you. You may also receive a more detailed questionnaire and a form known as a HIPAA release form giving the law firm permission to collect your medical records if necessary.
Once your signed retainer agreement and any accompanying forms are received, the law firm begins gathering information to qualify your claim for the court. If the information on record meets the qualifications necessary to file a claim and the lawsuit is viable, the law firm will file your claim.
How long does it take for a case to get through the courts?
Cases may take anywhere from a few months to a few years. Some cases end up being dismissed for a variety of reasons. Some cases go to trial and are decided by a jury. And some cases settle. There are several factors that determine whether and how long it will take for qualifying claims to settle. These factors include, but are not limited to the time it takes to collect medical, legal, and/or personal information, the pros and cons of the overall litigation (and whether any other cases have settled), and the specific injury or side effects that were suffered.
How much do cases typically settle for?
Awards and settlements are based on injuries suffered, settlement amounts for similar cases in the past, and other factors. The dollar amount is decided for each individual by looking at financial information such as medical costs and lost wages among other things.
Is there an out-of-pocket cost to filing a claim?
Most cases are filed on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are typically no up-front or out of pocket costs for people filing a claim. This means that the lawyers will not be paid unless the case reaches a settlement. The law firm’s payment is deducted from the settlement amount.
Is there a statute of limitations?
All personal injury claims have a statute of limitations, or limit on the amount of time after an accident, incident or event happens that a lawsuit can be filed. Every state sets its own statute of limitations for personal injury, which varies from state to state. The sooner a claim is filed, the more likely it is to meet the deadline.
What’s the difference between a Class Action and Mass Tort lawsuit?
Many people confuse mass tort lawsuits with class action lawsuits. While there are similarities between the two, there are some key differences as well.
A class action is when a single lawsuit is filed on behalf of a group of people who have suffered similar injuries or damages. This reduces the number cases filed to just one and sets guidelines for who qualifies to join in the lawsuit (the people who sign up to be part of the lawsuit are known collectively as the class). All members of the class are treated as a single entity; there is no individualized representation for anyone in the class.
A mass tort is like a class action in that it reduces the number cases filed, but differs in that each case in a mass tort is filed separately. Each person who files a claim is individually represented and awarded based upon the extent of their personal injuries and losses. Mass tort suits often involve defective drugs or malfunctioning medical products that can injure the user.