If you or a loved one was harmed due to someone else’s negligence and found out the cause of your injury might stem from a product or event that harmed many others, you may be wondering how to get involved in a mass tort action. If so, consider hiring a Palm Desert mass torts lawyer to help you recover damages.
At Nadrich & Cohen, our personal injury lawyers have helped clients recover damages so that they can start a new chapter in their lives. We offer a free initial consultation when you contact our firm where we will review your case and discuss what options you have to pursue compensation. We will also explain how a Palm Desert mass torts lawyer from our team will navigate your case, including what to expect from the litigation process.
What Are Mass Torts?
“Mass tort” refers to a mass of people who were harmed by the same action, omission or product. For example, a chemical leak into a local water supply might lead to an entire county of people filing mass tort actions against the corporation liable for the leak.
Mass tort actions involve a group of individual injury lawsuits against a single liable party, so common examples of mass torts are cases about defective products, dangerous drugs or environmental endangerment. Whether you decide to file a separate personal injury lawsuit or take the multidistrict litigation (MDL) route may depend on the complexity of your case.
Are Mass Torts the Same as Class Actions?
No, mass torts and class actions are not the same. As mentioned, “mass tort” refers to a type of injury to numerous people, but it is not a legal method. Victims of mass torts may have different options to take legal action against a liable party, namely:
- Individual personal injury lawsuit: The plaintiff files a personal injury lawsuit against a liable party and goes through state litigation to pursue compensation.
- Multidistrict litigation: This method involves grouping various individual lawsuits filed against the same liable party to accelerate the pretrial process. These cases are reviewed by a single judge, who will appropriate each case, then send each case back to its district to proceed with a trial. Each individual has a separate attorney and may pursue varying amounts of compensation.
- Class action: This method involves grouping plaintiffs into a single case against the liable party, meaning only one attorney represents the group. For class actions to work, each plaintiff must have similar cases to join together. If plaintiffs suffered different injuries, it would be better to file separately or take the MDL route.
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Depending on the circumstances of your case, a Palm Desert mass torts lawyer will be able to advise you on which type of legal action to pursue.
How Can a Lawyer Help You File with a Mass Tort Action?
If you decide to hire a Palm Desert mass torts lawyer, they will be able to assist you with the following:
- Review whether other people have similar cases against the same liable party and whether you have an option to pursue multidistrict litigation, a class action or an individual lawsuit
- Investigate your case further to collect any evidence that can support your case, such as video footage, medical records, recall information and witness testimonies
- Fill out legal documents on your behalf to prepare and submit your case to the correct legal channels
- Handling all communications to protect your case
- Representing you in legal appearances, whether in court hearings or out-of-court negotiation meetings
- Giving legal counsel whenever you face legal decisions or have questions about your case
You can learn more about these services when speaking with a lawyer in your initial case consultation.
Damages You May Be Able to Recover if You Join a Mass Tort Action
You may qualify to recover the following types of damages through a mass tort action:
- Costs for your medical treatment, both past and future expenses owed
- Costs to repair or replace damaged property
- Wages you lost if your injuries prevented you from being able to work
- Wages you will lose in the future if your injuries are long-term or permanent
- Other damages related to living with a permanent disability or physical disfigurement
- Any reduction in your earning potential if your injuries prevent you from reentering your field of work, taking on better job positions or opportunities, or receiving raises and promotions in your career
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Emotional distress you experienced, such as depression or anxiety
- Any significant changes that decreased your quality of life
You may qualify for other damages not mentioned in this article, which can be discussed in a future consultation.
Do Mass Tort Actions Have Legal Deadlines?
Yes, mass tort actions have legal deadlines. Whether you are filing an individual personal injury lawsuit or going through multidistrict litigation, you will still have to abide by California’s statute of limitations. CCP § 335.1 sets the rule on several statutory deadlines for different types of cases, such as:
- Personal injury: You must file within two years from the date of the accident.
- Product liability: You must file within two years from the date of the accident or the date you discovered a defective product contributed to your injury/illness. However, a statute of repose also exists, meaning you must also file your case within 10 years of the product being sold to you.
- Nursing home abuse: You must file within two years from the date of the abuse or the date you discovered your loved one was being abused.
- Sexual assault: You have two years from the date of the assault, though some exceptions do apply, as written in CCP § 340.1. For example, cases involving childhood sexual assault may commence the filing period once the plaintiff reaches legal age or the age when they discovered a psychological injury caused by the assault.
- Wrongful death: You must file within two years from the date of your loved one’s death.
Other statutory cases may exist for cases filed against a local municipality, such as Riverside County or the city of Palm Desert. A mass torts lawyer will review your case and take appropriate steps to file your case on time to prevent jeopardizing your right to pursue compensation.
Contact Nadrich & Cohen Today for a Free Case Evaluation
If you suffered an injury or developed an illness and found out the cause of your injury might stem from a product or event that harmed a large group of people, you may qualify for compensation for your damages. If you have decided to hire a Palm Desert mass torts lawyer and are now searching for an attorney for your case, allow our team to do the honor of representing you.
A Palm Desert mass torts lawyer from Nadrich & Cohen can build your case and represent you against the liable party. Contact our firm today to get a free consultation with one of our team members. We can discuss what to expect with your case, including whether you may be interested in going the multidistrict litigation route.