Reasons to not join a class action Lawsuit
Class members will lose their right to file their own lawsuit for damages not covered in the class action. Typically this happens at a time when the class member is not fully aware of his or her full legal rights.
Historically, class actions are best suited for small dollar claims of individual class members, claims that are too small to justify the cost of separate litigation. For larger claims, like these VW Fraud claims, class actions may not be in your best interest for many reasons.
When you file a separate claim for damages outside of a class action you will not be limited by the damages raised in the class action. Since your damages are unlike any other member of the class, you deserve your own lawyer and your own separate claim to maximize your money damages.
After a class action lawsuit is settled, and you have not opted out, you will be prohibited from filing any separate claim for your unique damages.
Lawyers representing a class action represent the class and not the individual special needs of class members. Except for sub-group commonalities within the class that may quantify damages differently among class members, you will not receive any compensation for unique and separate damages that apply to your special needs.
Class action lawyers represent the whole class of members, not individuals as such. You will not be treated any differently from any other class or sub-class member; so don’t expect individual representation or attention to your unique legal needs.
Typically class members have little say in how the litigation in a class action proceeds or the eventual settlement, if any. Your opinions will likely mean little to the class action lawyers. You will not be encouraged to call the lawyers representing the class with your particular legal questions. They, frankly, do not want you interfering with their case.
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Class action lawsuits are representative litigation and not group or individual litigation, meaning that a representative member or members of the class are named as plaintiff’s in the lawsuit and they make all the important decisions, including what damages to pursue, when to settle, how much money to settle for the class members. This has, in the past, caused many disgruntled class members who thought they had a say in the course of the litigation.
Class action lawsuits have gotten a bad name because many cases have been settled for mere coupons or discounts on future purchases and other things viewed as having little value to members of the class. In fact, an overwhelming numbers of class members are so dissatisfied they never claim the award.
If the lawyer representing the class does not win the case or decides to settle for a money settlement that does not fully compensate you for your damages or fully compensate you for damages allowable under your state laws, there is nothing you can do about it and you will not be able to file your own separate lawsuit at a later date.
Every person who has been harmed by the VW emission fraud deserves individual representation by a lawyer experienced in maximizing your damages under your state laws. This is the most important decision you will make. Choose carefully and only after getting all the facts. Class action lawyers try to persuade you to opt into their class action with grandiose claims of prior successes on class actions. But rarely do they tell you how much they put in their pocket for each class member. This is because the numbers are usually very low. Class action lawyers make a lot of money but the client in many instances receives very little.
Class actions are very advantageous to the defendant, Volkswagen, because they can resolve a large number of cases at a relatively low cost in one court.
Class actions will save Volkswagen lots of legal fees by allowing them to negotiate with only one set of class lawyers instead of the thousands who may file separate lawsuits on behalf of injured people.
Defendants usually prefer to be sued in class actions because they do not have to answer to juries for each and every harm they cause to individuals.
According to an important study conducted by one of the nation’s best-known defense law firms, “a class action member is far less likely to have even a chance of obtaining relief than a average party suing individually,” *
*Source: mayerbrown.com, “Do Class Actions Benefit Class members” report.
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When you hire our firm we never make clients pay for any expenses or fees in the case up-front or during the litigation. You will not pay any expenses or legal fees until we win your case and you approve the final money disbursements paid by Volkswagen.
Our goal is simple—maximize your damages and maximize the money in your pocket. (See contract for specifics)
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