Handling Class Action Claims by Your Trusted ICBC Lawyers in Vancouver
A class action is a type of lawsuit started by one or more people on their own behalf which seeks to include other people who have suffered similar harm or “damages” as a result of another person or entity.
A motion or court application will take place where a court will decide whether 1) the action is “certified” (i.e. the action can precede as a class action) and 2) the definition of the “class” (i.e. who can take part in the action). If the court permits the action to proceed as a class action, those people that fit the definition of the class are automatically included in the class action unless the court gives permission to a member of the class to be excluded. The court will also appoint one or more people to act as a representative for the class and they will instruct the lawyers who commenced the class action on behalf of the class members.
Members of the class are not personally liable to pay the lawyers for prosecuting the common issues in the class action as the lawyer’s fees are paid from any settlement or judgment as approved by the court. Further, if the proposed class action is not certified (i.e. not allowed to proceed as a class action) or if the class action is not successful, members of the class are not personally liable to pay court costs for prosecuting the common issues in the class action.
What Happens When a Class Action Settles?
If you fall into the definition of a class member and a settlement is reached with the wrongdoer, you may be entitled to compensation depending on the extent of the damages you suffered. Typically, a settlement adjudication process is set up once a settlement is reached and approved by the court. In many cases an independent adjusting firm will be contracted to adjudicate that process and set up the steps required to obtain compensation.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for Compensation from the Settlement?
You can choose to handle that process on your own or if you find the process too difficult, you can hire a lawyer to assist you. You are not limited to hiring the lawyer or law firm that started the class action. Generally, unless the process is very straightforward, it is always a good idea to first consult with a lawyer experienced in obtaining compensation from class action settlements.
If you choose to hire a lawyer to help you obtain compensation from a class action settlement, it is very important that you understand how legal fees are calculated as it is often quite different from other types of personal injury claims. Legal fees for class actions will vary depending on the complexity involved and also what the court ultimately permits. Because of the time, amount of work, and complexity involved with class actions, many lawyers who commence the class action will seek the maximum fee of 33.3% for prosecuting the common issues of the class action. When a class action settles, the balance of the settlement amount that is left after their fees are deducted will be paid into a fund to be distributed amongst the class members in accordance with their proportion of entitlement. The court approving the settlement will often set out what lawyers can charge to assist potential claimants with applying for compensation from the settlement fund.
Contact Our ICBC Lawyers in Vancouver
If you have a class action claim and would like a free consultation from well-trusted and experienced ICBC lawyers in Vancouver who will help you wade through the complexities of such cases, please feel free to call us today. Select lawyers, case managers, and paralegals at Paine Edmonds LLP have vast experience in handling applications for compensation from various class action settlement claims arising in Canada and the United States, including but not limited to, Hepatitis C tainted blood class actions and residential school abuse class actions. Pay us a visit in the Metro Vancouver area today.
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We know you have a choice when choosing a lawyer after you have been injured. So why hire Paine Edmonds?
Dealing with a personal injury claim can be a stressful experience without the right lawyer working for you. No matter where you live in BC, our lawyers know how to make the process easier and less stressfulfor you so youcan focus on what matters most: recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on track.
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Our Personal injury Law Group has been energetically and successfully representing people injured in car accidents for decades. We can recognize that people need to specialized legal help to get the best result from their personal injury claims. Our team of lawyers and paralegals have the experience, the expertise and the specific skills to get the job done. Whether it is through trial, mediation, or informal negociation, our lawyers have successfully handled all types of personal injury claims including severe soft tissue injuries, chronic pain, brain injuries, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other types of catastrophic injuries.
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We at Paine Edmonds can offer you something different: a team approach. When you hire one of our Personnal Injury Law Group lawyers, you get the benefit of our whole team. Our team of lawyers meet and consult, with one another on a daily baisis at our Vancouver office. This means that our clients benefit from the collective efforts of a close knit, open-door law firm. Whether you live in Vancouver, or anywhere in British Columbia, we work together for you.
Our team is lead and actively mentored by senior partner Steve H. Heringa, a Vancouver trial lawyer with over 30 years of personal injury claims experience. He has appeared on behalf of his clients at every level of court in British Columbia as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. In the ground-setting decision of HAll v. Hebert, he appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada as lead counsel. This decision changed the law to allow people to purue a claim for injuries in circumstances where they were previosly denied. Under his guidance, our lawyers all strive to be leader in the handling of personnal injury claims in British Columbia.
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Our policy is simple and straightforward: you rinitial consultation is free, and you will pay no fees intil we have successfully concluded your claim. We believe that no personal injury claim myst ever be rushed. Thorough investigation, creative analysis, and practical solutions are what every client can expect from our Personal Injury Law Group lawyers. We give our clients the time and energy that their personal injury claims deserve.