Mass Tort Lawsuit – Here are the Most Frequently Asked Questions

by | Published on Jul 17, 2019 | Medical Record Review

Mass tort litigation has become a powerful form of litigation in both state and federal courts. This litigation will be handled by an attorney or a group of attorneys to represent several parties in otherwise individual cases. In most cases, mass tort claims are filed when consumers are injured on a large scale by defective drugs or products. Medical claims review is a reliable solution for mass tort attorneys to deal with their complex record analysis process.

Here are the answers for the most common questions you may have on mass tort lawsuits.

What is mass tort litigation?

A mass tort case refers to legal action taken against a defendant or company that has caused harm to a large group of people. The four main categories of mass tort litigation are medical device injuries, prescription drug injuries, product liability injuries, and toxic contamination. Pharmaceutical mass torts are currently the most common type of mass tort claims in the United States.

Pharmaceutical lawsuits can be large and complex, sometimes involving thousands of people. Once it is determined that there may be more plaintiffs to add to the class, the attorneys will seek out others who were injured by the same defendant.

When filing mass tort claims, especially pharmaceutical litigation, make sure to consult an experienced attorney.

What type of damages are compensable in a mass tort case?

Certain types of damages that are compensable in a mass tort case under state and federal law include

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Injury-related transportation costs
  • Physical therapy and long-term care
  • Lost work time related to your injury
  • Disability and disfigurement
  • The impact the injury has had on your professional life and relationships
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional damages

Is mass tort the same as class action law suit?

Often, mass torts are confused with class action lawsuits, but they are different. The main difference between them is how the large group of plaintiffs is treated.In class action suits, a large number of plaintiffs are all given the same judgement, while in mass torts each individual case is valued. Each injured party has a separate suit and trial in mass tort litigation and it often involve a group of distinct individuals sometimes from the same geographic area. In mass tort action, it also happens that the investigation and preparation that applies for one case can often be transferred to another, greatly increasing the speed of the proceedings.

How long does a mass tort claim last?

Mass tort lawsuits are more complex than the standard personal injury action, as it involves multiple plaintiffs against one or more defendant companies. There is no such fixed timeline, rule or guideline that determines how long a mass tort claim will last. While certain claims processes may resolve quickly, others may reach settlement negotiations only within a couple of years or can drag out even longer. Certain cases may require years of investigation, interview of expert witnesses, negotiation and litigation.

Key factors that may impact the timeline for a mass tort claim include

  • Delay in locating and deposing expert witnesses
  • Time needed for travel to conduct case investigations
  • Collection of evidence such as medical records and company documentation which take months to locate, collect, organize and analyze

In certain cases, some injury victims may consider a settlement offer from the defendant, before the case goes to trial.

What are the skills attorneys require to handle mass tort cases?

Most mass tort cases require understanding and mastery of varied and complex subject matter and theories of liability and damages, more time to review and process thousands of case documents, and the ability to work with many witnesses and experts.

If you are eligible to join a mass tort action lawsuit against a large corporation, the first step is to choose a skilled attorney to handle your case. Make sure to check for compatibility level, knowledge in mass tort law, qualification, reputation, experience in handling the same and their current location.

What is the role of medical record retrieval in mass tort litigation?

Any mass tort litigation would require collection, organizing and tracking of responses for large numbers of medical records, charts, doctors’ notes, and more. Law firms that defend or prosecute these cases should organize a vast array of case files and medical records, which is quite time consuming for all their staff. In mass tort litigation, attorneys have to handle several major issues simultaneously.

To ease their medical record handling tasks, professional medical record retrieval companies provide diverse services specific to mass tort law firms such as organizing, summarizing and reviewing medical charts. Files that are chronologically sorted into easy-to-read electronic files help both attorneys and expert legal consultants avoid spending their valuable time reviewing records and other evidences.

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for general information only and is sourced from reliable internet resources. For more details about mass tort lawsuit or for professional guidance, consult a licensed attorney.

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