Does joining a class action lawsuit cost me anything?

You won’t have to pay anything to join a class action.

Attorney fees in class action lawsuits are usually paid out of the class recovery—the total monetary award allocated to class members. Under this arrangement, the lawyers for the class pay all litigation expenses up front. Then, if the plaintiffs win the case, the lawyers are awarded attorney’s fees out of the settlement fund.

Attorney fees are at the discretion of the Court and average 25-35 percent of the total settlement. The rest of the settlement is paid to the class members. If the plaintiffs lose the case, the lawyers receive no fees.

In other class actions—particularly those that do not involve large cash recoveries—attorney fees may be paid by the defendant.

The lead plaintiff in a class action might incur some out-of-pocket expenses, although these are typically reimbursed. Class members, however, incur no costs. At most, they sacrifice a small portion of their award to finance the attorneys that helped them win the case.