A number of catastrophic car accident victims and their families went to Capitol Hill in Washington DC on Wednesday to call on the Obama Administration and Congress to ensure their ability to obtain medical reimbursements from the now bankrupt General Motors and Chrysler. Both auto manufacturers have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcies, which places car accident victims waiting for medical reimbursements from products liability settlements and verdicts into the category of “unsecured creditor” waiting along with everyone else for their payouts.
On Monday, a bankruptcy judge overruled the Ad Hoc Committee on Consumer-Victims of Chrysler LLC when he approved the sale of the company to Fiat. The group had asked for a retroactive insurance policy or a fund that would cover the costs of medical treatment and lawsuits. Last year alone, Chrysler paid more than $250,000 in medical settlements. Now, anyone that gets involved in a catastrophic or fatal car crash while riding in one of the approximately 10 million Chrysler cars will not be able to pursue products liability compensation if a motor vehicle was responsible for causing the defect. The vehicle occupants of about 30 million General Motor vehicles are facing the same dilemma.
About 500 to 1,000 serious injuries or fatalities involving defective car parts occur every year. The bankruptcies filed by the two car manufacturing giants prevents injured parties from holding them financially accountable for making cars that are defective enough to cause catastrophic injuries or death.
Examples of common kinds of car defects that can lead to catastrophic injuries:
• Defective tires
• Faulty engine
• Defective windows
• Faulty seat belt or safety restraint system
• Structural defects
• Seat back defect
• Design defects
Car accident victims fight for payouts, Washington Times, June 4, 2009
Families and Severely-Injured Victims of Defective GM and Chrysler Cars Travel to Washington to Seek Urgent Help, RedOrbit, June 3, 2009
Related Web Resources:
GM and Chrysler’s bankruptcy cases at a glance, AP, June 4, 2009
Contact our Maryland personal injury law firm about your auto products liability case.