In a recent report from the Associated Press, the attorney in charge of compensating the victims of the recent rash of crashes due to the GM recalls announced that there will be no limit to the amount of money GM will shell out to victims and their families. Currently, thirteen deaths have been linked to various accidents due to recalls in GM automobiles over the course of the last year. This figure, however, may be artificially low, as it relies on GM’s own admissions. It is expected that hundreds of other lawsuits will be filed once the specifics of the fund are established.
The recalls affected a number of General Motor vehicles, but were primarily centered around the Saturn Ion and the Chevrolet Cobalt. Each of these vehicles had ignition switch problems that had the potential to leave drivers with no way to control the vehicle.
The attorney in charge of compensation—who is paid by GM, but is not technically an employee of the company—says that the most recent recalls will not be eligible for the limitless compensation fund, as the company sees the most recent recalls as a separate issue. Additionally, only those lawsuits alleging problems with a vehicle’s ignition switch will be eligible for the recovery fund.
Notwithstanding those limitations, estimates of GM’s total liability reach into the hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars. GM has implemented this strategy to limit the number of lawsuits and control damage to its already hurt reputation.
Liability for Recalled Cars
General Motors has recalled over 2 million cars in the last few months. Most of these recalls involve parts that, if they malfunction, can cause the driver to completely lose control of the vehicle. To make matters worse, the problem also interferes with the vehicles’ airbag systems, preventing them from deploying in some circumstances.
General Motors management knows that if they are held legally responsible for the deaths the costs of the lawsuits will be astronomical. They are therefore attempting to reach a compromise with accident victims and their families by establishing this fund.
While the exact nature of the fund is still a bit of a mystery, the way it seems to be working is that accident victims will make their claim to the attorney in charge of compensation. That attorney will determine how much the claim is worth, and will offer that amount to the accident victim or their family. In turn, they will forego the opportunity to take the case to trial, where they would have to prove their case in front of a judge or jury.
Have You been Injured in a GM Vehicle?
If you have been injured in a GM vehicle that you believe was due to one of the recalled parts, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. To find out more about the potential for recovery, contact the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. The dedicated personal injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen have years of specific experience in personal injury law and know what it takes to recover for their clients. Click here, or call 410-654-3600 today to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Family of Man with Down Syndrome Sues the State of Maryland After He’s Killed While Being Detained By Off-Duty Police, Maryland Accident Law Blog, June 19, 2014.
Drowning Death During Tough Mudder Competition Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit Maryland Accident Law Blog, June 5, 2014.