General Motors has established a products liability fund to compensate individuals who were injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents involving certain recalled General Motors vehicles including Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Saturn and Cadillac. Many lawsuits have already been filed against GM concerning similar injuries.
The settlement amount will be determined by several factors, including age of the victim, the extent of the injuries, the amount of medical expenses, earning potential and future medical care. It is expected that some of recall settlements will be in the millions. Recalled vehicles included in the fund include Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other small GM vehicles. People who were driving or riding in GM cars with defective switches are eligible for the fund, as well as people who were in other vehicles involved in accidents with the recalled vehicles. In addition, any pedestrians injured in those accidents would also be eligible for compensation.
While GM has linked the defective ignition switches to 13 deaths and 54 accidents, 63 death claims have already been filed with the attorney overseeing the fund.
The year 2014 has set a record for the number of recalls and recalled vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 37.5 million vehicles have been recalled. General Motor vehicles comprise approximately two thirds of the recalled vehicles. In 2014 alone, General Motors has recalled more than 25 million vehicles for safety issues including airbag failures and ignition switch defects.
Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for AutoTrader.com, is not surprised by the great number of recalls. Automakers have observed GM being investigated and called before Congress as questions were raised over why GM took more than a decade to recall more than 2 million cars with defective ignition switches.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective General Motors motor vehicle – or any other defective vehicle – contact the Ohio Products Liability Lawyers at Clark, Perdue & List.