GM to Settle with Victims of Ignition Switch Defect

July 7, 2014

According to ABC News, General Motors (GM) has hired a top compensation expert, Kenneth Feinberg, to pay people harmed in crashes caused by faulty ignition switches.

While GM claims that there are 54 crashes and 13 deaths linked to the defective switches, lawyers and lawmakers contend that there could be hundreds of claims.

Here are some important questions and answers regarding the compensation plan:

    • Who can file a claim with GM? People who can file a claim include: drivers, passengers, pedestrians and people in other cars who were involved in a wreck with a GM vehicle with the problem. Feinberg says that he will not accept claims for property damage or psychological damage.
    • When can I file? Starting August 1, people can begin applying for compensation. The deadline is December 31.
    • Are there any limits on compensation? There are no limits for people who sustained extreme trauma or died in a wreck with a GM vehicle. People with less serious injuries will be limited to certain amounts of compensation.
    • What do I have to do to be compensated for my injuries? All claims must show evidence that a crash you were involved in was caused by the faulty ignition switch.
    • If I settle with GM, can I sue them later? No. If you settle with GM, you give up your right to sue the company for other damages related to the defect.

Should You Get an Attorney When Settling Damages with GM?   

Although Feinberg claims that GM has given him sole discretion in deciding how much to pay victims, the fact remains, he is hired by GM. He could be looking out for the best interests of GM and not the victims.

If you do decide to settle with GM, it is still important to obtain an experienced attorney to help you submit your claim. Additionally, a lawyer will look out for your best interest if the settlement is not adequate to cover the injuries you suffered.


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