In August, General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra, mailed 1.9 million letters to owners of GM vehicles affected by the GM ignition recall.The letters informed car owners about the compensation fund that was set up for victims and families who suffered injuries in ignition-switch-related accidents.
At this time, 13 deaths have been verifiably linked to the defects in vehicle ignition switches and motor vehicle accidents. A GM victim compensation fund began accepting claims on August 1, 2014. Within the first week, the fund received more than 113 applications and that number is slated to continue to grow exponentially.
Filing a claim with the GM compensation fund and accepting an offered settlement means waiving your legal rights. For some car accident victims, working directly with the fund may lead to adequate compensation. On the other hand, seriously injured car accident victims and their families may seek to retain an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney to receive a settlement offer that reflects actual injuries.
The majority of claims thus far have been submitted on behalf of victims who have already retained an attorney. Because of the extensive paperwork involved in the claims process and the need to evaluate the fairness of a settlement offer, car accident victims are turning to lawyers.
Though there are 2.59 million GM vehicles with defective ignition switches, historical NHTSA statistics reveal that only 75% of all vehicles involved in a recall are ever fixed. The percentage of vehicles serviced as of August 18, 2014 was approximately 800,000. For older vehicles the fix rates are even lower.
Many owners of General Motors vehicles have been relying on their Vehicle Identification Numbers to identify if their cars have been subject to recall. However, the available online programs may not be entirely complete. It is still best to take a vehicle on any recall list into a GM authorized dealership to verify if it has been recalled and what needs to be fixed.
The Sacramento personal injury lawyers at the Arnold Law Firm encourage all GM owners to investigate their VIN numbers and identify if their vehicles have been recalled. If you or a loved one has actually been injured in a GM vehicle, please call 865-247-0080 to see if you qualify for the GM victim compensation fund.
Consult the GM Ignition Recall Safety Information website for more information.