Payments to Victims of GM’s Faulty Switches Are Outlined
The General Motors debacle has been the biggest defective car scandal of the year if not the last decade, threatening to eclipse the Toyota recalls of a few years ago in carmaker notoriety.
It’s a complex problem but in short more than 6.3 million GM cars have been recalled over a faulty ignition switch that can cause a sudden and deadly loss of power as well as disabling the air bag.
GM says it traces the defect to 13 deaths. Many people believe this underestimates the extent of the problem. Indeed GM itself has now set up a compensation fund to get compensation to the victims fast.
Kenneth Feinberg, a high profile Washington lawyer who has been called on to work out compensation in the wake of tragedies like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings last year, has been appointed to head the compensation initiative.
If you were injured in a crash in a GM car caused by a loss of power, or if a loved one was killed, you may have grounds for a compensation claim. The defective switch was primarily found in Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions. If the airbag failed to deploy, this would suggest the defect was to blame.
Feinberg recently gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal. These questions and answers are derived from that interview.
How much are payouts likely to be?
The payouts will range from about $20,000 to several millions. No cap has been set on individual payouts and we don’t know how much money GM is going to make available.
How do you set the price on a life?
Feinberg said lawyers look at how much the person would have earned and add pain and suffering and the emotional distress on the survivors.
What is the intention of the funds?
Feinberg said money is a poor substitute for pain and suffering. However, injury and loss can exacerbate the financial hardship faced by those who have been in an auto accident and their families.
Why do companies set up compensation funds?
They have to weigh the cost, the alternative of litigation and the public relations “black eye,” stated Feinberg.
Although the GM recall and the compensation fund has received plenty of publicity, this remains a complex matter. If you have been hurt in a car accident or if you have lost a loved one, and you believe it was linked to a defective switch on a GM car, contact our Virginia defective car lawyers at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation.