In February 2014, General Motors (GM) began a program allowing the families of individuals who were killed or injured in automobile crashes (involving fatal ignition switch defects) to submit a claim for compensation. Recently, GM announced that these family members will have an additional month to submit claims for payment.
The compensation program relates specifically to about 2.6 million recalled cars. These cars contained a defective ignition switch that suddenly cut off engine power and deactivated airbags. Disturbingly, GM officials were aware of the issues for more than a decade, yet failed to notify regulators and the public until this year.
According to the fund administrator, the decision to extend the deadline to January 31, 2015, was made to give more time to families who might not be aware of the program.
According to reports, GM is sending out about an estimated 850,000 letters to new owners and registrants of used vehicles as well as individuals who did not receive notices due to incorrect addresses. Overall, GM reports that it has sent notices to more than 4.5 million current and former owners of affected cars.
To date, the fund has received 2,105 claims, including 217 for deaths. Thirty-nine injury claims have been approved. Furthermore, the program has made 40 official compensation offers. Of those 40 offers, 28 have been accepted. Acceptance of GM's compensation offer, however, means that victims or their representatives effectively waive their right to sue GM.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defect in a product, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. For more information about the compensability of your claim, contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney. The skilled New York personal injury lawyers at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP will provide you with the quality representation that you deserve. For a free initial consultation, please call Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP at (212) 571-7171 or contact us online.