Although driver negligence contributes to many motor vehicle accidents, the cause can sometimes be in a faulty product. The recall involving around 2.6 million General Motors’ vehicles with faulty ignition switches is a recent example.
A fund has been established to provide compensation to victims affected by the product defect. According to the fund’s data, the faulty ignition switches killed at least 124 individuals. Another 269 suffered injuries.
Unfortunately, the real tragedy in this example is that GM acknowledged that it was aware of the ignition switch defect for over ten years. The financial burden it now bears — victim’s families are each offered at least $1 million from the fund — may serve as deterrence for future wrongdoing.
Product defects may be outside of a driver’s control, but many other factors can be directed toward a conscious effort for safety’s sake. Indeed, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that driver negligence takes many forms. In nearly 60 percent of the crashes surveyed, the NHTSA found that unsafe driving actions had played a part.
Our firm focuses on personal injury law, including product liability claims and personal liability lawsuits. We understand that there can be many causes behind a crash. From driver inattention to speeding or substance impairment, drivers may have created an unsafe environment.
Each causal factor may present unique litigation challenges. For example, a product liability claim may mean going up against a big manufacturing company. In the case of GM, their substantial legal resources may have contributed to looking the other way for over a decade regarding the ignition switch issue. However, we are not afraid to investigate for all forms of negligence, nor will we rest until we have exhausted all available sources of compensation for victims.
Source: New Jersey Herald, “GM ignition switch deaths and injuries total 393,” July 20, 2015