California drivers may have heard about a recall issued by General Motors in February 2014 due to a faulty ignition switch. Reports say that the company knew about the fault for around 10 years prior to the recall, and some people were convicted in fatal motor vehicle accidents that they now say were not their fault. Several guilty pleas have been overturned as a result of the new evidence.
General Motors has set up a compensation fund for victims of accidents that result from the defect, but while several of the people who were convicted have applied for and received a settlement, one man has rejected it. He was charged with manslaughter despite the fact that General Motors had already released information about the recall. He and his family spent $17,000 on attorneys and a private investigator who traced the accident back to the faulty switch, and although charges were dropped, he has filed a lawsuit against the company.
Other drivers who pleaded guilty to charges such as vehicular homicide and served time in jail have had their charges reversed or are asking for them to be dismissed. The drivers had reported their cars slowing down or speeding up and were not believed following accidents in which their friends or loved ones died.
People who are in motor vehicle accidents may suffer from serious or even permanent injuries such as brain damage. They may want to seek compensation from the responsible parties to help cover medical expenses and other costs such as lost wages. While a negligent driver may have been the cause of the accident, it has been shown that defective parts can also play a role. If insurance companies do not offer adequate compensation, injured victims may want to discuss with a personal injury attorney the advisability of filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.