Posted on Friday, February 6th, 2015
Last spring, General Motors (GM) launched a payment program to reimburse families and individuals who suffered accidents and injuries due to defective ignition switches, a defect that prompted GM to recall over 2 million vehicles over the course of the year.
The original goal of this program, led by Kenneth Feinburg, was to quickly deliver compensation to victims while minimizing possible damage to the company’s image. Despite the initial concern of some personal injury lawyers that the amount of payment offered would not be sufficient, many claimants have accepted the proposed settlements. Of the 93 payment packages offered thus far, 49 have been accepted while 44 claimants are still considering the offer. This statistic is expected to change.
Claimants have a 90-day window to choose whether or not to accept GM’s settlement offer, which some, including Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, have criticized as too narrow a window to make a possibly life-changing decision. Some of the claimants have experienced a death in the family or severe injuries that will permanently affect their livelihoods, and for these people, the settlement amount offered may be nowhere near enough to cover the depth of their losses.
There are over 4,000 claims against GM still pending review. Work on these is expected to continue through the upcoming months.