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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Families of Wisconsin crash victims settle with General Motors

There are some common procedures to be followed when victims or families want to seek compensation for their losses after an auto accident. Police reports, insurance company information and most importantly, medical care are undertaken. But aside from these steps, each car accident and its victims is unique. This is where a skillful evaluation of the circumstances comes in.

There are times when the evidence leads to successful negotiations with insurance companies. Other times, a trial is necessary to let a legal review determine the outcome and dollar amounts. When the accident is related to faulty equipment or design flaws perpetrated by a huge corporation, things may get more complex. It can even become a gamble as to what is the best option. An experienced advocate is important any time, but even more so when big business is involved.

News reports have been ongoing for some time, making the public aware of the General Motors faulty ignition switch claims and the alleged officials' roles in the situation. A recent report is that two families have settled their claims against GM arising from a Wisconsin accident in 2006 wherein two teenage girls were killed. It was claimed a faulty ignition switch in a Chevy Cobalt was to blame. The car careened off the road after the switch allegedly fell into the off position. Air bags didn't deploy on impact. This accident is reported to be one of the original 13 fatal crashes acknowledged by GM as related to the faulty switch.

The gamble in this case comes in because the restructuring and bankruptcy of General Motors may, in fact, create immunity to lawsuits for the corporation. It's an example of the need for careful review of options when victims and survivors seek compensation. Accepting a settlement from a defendant can be a better choice than proceeding to trial in some circumstances. These families have chosen to do so rather than risk the legal ins and outs that may affect future cases. No one can put a dollar amount on loss of life reports a family member, but using public knowledge and financial loss to hurt the company achieves some portion of their goal.

Sometimes, there are choices to be made when accountability options are available. A personalized approach will help determine the most effective strategy to employ.

Source: Milwaukee – Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, "Families settle lawsuit with GM over ignition switch in Wisconsin crash" Gitte Laasby, Sep. 25, 2014

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