First safety-defect trial set for 2016; GM will try to settle

There are many reasons for car accidents in Florida. Drunk drivers, distracted drivers and sleepy drivers all create dangers on the road. But when it is a defect in the car itself, and it appears that it could have been corrected, losses of life in vehicle collisions are even more tragic.

It is always up to survivors and victims whether they wish to pursue claims against at-fault drivers or businesses. In the case of General Motors and its reportedly defective ignition switch, it's likely that anyone who suffered a loss because of it will choose to do so. There have been numerous reports about the switch and related litigation. According to information revealed over the past several months, the problem with the switch was it could slip out of position, cutting off power to airbags, brakes and steering. A recall of millions of vehicles was issued, and a great number of lawsuits and claims have been filed by survivors and victims.

A federal judge has set a trial date of Jan. 11, 2016, for the first case to be litigated. Reportedly, this time-frame is designed to allow opportunities for settlement negotiations to take place between GM and the plaintiffs of the 130 or so lawsuits involved in these proceedings. While these suits include personal injury, wrongful death and lost vehicle value claims, the first trial will be selected from those involving injuries or fatalities.

With skill and perseverance, negotiations are often acceptable in reaching acceptable settlement regardless of how complex a case might be. Many times, big business will have the resources to litigate matters almost indefinitely, so strong negotiation skills are needed. In this case, GM has admitted responsibility for the defective ignition switch and will likely be able to offer settlements that may be acceptable in the cases seeking compensation for injury or death.

Source: Automotive News, "GM’s first safety-defect trial set for January 2016" Nov. 06, 2014

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