The compensation fund for GM’s defective ignition switch has announced it will be open a large group of people and should finish it’s work by the second quarter of next year the attorney in charge has said.
It is recommended that individuals wishing to claim settle through the fund instead of perusing GM through court as this will consume time and could result in less being paid out to the claimant.
Details of the fund according to Feinberg are below:
• Only accidents involving the models covered in the recall are eligible.
• If airbags deployed in an accident, that would indicate the car had power and the claim would be ineligible. He added, however, that accidents where the driver may have managed to get the power back on at the last moment would be considered.
• Supporting evidence for claims being made could include accident or insurance reports, medical records, photographs, maintenance reports prior to the accident showing stalling had been an issue, data from the vehicle’s black box and related legal documents.
• Payouts will be based on national averages, although people filing claims can request additional compensation for such factors as losing an only child, the person killed had a four-year scholarship to a top university, or extreme emotional distress.
• People eligible for compensation include drivers, passengers, occupants of other vehicles and pedestrians.
• Medical expenses incurred by victims will be taken into account when compensation is awarded.
• Feinberg alone will decide on compensation and there is no appeal.
• Feinberg said he would meet with any families of victims or those who suffered catastrophic injuries related to the defective switch. He said those victims would be the priorities for the fund.
• Feinberg said the program is notifying all those who own cars subject to the recall as well as anyone who previously owned the cars and those who have contacted GM about the issue.
• The fund does not cover economic-loss or property damage claims.
• Feinberg said anyone taking fund compensation will not be required to sign an agreement that bars them from discussing their case or opinions regarding the recall.
• Any compensation awarded by Feinberg will be offset by any previous payments made by GM.
• Examples of possible payouts include $5.1m for the death of a 25-year-old woman earning $75,000 a year, who was married with two children, or $6.6m for a 40-year-old married person with no children, earning $70,000 a year, who survived as a paraplegic. Even people with hospital stays as short as two nights would receive $70,000.