A man who pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and spent six months in jail after a 2006 accident in New York in which his best friend was killed has now received a settlement from General Motors. In February 2014, General Motors issued a recall for 2.6 million cars due to a faulty ignition switch, and it is believed that the man's vehicle was among those affected. He will also ask General Motors for help in getting his guilty plea vacated.
The man is one of several people who have received compensation from the company and who are having their convictions reexamined. General Motors reportedly knew about the defect for around 10 years, and one of the cases goes back to 2004. That woman pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in her fiance's death. Her plea has since been vacated. Another woman's guilty plea for involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving has been erased, but prosecutors are appealing it while she is asking to be found innocent.
One man has rejected a compensation offer. His accident happened in 2011, but he was taken into custody and charged in May 2014, three months after the recall notice from General Motors. His attorney hired a private detective who linked the recall with the accident. General Motors offered the man only enough to cover his legal costs. He then filed a lawsuit against the company.
As these cases demonstrate, it is important to correctly identify who is responsible in motor vehicle accidents. People are often seriously injured, and they may seek compensation for medical expenses. While in some cases a negligent driver might be responsible, in other cases, there could be a fault with the vehicle. In these cases, a manufacturer might be held responsible. Those who have been injured in a car accident may wish to consult an attorney for further guidance.