Deadline for GM Accident Claims Extended to Jan. 31, 2015

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The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. says it is happy that the deadline has been extended for victims of crashes caused by faulty GM ignition switches.

We are pleased with Feinberg’s decision to extend the deadline. It may only be by a month, but hopefully it will give more families the opportunity to file for the compensation they deserve.

According to a Nov. 16 article by The New York Times, individuals and families affected by defective GM ignition switches have an extra month to file their claims under GM’s victim compensation program; the new deadline to file is Jan. 31, 2015. According to the article, Kenneth R. Feinberg, the administrator for the compensation fund, extended the deadline to make sure all affected individuals and families have a chance to file.

The decision to push the deadline back has spurred a debate as some critics feel that the automaker should be doing more to make sure everyone affected by the ignition switch recall has the chance to file a claim. In fact, the decision to extend the deadline came one week after The New York Times reported that the family of a woman who was killed in a crash caused by a defective ignition switch said they didn’t even know they were eligible for compensation until they caught wind of the program via a Times article.*

According to The New York Times, the family said it was never contacted by GM and didn’t know it was eligible for a minimum recovery of $1 million.* While some critics argue that the automaker should be doing more to make sure all individuals and families know about the compensation fund, San Diego personal injury lawyers of The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. say they are glad to see that GM extended the deadline.

“We are pleased with Feinberg’s decision to extend the deadline,” said Melinda Helbock, Founder of The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. “It may only be by a month, but hopefully it will give more families the opportunity to file for the compensation they deserve.”

GM said it is sending out hundreds of thousands of additional notices to new owners and registrants of used GM vehicles as well as to those who may not have received initial notices due to address changes.*

According to an article published by Reuters on Nov. 17, Fienberg made a statement, saying that the decision to extend the deadline by a month came “out of an abundance of caution” and that most people should know about the compensation program by now.

“Our goal with the program has been to reach every eligible person impacted,” GM said in a statement.**

So far, according to The New York Times, 39 injury claims have been approved through the fund. Of those, five involve catastrophic injuries like quadriplegia. Families who accept compensation offers through the program waive their right to sue GM for additional damages.*

The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. has been following the recent developments in the ignition recall. In light of the recent developments, attorneys at the firm are announcing that they are available to investigate potential lawsuits on behalf of families of individuals that were injured or killed in crashes caused by defective GM ignition switches and who decide not to accept compensation offers from GM.

About The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C.
The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. is a San Diego-based personal injury law firm that represents individuals and families in lawsuits involving serious injury and death caused by defective and unsafe products. For more information about the firm, visit our website.

Sources:

** http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/17/us-general-motors-recall-extension-idUSKCN0J10B120141117

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