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Litigation Funding Blog

Faulty Vehicle Ignition Switch Causes Young Mother’s Death

May 20, 2014

General Motors is being sued over faulty ignition switches in several vehicles.

According to the information released when this wrongful death lawsuit was filed, General Motors knew about an issue involving faulty ignition switches in some of its vehicles. Such a switch allegedly caused the death of 32-year-old Aubrey Williams in December 2013. Williams was driving on Alabama Highway 64 when the ignition switch failed. Her Cobalt lost power and veered into the westbound lane, where it collided with an 18-wheeler. Her airbag did not deploy.

Williams’ father filed the wrongful death lawsuit, naming several defendants, including General Motors, the ignition switch manufacturer, the auto dealership where she bought the car and the repair shop where she had her vehicle serviced. 

In light of multiple accidents caused by this defective switch, GM recalled 1.6 million vehicles, indicating that the defective switch could cause sudden loss of steering, braking and engine power. Despite the recall, the U.S. Department of Justice is launching a criminal investigation, and hundreds of Americans are filing lawsuits.

After the accident investigation was concluded, the police allegedly became aware of the recall and the faulty ignition switch. Their accident report was changed to name mechanical failure as the cause of the crash. 

According to the family attorney, GM knew about this issue for more than ten years before taking action. More than 300 deaths may be attributed to this particular switch. Currently, GM has admitted that the switch issue caused 12 of these deaths. In filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the family may be able to send the giant automaker a message. It is unacceptable, egregious and negligent to leave known errors unresolved before marketing their vehicles to an unsuspecting and trusting public. 

This lawsuit is likely to take a long time moving through the courts, and the family may face too many financial issues to cope with their bills. Litigation funding, also referred to as lawsuit loans or pre-settlement funding, would be a strong solution to their economic dilemma.

Plaintiffs with a winnable case may call a lawsuit loan company once they have hired an attorney. They will be asked to outline the case details and wait for approval. Once an applicant is approved, interim litigation funding is sent directly to the applicant’s bank account within 48 hours. Once there, the funds may be used to pay bills, including funeral and burial costs. In this case, Williams left behind two small children. Any monies obtained through a lawsuit loan could also help the family care for them.
Litigation funding is often crucial for cash-poor plaintiffs. Though such funding may not suit everyone, it can help many hang on until a settlement or trial is reached.

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