Many Oklahoma drivers may have been affected by the February 2014 General Motors recall due to a defective ignition switch. The company recalled 2.6 million cars although it was aware of the fault for about a decade prior to the recall. In that time, several people who were driving the faulty vehicles were convicted of charges like negligent homicide if they were involved in fatal accidents. When they reported that the cars had suddenly sped up or shut off on their own, their accounts were dismissed.
One woman lost her fiance in a 2004 crash in which she pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. That plea has been overturned. She shares an attorney with another woman whose guilty plea for reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter was erased. The woman has already served three months in jail, and the prosecution is appealing the decision while she is asking to be declared innocent. She has applied for and received a settlement from a General Motors compensation fund for victims of the defective vehicles.
Another man spent six months in jail on charges of negligent homicide after his best friend died in a 2006 crash in which he was driving. He has since received a settlement from General Motors as well. In one case that happened after the recall, it took a private investigator hired by a man's lawyer to get charges dropped.
Car accidents may be the fault of reckless or distracted drivers, but they may also be due to defective parts. For individuals who are injured in these accidents, it is important to be able to identify the cause of the accident because the responsible party may also owe them compensation. Some drivers might be uninsured or underinsured, or an insurance company may simply offer too little to cover expenses. In these cases, an injured victime may wish to have the assistance of an attorney in pursuing damages.