Last spring, General Motors put up a compensation program for paying victims of accidents resulting from a defective ignition switch in their vehicles. The chief executive of the company declared that this was their way of performing their “civic duty”; however, this program may also have the objective of keeping the victims and their families from filing lawsuits, which would be time-consuming, expensive, and image-harmful for GM. The New York Times reported that the program is succeeding. In fact, the assigned independent administrator of the program reported that as of February 2015, he had made 93 offers, none of which were rejected.
Accepting Compensation Offers vs Filing a Lawsuit
Compensation programs like the one described above might be a win-win situation for both the victim and the company that sold the defective product. One must note though that, mostly, accepting the offer is more in favor of the company. You’d probably get a compensation closer to what you deserve if you win a lawsuit. Moreover, not all companies establish such programs. It is reserved for situations that have escalated to the level, usually involving accidents and injury, like the General Motors case shown above.
When you or a loved one suffer from an injury because of a defective product, you’d need the services of a good Long Island personal injury attorney. So, what are the things to look for when hiring a lawyer?
Experience. This one is a given. Would you want your case to be handled by someone who is not well-versed in the subject of personal injury law? Of course not. There are a lot at stake so make sure you get a lawyer who handled cases like yours in the past and won. This will give you the best chances.
Local. If your case would be heard in Long Island, then get a personal injury lawyer in Long Island, such as those from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein. Laws may vary from state to state. A local lawyer is more familiar with the laws in your area. Also, it’s less costly to hire a local lawyer than one from a far-off place.
Committed. The lawyer must be committed to winning the case. Even if he had similar cases in the past, a committed lawyer will still study up to the smallest details of your case so that he can attain the most favorable outcome for you. Therefore, get to know your chosen lawyer’s personality and determination by reading former clients’ feedback or scheduling an initial appointment before finally hiring him.
(Source: G.M. Victim Compensation Program Seems on Track, The New York Times, February 2, 2015)