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Motorists wrongly convicted due to auto defects

Colorado motorists may have heard that several drivers around the country have been jailed for car accidents later determined to be a result of faulty GM parts. In one case, a Pennsylvania woman was released in late August 2015 after spending three months in custody after an accident claimed the life of her 16-year-old passenger. A judge vacated her guilty plea due to new evidence in the case.

The 25-year-old woman is not alone in her situation. Other plaintiffs are filing at least five additional wrongful conviction lawsuits. Family, friends and those in the legal system might all question seemingly far-fetched claims that a car sped up by itself or simply shut off. With the recent revelations, these claims now seem more credible. However, it can take years before a driver learns that an auto defect played a significant role in a car accident.

The woman's saga continues. Although her guilty plea was vacated, the court has not decided who is at fault in the case. Her lawyer wants to ask for a ruling of 'actual innocence," which should erase the entire incident from her criminal record. GM stated it does not know if the defect caused the accident in her case. Her attorney, who is representing another woman in a similar case, further emphasized that he thinks more wrongly convicted drivers will speak up but does not think that justice will ever be served for all of them.

An unexplained car accident can result in a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. However, the accident might later be found to be due to manufacturer defects instead of the driver's responsibility. An attorney might be able to investigate a questionable auto accident and gather additional information on any pending cases involving auto defects.

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