Here is a story that smells like an auto defect case. Friday morning, August 17th, a Plainview, Texas woman was killed in a single-car rollover accident in a 1992 GMC Jimmy according to an article on LubbuckOnline.com. The article quoted Cpl. John Gonzalez of the Department of Public Safety who said Elizabeth Ponce, 47 years old, was wearing a seatbelt when her GMC Jimmy skidded into a ditch and rolled twice, landing on its roof. He further stated that alcohol and weather were not believed to be factors in the accident.
GMC Jimmys are notoriously unstable. They roll over much too easily in situations where they should stay upright. They are unsafe. Our law firm has been successful in a slew of lawsuits against GMC regarding the rollover propensities of their SUVs. I have no idea how many other lawsuits there have been but I’d guess the number is in the hundreds.
OK, so the Jimmy rolled over. Why did Elizabeth Ponce die? She was not ejected. She was seat belted in.
Based upon the other GMC SUV rollover cases we have done, I’d say that the roof either crushed in on Ponce or it moved over far enough that her head came out of the vehicle during the roll. The roof supports on the GMC SUVs are so weak that they do not maintain the survival space for vehicle occupants in rollover accidents. It is also possible that the seatbelt spooled out and didn’t restrain Ponce, allowing her to be banged around inside the Jimmy.
Whatever the cause, Ponce’s family needs to get a very experienced auto defect law firm investigating this accident immediately. Physical evidence is key in a case like this. Early collection and preservation of evidence is crucial.
There are about two dozen law firms across the country that have the experience and resources to properly handle a case like this. All of us will provide the family with a free consultation and advance the investigation costs. All of us will represent the family on a contingent fee basis, meaning we only get paid if we win. If GMC is at fault, don’t let them get away with another tragic loss occasioned by their negligent design.
The best auto defect law firms are going to move quickly to:
1. Preserve the crashed vehicle;
2. Inspect the accident site;
3. Interview witnesses (other drivers, law enforcement, EMS and etc.);
4. Have the physical evidence analyzed by their team of accident reconstruction experts to determine the accident sequence and what caused it.
5. Have the victim’s medical records analyzed by their biomechanical team of experts to determine the injuries and how they were inflicted.
My prayers go out to the Ponce family and her friends. The news report indicated she may have been traveling to help her co-employees who were understaffed at the time.