According to CNN, comedian Tracy Morgan was severely injured in an accident involving a Wal-Mart truck early Saturday morning, June 7, 2014 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Another passenger in Morgan’s limo, comedian Jimmy Mack, was killed in the accident. The truck driver has been charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto.
The accident is being investigated at this time to find out the cause of the accident. It is alleged that the truck driver had been awake for 24 hours prior to the accident. According to New Jersey State Police, the truck driver had swerved to try to miss the limo in slow moving traffic but still ended up hitting it hard enough in the back that the limo flipped over.
It is reported that Mr. Morgan is still in the hospital receiving treatment for several severe injuries.
If this accident had happened in Virginia and the truck driver was found to be the sole contributor to the accident, Mr. Morgan would have a case against both the driver of the truck and Wal-Mart.
Moreover, because there is a potential violation by the defendants of the Federal Hours of Service law, should truck driver fatigue prove to be a factor in the crash, there might be a viable claim for punitive damages against the truck driver and Wal-Mart. The hours of service laws restrict the amount of time that a commercial truck driver can be on duty without rest. If Mr. Morgan’s attorneys can show any prior violations of the hours of service law by the defendant driver, then a punitive damages claim could potentially go to the jury.
In addition, while Wal-Mart is automatically a potential defendant because the truck driver was working for them at the time of the accident, if it can actually be shown that Wal-Mart was complicit in the hours of service violation, or that it otherwise engaged in negligent retention of an employee who routinely violated such laws, this could result in an even larger potential verdict against Wal-Mart.
Finally, due to the fact that we are dealing with a commercial defendant, and because Wal-Mart is primarily self-insured, it is unlikely that there will be problems regarding limits of insurance coverage. In such a situation, whatever verdict is recovered and upheld in Court would have to be paid by Wal-Mart, no matter how high.
In cases such as this, it is often possible to pursue compensation for medical bills and any permanent lifestyle changes that occurred due to this accident. If Morgan was injured severely enough and was unable to return to his job or otherwise suffered impairments to his career as a high-earning entertainer, he may also be entitled to recover his lost wages and/or loss of earning capacity, which would certainly be in the millions of dollars. Additionally, it may be possible for the family of the deceased individual to pursue a wrongful death claim.
If you or a loved one has been severely injured in a truck accident or if a family member has been killed due to someone else’s negligence, contact Joe Miller Law, Ltd., today. Let Joe Miller put his 25 years of experience to work for you to bring you the Strong JusticeSM that you need. Call us today at (888) 694-1671 to find out what we can do for you in this difficult time.