Actor’s Accident Brings Commercial Trucking Accidents Front and Center
Tracy Morgan, star of 30 Rock, is now bringing the serious issues of commercial trucking accidents to the public’s attention in a big way.
Morgan, also an alum of Saturday Night Live, was recently critically injured in an accident with a Walmart truck after the driver, reportedly operating on a limited amount of sleep, ran into the vehicle in which he was a passenger. The accident resulted not only in serious injuries for Morgan, but another passenger was killed in the accident, and four others were injured when the passenger limo bus was rear-ended by the tractor-trailer.
Now, as a result of what happened, Morgan has announced he will be filing a lawsuit against Walmart after it came to light the driver had been awake for more than 24 hours, consecutively.
According to the lawsuit, filed in the New Jersey U.S. District Court, Walmart was careless and negligent in both the ownership and operation of the tractor-trailer truck, which the suit alleges is the reason Morgan suffered personal injuries.
Not only does the recently-filed lawsuit speak to the driver’s lack of sleep, but it also says he had driven more than 700 miles in the truck, from his hometown, and it’s also reported the driver was going 20 miles over the speed limit when the accident occurred.
Along with Morgan, who suffered several broken ribs, and a broken leg, there are three other individuals who are seeking compensation for damages, including compensatory and statutory damages, punitive damages and legal fees.
The driver has already pled not guilty to criminal charges including death-by-auto and assault.
These types of accidents certainly aren’t new, and with more and more of semi-trucks on the roadway, it’s becoming an increasingly prevalent problem when they collide with passenger vehicles and motorcycles.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 1 out of every 18 accidents that occurs on U.S. Highways involves one of these massive commercial trucks.
They also report the majority of these accidents are the result of negligence on the part of the driver. In addition to the sheer volume of these types of accidents, they also tend to be more severe, because of the size and weight of commercial tractor-trailers. When these trucks are involved in an accident, they’re five times more likely to lead to serious injuries or death, when compared to smaller passenger vehicles.
Often, when victims of one of these personal injury cases initiates a lawsuit, there’s a very good chance of success, and the reason is because tractor-trailer drivers face an extensive range of federal and state regulations. Many of these regulations pertain to issues such as those at place in this case, including how long a driver can go without stopping.
What’s important to remember with a trucking accident is that it’s completely unique from a standard automobile accident, particularly when it involves a large commercial entity like Walmart. Along with the complexity of the laws, standards and regulations pertaining to the trucking industry, there are other issues at play when an individual is fighting against a large corporation.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a large truck, or you have a family member who’s either been injured or died as a result of one of these accidents, the best course of action is to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to understand the best steps you can take.