Although five months has elapsed from a tragic New Jersey Turnpike car crash, Tracy Morgan’s attorney said that the actor-comedian is still recovering from a traumatic brain injury suffered in the car accident. The former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” actor also sustained a broken, leg and ribs in the crash.
On June 7, a Wal-Mart truck crashed into the rear of a limousine van carrying Morgan and several friends to a show in Delaware. One occupant was killed, two passengers suffered serious injuries and a third received a mild injury.
Morgan has spent several weeks hospitalized and in rehabilitation. His lawyer said that he is still trying to get better but it is unknown whether he can make a full recovery because of the nature of a TBI. Morgan is trying to return to performing.
New Jersey prosecutors charged the Walmart truck driver with death by automobile and four counts of assault. The National Transportation Safety Board conducted a preliminary investigation and released a report in June finding that the truck driver was driving 65 miles-per-hour in the minute before he crashed into the limousine. However, the speed limit on the roadway was lowered to 45 miles-per-hour because of construction in that area that night.
Morgan sued Walmart for punitive and compensatory damages. A scheduling conference for the civil suit was held in New Jersey on Nov. 18. The truck driver, who was not named in the suit, nonetheless sought a delay in the lawsuit while his criminal case proceeds.
Wal-Mart claims that the victims were partially responsible for their injuries because they did not wear seatbelts. Morgan strongly denies Walmart’s claim.
This case demonstrates that car accident victims can suffer serious injuries, such as brain injuries, that can have long-term consequences on their health and ability to earn a living and defendants will vigorously defend against lawsuits. Victims of a negligent or reckless driver should make sure that they understand all their legal rights.
Source: CBS, “Tracy Morgan still recovering from brain injury, lawyer says,” Nov. 19, 2014