A car accident can happen to anyone. In fact, comedian Tracy Morgan was recently involved in a devastating car accident and is slowly recovering from a severe brain injury.
On June 7, 2014, Morgan, 46, comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, comedian Ardie Fuqua and Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea were riding in a limo bus on the New Jersey Turnpike when they were struck by a Wal-Mart truck.
According to NJ.com, in July, Morgan’s attorney, Benedict Morelli, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Newark against Wal-Mart claiming the company was negligent when one of its tractor-trailer drivers’ slammed into his limousine. Morgan was critically injured suffering a broken leg, nose, and several ribs as well as a traumatic brain injury. Morgan’s friend and mentor, McNair were killed. All passengers were injured in the accident. Will Morgan fully recover? Morelli said:
“When you have a traumatic brain injury, it takes a very long time to find out how you’re going to do and how much you’re going to recover. So that’s where he is. He’s still fighting and trying to live his life at the same time and trying to get better, and he’s just not better. We’re hoping and praying to get him back to where he was.”
Prosecutors from the Middlesex County Court charged the former Wal-Mart driver, Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia, with vehicular homicide and four counts of assault by auto. He pleads “not guilty”.
Roper had commuted 700 miles and had been awake for over 24 hours when the accident occurred. The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the accident and in a report stated that Roper was driving 65 mph before he slammed into the limo. The speed limit where the incident occurred is 55 mph and was lowered to 45 that evening because of construction. The lawsuit accuses Wal-Mart of negligence in connection with the accident claiming that they should have known that Roper was exhausted.
In September, Wal-Mart’s attorneys’ filed a response claiming that the passengers were partially at fault and sustained more severe injuries because they were not wearing seatbelts.
“By failing to exercise ordinary care in making use of available seatbelts, upon information and belief, plaintiffs acted unreasonably and in disregard of plaintiffs’ own best interests,” Walmart’s lawyers write. “Accordingly, all or a portion of the injuries could have been diminished or minimized by the exercise of reasonable conduct using the available seatbelts.”
In another recent article posted by NJ.com, Morgan states:
‘I can’t believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident they caused’.
In November, Roper’s criminal defense attorney, David Glassman of North Marlton, filed to delay Morgan’s civil lawsuit against Wal-Mart stating that the upcoming suit would violate his client’s rights under the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. Roper is not a party in the civil lawsuit against Wal-Mart but explains that any depositions of witnesses and other forms of discovery will provide information that would not normally be discoverable in the criminal matter and could give way to Roper’s strategy in his criminal case.
The request for a delay of the civil suit will be decided by U.S. District Judge, Michael Shipp, on December 15, 2014.
A car accident can be devastating especially if the accident was caused by another driver and you have suffered serious injuries or death. This is why it is so important to find out what your rights are and what type of compensation you deserve.
A car accident attorney will explain your rights, gather evidence surrounding your auto accident, access the total cost of your accident including medical treatment, lost wages, and the cost to repair or replace your car as well as pain and suffering.
Car accidents should be taken seriously. It is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney that knows the laws in your state, understands how to value your claim and is highly skilled in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.
When you hire a car accident attorney, insurance companies will take you and your auto claim more seriously.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident in Washington or Oregon, contact Russell & Hill, PLLC, attorneys, by filling out and emailing our Case Evaluation Form or call our toll-free number at 888-656-8259 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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