A truck accident can have a profound impact on victims and the lives of victims. A truck accident in another state, involving a popular chain retailer, recently killed one person and critically injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan, as well as others. According to a recent criminal complaint filed against the truck driver, he had allegedly been awake for 24 hours when the semi-truck crash took place. The chain retailer that employed the driver, Walmart, released a statement that it was Wal-Mart’s belief that the truck driver was working within federal service regulations at the time of the accident. The CEO of Walmart commented that if its truck was the cause, Walmart would take responsibility. The 35-year old truck driver has been charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto related to the accident.
The accident occurred when the semi truck struck the limo bus Morgan and others were travelling in. According to authorities, the semi truck failed to notice slow-moving traffic in front of it and swerved at the last minute to avoid it, striking the limo bus from behind and forcing it to spin and roll over. Other vehicles were involved in the multi-vehicle crash but no one was injured in those vehicles. Although police do not believe alcohol played a role, the police investigation into the accident continues. A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board said it will investigate commercial trucking and limousine-related safety issues.
Because tractor-trailer crashes can be catastrophic, extensive injuries that, unfortunately, can include death or permanent disability can occur. As a result, victims may suffer extensive damages, including lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering damages and lost-earning capacity. When a truck driver has negligently injured victims, such as a truck driver experiencing truck driver fatigue or a distracted truck driver, the driver may be held liable for damages. In addition, depending on the employment relationship between the truck driver and the truck owner, the truck owner may also owe victims compensation for the harm.
The lives of truck accident victims, and their families, can be altered in a moment. Because of the physical, financial and emotional damages victims may face, legal protections exist to help them.
Source: CNN, “Police: Driver charged in Tracy Morgan crash was awake 24 hours,” Kevin Conlon et al., June 9, 2014