Tracy Morgan vs. Walmart Lawsuit Highlights Traumatic Brain Injuries and Seat-Belt Defense in Car and Truck Accidents
Tracy Morgan is a well-known and popular comedian with fans all around the world. Many of those fans have been keeping him in their thoughts as he continues his recovery from a serious truck accident involving a collision with a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. Mr. Morgan was a passenger in a multi-passenger limo-van vehicle that was struck by the Walmart vehicle while it was be driven in excess of the speed limit.
Mr. Morgan’s legal team contends that their investigation of the accident revealed that the driver of the truck had been awake for over 24 hours and was effectively asleep at the wheel at the time of the accident. A preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board declared that the driver of the truck was driving 65 mph in the minute prior to the collision when the truck slammed into the back of the van. The speed limit on that stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike is normally 55 mph but due to construction on the road was reduced to 45 mph on the night in question.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Tracy Morgan’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said the former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star suffered a traumatic brain injury in the June 7 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, in addition to other injuries, including a broken leg, nose and ribs.
“He’s fighting to get better, and if there’s a chance for him to be back to the Tracy Morgan he once was, he’s going to try to do that,” Morelli said. “But we just don’t know because of the severity of the injuries that he sustained and the fact that he had such a severe brain injury.”
Traumatic brain injuries, also known as TBIs, usually are the result of a sudden bump, blow, jolt or other forceful movement that causes the brain to move back and forth within the skull and disrupt the brain’s normal functions. There are a variety of injuries that may result from trauma to the head, including:
– Penetrating injuries
– Skull fractures
– Coup injury and contrecoup injury
– Contusions or bruises on the brain
– Hematomas or blood clots between the skull and brain or inside the brain itself
– Lacerations or tears in brain tissue or blood vessels
– Diffuse axonal injury or nerve damage
Damage to the brain due to such injuries can also result in additional health long-term health challenges such as:
– Intracranial pressure or infection
– Changes in blood pressure
– Abnormal blood coagulation
– Cardiac or lung changes
– Changes in hearing, vision, smell or taste
– Reduced strength or muscle coordination
– Cognitive impairment or thinking problems
– Communication problems
– Increased risk for disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease
Walmart Legal Team Invokes Seat Belt Defense
New Jersey, like Florida, is a state that recognizes the controversial seat belt defense.For car accident claims and cases in Florida, New Jersey and a few other states where it is recognized, the seat belt defense is introduced as a part of the obligation for analysis to determine liability. In other words, the seat belt defense is allowed to be introduced in consideration for the potential reduction of a plaintiff’s damages for failure to wear a seat belt.
In the lawsuit for punitive and compensatory damages brought by Morgan’s legal team, Walmart’s legal team filed a response that invoked the seat belt defense by contending that the victims’ injuries were partly attributable to the fact that they had failed to fasten their seat belts.
If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident and/or suffered a traumatic brain injury, please speak with a lawyer today. Please contact the Fort Lauderdale law offices of Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919. We look forward to speaking with you.