Last year, actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was severely injured, and a friend was killed, when their stationary vehicle was struck by a Walmart truck. According to news reports, the civil lawsuit brought against Walmart and the truck driver was settled without a trial. However, now the truck driver is asking that the criminal charges against him be dropped as well.
The National Transportation Safety Board conducted an investigation following the crash and found that the truck driver was responsible for the accident. Apparently, the Georgia truck driver had been awake for over 28 hours when he began his journey. He ended up causing the multi-car crash that resulted in the death of one man and the serious injury of Tracy Morgan. Tracy Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury and was unable to walk for nearly five months after the crash. The truck driver is now contending that he will not be able to get a fair trial because of the publicity this case has received. The court has not yet made a decision on the motion to dismiss the criminal charges against the truck driver.
Negligent Behavior by Truck Drivers
When individuals learn how to drive, they are taught that in order to maintain their license and avoid an accident, they must follow certain rules of the road. When an individual fails to follow these rules and subsequently causes an accident, that person may be held liable for the injuries and damages that resulted from the accident. All drivers should follow the safety rules mandated by law. Moreover, truck drivers have an even higher responsibility because of the large size of their vehicles and the carnage that can result from a truck accident.
Truck drivers must follow all of the safety rules that are required to operate their vehicles. This includes things such as maintaining their vehicles in proper working order, inspecting their trucks before a departure, and making sure that they are alert while driving. In the above case, the truck driver was awake for over 28 hours. It was determined that his fatigue was likely the cause of the accident. In cases like this, drivers may be held liable for truck accidents, and their employers may be held responsible as well.
Vicarious Liability in Trucking Accidents
In many cases when a truck driver is involved in an accident, their employer may also be held liable under the theory of vicarious liability. An individual who wishes to bring a claim against the driver’s employer must be able to show that the driver’s behavior was negligent while they were working in the “scope and course” of their employment. In the above case, Walmart was probably included as a party because the driver was in the middle of carrying a shipment between stores. Moreover, it is possible that the company was also included as a party because of their employment practices. For example, if Walmart requires their drivers to make deliveries in an unreasonable amount of time, or if they require their drivers to drive without breaks, they may be found to be negligent as well.
Have You Been Injured Because of the Negligence of a Truck Driver?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident because of the negligence of a truck driver, you may be entitled to monetary damages for your injuries. These damages include payments for your past medical bills, future medical expenses, and other related damages. In certain cases, you may even be entitled to punitive damages, if the driver acted in a particularly egregious manner. These cases often involve several parties, including a truck driver’s employer, so we highly recommend contacting one of the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm to assist you in your claim. Contact the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
New Mexico Judge Denies Motion for New Trial in Largest Jury Award in New Mexico History, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 6, 2015.
New Mexico Woman Arrested after Arriving at Husband’s DUI Stop Drunk, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2015.