Tracy Morgan is still struggling after his serious brain injury from an accident that occurred several months ago. The Associated Press recently reported that the star was involved in an accident with a Wal-Mart truck in New Jersey and suffered leg, nose, ribs, and traumatic brain injuries. Apparently, the truck crashed into a limo that the actor was in. There were several individuals in the limo, and unfortunately one person was killed.
The truck driver was charged with four counts of assault by auto and death by auto. Additionally, Morgan has commenced a lawsuit for compensatory and punitive damages against Wal-Mart. The company has argued that the victims were partly responsible for their own injuries because they were not wearing seatbelts during the time of the incident.
The initial investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board stated that the truck driver was driving 65 mph until about a minute before he slammed into the limo. The speed limit at the time of the incident was 45 mph. It is normally 55 mph, but there was construction during this particular period.
Comparative Negligence in New Mexico
In the above case, Wal-Mart is attempting to reduce its amount of liability by claiming that the victims were at some degree of fault for their injuries. This is a very common tactic used by defendants to reduce the amount of damages they are required to pay.
New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state. In pure comparative negligence states, the plaintiff can still recover even if he or she had some degree of fault. The plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by his or her amount of fault. For example, if the defendant is found to be 45% liable for the damages, it will be responsible for 45% of the plaintiff’s injuries. Unlike a modified comparative state, the plaintiff can still recover even if he or she is over 50% at fault.
A calculation of fault is made not only during the trial but even during negotiations. It is important to be able to rationally evaluate and argue the respective degrees of fault. This is one of the first and most important issues that needs to be discussed because failing to do so can lead to unfavorable results at trial. An attorney is a great asset during these proceedings because of the complexity and strategic nature of these claims.
Have You Been a Victim of a Truck Accident?
The Fine Law Firm has extensive experience handling truck accident cases in New Mexico. Personal injury cases can be difficult and especially when dealing with trucking companies. Many times, there are several parties involved, and an extensive investigation is necessary. If you or a loved one has been injured, it is highly advised that you contact one of our attorneys. It is likely that the defendant’s attorneys will be conducting their own investigation, and it is crucial that your case is thoroughly prepared and presented. You may be entitled to compensation for your past medical bills, your future medical expenses, and other damages related to your injuries. Contact one of our attorneys today at 505-889-FINE to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Semi Truck Driver Charged with Felony after Rear Ending School Bus, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, November 9, 2014.
Investigation Continues into Semi-Truck Crash that Killed Four Texas Student Athletes, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, October 13, 2014.