In June 2014, comedians Tracy Morgan and James McNair and five other individuals were in a limousine struck from behind by a Walmart truck. On August 7, the National Transportation Safety Board scheduled a meeting that will determine probable cause for the accident.
Lower Speed Limit in Construction Zone
Approximately two weeks after the accident, the NTSB issued a preliminary report that found that the truck driver was operating the big rig at 65 mph just before the crash, despite the fact that authorities lowered the speed limit in the area from 55 mph to 45 mph due to construction along the New Jersey Turnpike.
Criminal Charges Filed
The truck driver was subsequently charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in New Jersey state court. The criminal complaint alleged that he had not slept for more than 24 hours before the fatal wreck.
Settlements in Civil Lawsuits
In civil litigation, survivors of James McNair settled with Walmart for $10 million, according to court papers. Three injured victims, including Tracy Morgan, settled with Walmart in May 2015 for undisclosed sums. Morgan has not performed since the accident, according to NBC News.
As this particular case illustrates, civil complaints are often settled without a trial. When it is reasonable to assert that negligent conduct contributed to injuries or death, it is possible to seek compensation via civil litigation. Injured victims often seek monetary damages for unpaid medical bills, pain-and-suffering and lost wages. Survivors of those killed often seek compensation for loss of companionship and burial expenses.
If you or a loved one is a victim of a traffic crash, it is possible to speak with a semi-truck lawyer about the incident. Our firm offers this type of consultation at no cost to you. To learn more, please contact us.