Tracy Morgan’s Slow Recovery Highlights Dangers of 18 Wheeler Accidents

Tracy Morgan is known to millions for his stand-up comedy work and his appearances on television hits like “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live.” On June 7, 2014, however, Morgan attracted publicity for a far different reason when the limo in which he was riding was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer truck. Morgan’s friend and colleague, James McNair, was killed in the accident. Morgan himself sustained major injuries in the crash and is still undergoing rehabilitation for severe brain trauma. The actor-comedian is currently working with an 18 wheeler accident lawyer to pursue action against Walmart, the employer of the driver regarded as responsible for the accident. A Long Road to Recovery Morgan suffered a broken nose, fractured femur and broken ribs as a result of the crash. The injuries to his leg required surgery and continue to cause difficulty in walking. The brain trauma Morgan sustained in the accident has required months of rehabilitative work on cognitive functions, speech and motor skills. Tracy Morgan was recently spotted in a rare public appearance using a walker to navigate the sidewalks near his New Jersey residence. Jeffrey Millea and Ardie Fuqua were also critically injured in the crash and are facing similar difficulties in their recoveries. Legal Actions Pending The driver of the tractor-trailer, Kevin Roper, has already appeared in court and entered not guilty pleas on four counts of assault by auto and one count of vehicular manslaughter arising from the accident. Prosecutors allege that Roper had not slept in over 24 hours when the crash occurred and that this led to his failure to see and react to traffic stopped ahead. Morgan has also filed a lawsuit against Walmart on behalf of himself, Millea and Fuqua to recover damages. The legal action alleges that Walmart was negligent in managing drive time restrictions and did not take into consideration the distance Roper was required to travel to arrive at his job in Smyrna, Delaware, from his home in Jonesboro, Georgia. This long commute effectively extended the time Roper was required to drive for Walmart and led to driver fatigue that played a major role in the accident, according to the truck accident attorney retained by Morgan. Catastrophic Injuries Not Uncommon The size and weight of 18 wheeler vehicles can pose a serious threat to smaller cars and trucks on the road. The injuries sustained by Morgan, Millea and Fuqua are not unusual for these types of accidents. A similar incident occurred in Pasadena, Texas, on October 27, 2014, when an 18-wheeler rear-ended and rolled over a small sedan on Highway 225. Rescue workers spent hours in cutting the woman’s body from the mangled vehicle; traffic was shut down on a large stretch of Highway 225 for six hours. For survivors of these terrifying accidents, traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs and paralysis are common. In many cases, driver fatigue and poorly maintained equipment are cited as contributing factors for accidents involving tractor-trailers. Morgan’s experience is far from atypical. His celebrity status, however, may lead to much-needed scrutiny of the dangers posed by these large trucks to other drivers on the road. For those who have been injured or who have lost family members to 18 wheeler accidents, consulting with qualified Texas truck accident lawyers can provide a way to hold companies responsible for their negligence and can ensure fair compensation for ongoing medical expenses and recovery costs. Attorneys who specialize in this field of law can offer insights into the most likely contributing factors and can represent the interests of victims both in and out of court. Applying this type of financial pressure is often the only way in which families and victims can achieve closure on these devastating accidents and hold trucking companies accountable for the actions of their drivers.