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Truck driver fatigue cited as cause of crash


There is always a certain element of risk when drivers hit the road. But this is a risk that most West Virginians are willing to take because of the benefit and necessity of driving. That being said, no matter how much risk is assumed, drivers never expect to be involved in a car accident, much less a serious or fatal car accident. The reality is, however, that these accidents do happen and, especially when large, heavy trucks are involved, the results can be quite tragic.

Well-known actor and comedian, Tracy Morgan, was involved in a fatal truck accident a month ago. The multi-vehicle accident occurred in New Jersey when a Wal-Mart truck struck Morgan's limousine. The truck driver was apparently travelling 20 mph over the posted speed limit at the time of the accident.

There were a number of serious injuries that resulted from the crash, including injuries to Morgan. One individual, a fellow comedian, was killed in the crash. Morgan has now decided to sue Wal-Mart for negligence. He filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey and he is asking for a jury trial, as well as damages related to the crash-both punitive and compensatory. The complaint alleges that Wal-Mart acted negligently because it knew that the truck driver had not slept for 24 hours prior to the accident. Morgan claims that the driver fell asleep, thereby causing the accident.

Truck driver fatigue is a common cause of truck crashes. Drivers who ignore rest requirements may be held responsible for a resulting accident. Truck accidents are a little more complex than the typical car crash because many parties can be held responsible or liable, as seen here with Morgan's lawsuit against Wal-Mart, the driver's employer. If a truck accident victim decides to seek compensation from a responsible party, a lawyer can assist with the claim and determine if there may be more than one person or entity who acted negligently.

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting, "Tracy Morgan Sues Wal-Mart Over Truck-Limousine Crash," Scott Neuman, July 12, 2014

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