This past June, Tracy Morgan’s limousine bus was hit by a Walmart truck. Morgan and three friends sustained severe injuries as a result of the accident that caused a six-car pile up and left one man dead. Walmart claims that Morgan’s injuries were a result of his own negligence because he was not wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred.
Morgan’s injuries were rather debilitating. He had to undergo weeks of rehabilitation to recover from rib and leg injuries following the accident.
Will Walmart’s seatbelt claim hold up in court? According to the Harvard Law Review, the failure to use a seat belt can be evidence of negligence. Failure to wear a restraint device can limit the amount of money a person can recover following a car accident, even if the other party was at fault for the accident. The “seat belt defense” reduces the tort recovery for wrongfully injured motorist in so far as the injuries caused were the result of a failure to wear a seat belt. While some courts are suspicious of the “seat belt defense,” with recent research about the utility of seat belts, the defense has been used more often with more success.
Walmart clearly seems to be using the “seat belt defense” against Morgan.
Morgan’s lawyer responded with shock, stating that he believed that Walmart would take responsibility for the accident. Morgan and his lawyer plan to take the case to trial in the hopes of winning Morgan punitive and compensatory damages.
In a statement issued to U.S.A. Today, Morgan responded, saying, “After I heard what Walmart said in court I felt I had to speak out. I can’t believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused. My friends and I were doing nothing wrong. I want to thank my fans for sticking with me during this difficult time. I love you all. I’m fighting hard every day to get back.”
Morgan has not attested to whether he was wearing a seat belt at the time. Walmart has issued statements suggesting that the company is trying to settle the matter with Morgan.
Morgan and his lawyer claim that the Walmart truck driver had not slept in over 24 hours and that he had to commute from Georgia to Delaware in order to go to work. Morgan’s lawyer claims that the driver fell asleep behind the wheel. The driver had been on the road for 13 hours. Federal law limits the time a driver can be behind the wheel to 11 hours.
In Idaho, fatal motor vehicle crashes involving a commercial vehicle doubled from 2012 to 2013. Unfortunately, many truck drivers are forced to log long hours, leading to tragic accidents. If you have been injured in a truck accident or car accident in Meridian or Boise, Idaho, you need a personal injury lawyer who can help you receive the maximum allowable compensation under the law. Contact the Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen today to learn about how you can receive the maximum damages for your injuries.