The truck crash which tragically took the life of comedian James McNair and injured actor/comedian Tracy Morgan and others is a painful reminder that the trucking industry needs to do more to protect other drivers on the road. The driver of the truck, which struck the limousine bus in which Mr. Morgan was riding, has been criminally charged with vehicular homicide.
It has been reported that the driver was operating the truck without sleep in excess of twenty for hours. Under Federal regulations governing commercial truck drivers, operators of commercial vehicles are restricted to driving a maximum of eleven hours a day after spending a minimum of ten hours off duty. There are a myriad of other regulations a commercial driver must follow in order to operate a truck. These regulations were put in place to protect other drivers on the road from the deadly consequences of being struck by a forty ton eighteen wheel truck.
The driver, who was operating the truck on behalf of his employer, Wal-Mart, is alleged to have not noticed traffic slowing in front of him. It is further alleged he may have fallen asleep behind the wheel, which is not surprising if he had not slept for twenty four hours. Wal-Mart most likely has policies prohibiting drivers from operating its vehicles in excess of the maximum number of hours required by law. Unfortunately, such policies are meaningless if they are not enforced by the company.
Mr. Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart alleging it negligently failed to enforce its policies and to prevent its driver from operating its truck without adequate sleep. While Wal-Mart is entitled to defend itself and may be able to provide a plausible defense, the evidence made public thus far seems pretty clear that Wal-Mart and its driver failed to follow applicable regulations, resulting in this tragic collision which caused McNair’s death.
Unfortunately, truck collisions are all too common in the United States and Kentucky. Mr. Morgan’s celebrity status brings more notoriety to this continuing problem, but similar collisions occur every day in the United States and frequently occur in Kentucky.
What Can You Do If You Are Hurt In A Truck Crash?
When collisions occur, the only recourse may be to file a civil lawsuit seeking to hold companies and individuals accountable for their negligence and/or wanton and reckless conduct. It is quite clear that the numerous trucking regulations do little to ensure trucking companies and their drivers operate their trucks safely. Thus, it is up to juries to hold them accountable for failing to operate their trucks safely.
If you or a loved one is injured in a trucking collision in Kentucky, it is critical that you hire an attorney to assist you in dealing with the trucking company and its insurance carrier. Satterley & Kelley can help you. We have extensive litigation experience going up against Fortune 500 companies and other multibillion dollar corporations. We will fight these companies for you and allow you to focus on what is important, which is your or your loved one’s recovery from a trucking injury.