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New Jersey truck accidents: Tracy Morgan, others hurt, 1 killed

Not getting adequate sleep diminishes a driver's ability to pay attention and avoid potential disaster while driving. Numerous truck accidents around the country, including here in New Jersey, occur due to sleep-deprived drivers. Officials believe this may have been the case in the recent accident.

By now, virtually everyone in New Jersey has heard about the devastating crash in which Tracy Morgan suffered serious injuries along with others. Another comedian, James McNair, died as a result of the injuries he suffered. When Morgan was first taken to an area hospital, his condition was critical. Recent reports indicate his condition has been elevated to fair along with another passenger that was in the limousine. The current conditions of the others injured were not available.

Officials report that the driver of the Walmart truck that slammed into the limousine Morgan was riding in had not slept in over 24 hours at the time of the crash. The driver voluntarily went into police custody that same night. He recently entered a not guilty plea to charges including vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.

No matter what happens with the criminal charges, the injured victims retain the right to file personal injury claims against the driver and his employer. In situations where a driver who is on-the-job -- which is usually the case in truck accidents -- causes an accident, employers may be held liable for the negligent actions of employees through the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. Further, the family of McNair may file a wrongful death claim. Successfully litigated claims could result in an award of damages for pain and suffering, medical costs and other financial losses recognized under New Jersey law.

Source: CNN, "Hospitalized Tracy Morgan upgraded to fair condition", , June 16, 2014

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