Coplan & Crane Weighs In on Report Stating Tracy Morgan Was Not Wearing Seatbelt in Truck Accident

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Chicago truck accident attorney Gregory F. Coplan comments on a news article about the latest developments in the accident that resulted in serious injuries to the comedian.

It’s not unusual for questions about seatbelt use to arise during such proceedings. This is one of the reasons why accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities can become complicated.

Commenting on a report alleging comedian Tracy Morgan was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of his accident, attorney Gregory F. Coplan today said the details in the news story illustrate the complicated nature of truck accident cases.

According to a Reuters report published in the Chicago Tribune,* Wal-Mart Stores Inc. stated in court filings** that Morgan and others, including a fellow passenger who was killed, were not wearing seatbelts when their vehicle was rear-ended by one of the company’s trucks. The lawyers for Wal-Mart state that the failure to wear seatbelts at least partly contributed to the injuries, according to the article.

“It’s not unusual for questions about seatbelt use to arise during such proceedings,” said Coplan, a personal injury lawyer in Chicago with more than 20 years’ experience. “This is one of the reasons why accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities can become complicated. Big corporations typically have teams of lawyers working to protect their interests. People who were injured or lost loved ones in these accidents can quickly become overwhelmed and feel powerless. That’s why it’s important for those injured and families who have lost loved ones to consult with an experienced attorney who can protect their rights.”

In a statement, Morgan said, “I can’t believe Wal-Mart is blaming me for an accident that they caused. My friends and I were doing nothing wrong,” according to the Chicago Tribune article.

“We’ve heard similar comments from our clients who have been seriously injured in accidents,” Coplan said.

The injuries to Morgan and others were caused in whole or in part by their failure to wear an appropriate restraint device, the Tribune article states, quoting Wal-Mart’s position. A day after the court documents were filed, Wal-Mart announced it was committed to working to resolve all the issues from the accident, the article states.

Attorney Coplan said companies accused of causing accidents will always look at the actions of the person who has filed a lawsuit to find out if there is any contributory negligence – that is, whether the person injured might be at fault.

“Most states have laws that allow judges and juries to determine responsibility for an accident in proportion to the fault of the involved parties,” Coplan said. “As attorneys who have represented the injured, we know that insurance companies will make all sorts of arguments about the behavior of the people who were injured or died in the crash. That’s why those who have been injured or lost loved ones need to have an experienced and aggressive attorney on their side, someone who knows how to build a compelling case and get results.”

According to the Tribune, Morgan’s accident occurred June 7 on the New Jersey Turnpike after a Wal-Mart truck crashed into the back of a chauffeured limo bus carrying the comedian and others. Comedian James McNair died in the accident. Morgan spent weeks in a hospital recovering from his injuries.

Morgan’s lawsuit alleges that the driver had been awake for more than 24 hours before the accident and should not have been behind the wheel. The driver has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault-by-auto, the Tribune states.

  • The Chicago Tribune article cited is “Tracy Morgan incredulous Wal-Mart blames him for accident injuries,” Sept. 30, 2014

** Case 3:14-cv-04388 (MAS) (LHG); United States District Court, District of New Jersey; Tracy Morgan, Ardley Fuqua, Jr., Jeffrey Millea and Krista Millea v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC

About Coplan & Crane
Serving clients in Oak Park, Chicago and all of Illinois, Coplan & Crane handles a wide range of cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, railroad accidents, workplace injuries, dangerous products, medical malpractice and birth injuries. The law firm has a strong track record for obtaining large verdicts and settlements, including several, high-profile, multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts. A free consultation is available to all interested clients. The law firm works on a contingency fee basis. That means people only pay if they win.

Coplan & Crane
1111 Westgate St
Oak Park, IL 60301
(708) 358-8080

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