The devastating and potentially permanent damage that a traumatic brain injury can do has been brought home to millions of Americans and people around the world as popular comedian Tracy Morgan continues to struggle in the aftermath of a devastating accident last summer.
Morgan and several friends were riding in a limo van on the New Jersey Turnpike as they returned from a performance last June when a Wal-Mart semi-truck struck their vehicle. One of the passengers was killed, while three others suffered injuries. Morgan was hospitalized and then moved to a rehabilitation facility. In addition to the TBI, he suffered broken ribs as well as a broken leg and nose.
Recently, Morgan's attorney relayed news that devastated fans of the man who gained fame on "Saturday Night Live" and later co-starred on the comedy "30 Rock." The attorney said that the brain injury he suffered in the crash is so severe that it is unknowable whether he'll ever be "the Tracy Morgan he once was."
The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigated the crash, determined that the truck was traveling at 65 miles per hour -- 20 mph above the posted speed limit in the construction zone where it struck the back of the van. The truck driver faces a charge of death by auto as well as four additional counts of assault by auto.
Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart for punitive as well as compensatory damages. Wal-Mart has contended that the severity of the injuries was worse than it would have been had they been wearing seat belts.
Morgan's attorney says that everyone is hoping that the comedian will be able to heal. However, he points out that with a TBI, "it takes a very long time to find out how you're going to do and how much you're going to recover."
There is often uncertainty surrounding if, when and how much a person will recover from a brain injury. That's why is important for anyone who suffers such an injury due to the negligence or the actions of another to work to ensure that he or she seeks the compensation necessary for pay for medical and rehabilitation costs, lost wages and other damages that may follow them for the rest of their lives. New York personal injury attorneys experienced in dealing with brain injuries can help victims and their families do just that.
Source: Tulsa World, "Lawyer: Tracy Morgan battling severe brain injury" Nov. 18, 2014