On June 7, 2014, actor and comedian, Tracy Morgan was involved in a serious auto accident in New Jersey involving a limo and a semi truck. The accident occurred while Morgan was traveling north in the right lane on the New Jersey turnpike near the city of Cranbury. Morgan just finished performing at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware and was heading home in a limo driven by an employee of Atlantic Transportation. Around mile marker 71 the limo was forced to reduce its speed due to construction work that was being performed on the turnpike.
It was soon after that the limo was struck from behind by a semi truck. As a result, the limo collided with cars in front of it and flipped across the center and right lanes of the turnpike. The semi-truck was being driven by a Wal-Mart employee, who had had been awake for over twenty-four hours and fell asleep at the wheel. Morgan was immediately transported to a nearby hospital suffering from a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident.
Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. More than 2.5 million TBI’s occur each year and approximately 138 people die every day from injuries that include a TBI in the US. A traumatic brain injury can range from mild (a slight concussion) to severe and is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The leading causes of TBI are falls, being hit with an object, motor vehicle accidents and assaults. TBIs have a risk of not being treated as the person may look fine to others or symptoms may not be noticed for days or even months after the injury. It is critical that a person seek medical treatment after receiving a blow to the head as consequences can worsen swiftly without treatment.
The effects of a TBI can be devastating and can last for days, weeks, or remain with a person for the rest of their life. Although treatment for TBI can vary significantly based on the individual and the severity of the injury it is mainly focused on rehabilitation. There is no cure after a person has sustained a traumatic brain injury therefore; awareness and prevention are critical to reducing the number of people affected. We have handled many cases with clients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury and have firsthand experience of their devastating nature. These are some helpful tips that you can follow to live safer and possible prevent a traumatic brain injury.
- Buckling your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child’s height, weight, and age).
- Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
- Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets when:
- Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle;
- Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing;
- Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard;
- Batting and running bases in baseball or softball;
- Riding a horse; or
- Skiing or snowboarding.
- Making living areas safer for seniors, by:
- Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways;
- Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors; Installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower;
- Installing handrails on both sides of stairways;
- Improving lighting throughout the home; and
- Maintaining a regular physical activity program, if your doctor agrees, to improve lower body strength and balance.1, 2, 3
- Making living areas safer for children, by:
- Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows; and
- Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.
- Making sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.
A civil trial attorney with the firm Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A., Mr. Damaso concentrates on cases involving personal injury and wrongful deaths and solely represents individual victims and consumers. He takes his clients' cases personally and is committed to their best possible outcome. His strong sense of community has led to his support of numerous charities in the Orlando area.