Do you have to file a lawsuit to be awarded a settlement in a personal injury case?
On June 7, 2014, a tractor-trailer owned and operated by Wal-Mart crashed into the back of a van on the New Jersey Turnpike. The van was carrying actor Tracy Morgan and various other comedians. One of those comedians was 62-year-old James McNair, better known as Jimmy Mack. Morgan and McNair were close personal friends and were traveling together back from a comedy show in Delaware. While Morgan was badly injured in the crash, suffering a traumatic brain injury that landed him in a coma, McNair lost his life.
Wal-Mart employee Kevin Roper was driving the tractor-trailer. It is alleged that Roper was fatigued at the time of the accident, being that he had not slept in the preceding 24 hours. Roper had driven from Georgia and then through a number of other states in the time before the crash without taking a break to sleep. Police also claim that he was traveling 65 miles per hour in a 55-mile-per-hour zone, in which the speed limit had been lowered to 45 miles per hour due to construction in the area. Roper was charged with vehicular homicide and numerous counts of assault by automobile. While still employed by Wal-Mart, he is no longer driving, as the outcome of the criminal and civil cases against him are unclear.
The McNair family’s attorney claims that they considered bringing a negligence lawsuit in a number of different states. But, ultimately, it was unnecessary as the parties agreed to a settlement fairly quickly. While the negotiations were difficult at times, according to the attorney, they were always amicable.
McNair left behind two adult children, Jamel and Denita. He was well-liked in his community and often referred to as Uncle Jimmy Mack. McNair’s family is rumored to be happy with the settlement. While the terms remain undisclosed, it is likely that they will receive a large dollar amount.