Collisions between a truck and smaller vehicles are often catastrophic; many people understand this. But understanding the devastation of a truck accident and experiencing it are two very different things.

Recently, people all across the country saw the toll that a truck accident can take on victims and the loved ones of victims when comedian Tracy Morgan made his first public appearance since he was seriously injured in a truck crash that took the life of his friend. While it can be all but impossible to truly comprehend the seriousness of this type of situation, Morgan’s appearance served as a stark reminder that truck accident injuries are often more traumatic than people realize.

Morgan spoke with Matt Lauer on TODAY and discussed his experiences before and since the accident. He discussed not only the physical pain he had suffered, but also the severe emotional and psychological distress that he has endured since his injuries and the loss of his friend.

During the interview, he was accompanied by his attorney, which was likely related to the fact that Morgan recently settled a lawsuit with Walmart, the company that owned the truck that struck the vehicle in which Morgan was riding. The terms of the settlement were confidential, though details of the crash have been widely reported. The trucker was speeding and had been awake for more than a full 24 hours when he crashed into the vehicle carrying Morgan and several others.

It was very clear to viewers and fans that Morgan has been seriously affected by the crash. The physical and emotional tolls were obvious, as Morgan described being in a coma, suffering a brain injury, coping with the loss of his friend and trying to make some sense of the tragedy through which he lived.

Many people were glad to see the comedian, but the interview served as a strong reminder of how devastating injuries suffered in a truck accident can be. Victims don’t just move on overnight. They can struggle enormously to cope with all the different ways they and their families have been impacted; having adequate medical, emotional, financial and legal support in this traumatic situation can be crucial.

Source: TODAY, “Tracy Morgan emotional in first interview since crash: ‘Pain will always be there’,” Eun Kyung Kim, June 1, 2015