Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
FREE Consultations Available
Tampa Car Accident Lawyers > Blog > Car Accidents > Fireball Crash in St. Petersburg Seriously Injures Five People

Fireball Crash in St. Petersburg Seriously Injures Five People


A chain reaction crash on the Howard Frankland Bridge involved multiple vehicles, including a tractor trailer.

The complex wreck began when one driver stopped to help a Cadillac SUV which had run out of gas. A few moments later, an approaching eighteen-wheeler cut off a passenger car in traffic. That vehicle swerved to avoid a collision, yet in doing so, it smashed into the back of one of the parked vehicles. A fireball quickly erupted, which sent five people to area hospitals.

The semi-truck driver did not stop, and authorities are looking for this motorist.

Chain Reaction Wrecks in Florida

Many Hillsborough County vehicle collisions involve multiple tortfeasors (negligent drivers). In many respects, multiple responsibility is a good thing. More tortfeasors mean more insurance companies, and that means additional sources of recovery for victims. This additional recovery source is especially important in catastrophic collisions like the one described above.

Serious burns are some of the most expensive kind of personal injury, from a medical bill and lost wages standpoint. Since burns usually involve skin grafts and specialty burn centers, the medical bills often exceed $1 million in severe cases. If there are any complications, these expenses climb rapidly.

Additionally, most burn victims spend at least two months in the hospital. Since they might also undergo months of extensive physical therapy, it could be a year or more before they return to work full time.

There is a downside to multiple tortfeasors as well. Florida is a pure several liability state. So, each tortfeasor is only responsible for a set proportion of damages. Therefore, if a Tampa personal injury attorney does not identify all responsible parties, full compensation may not be available.

The foreseeability issue often comes into play here. Assume Alejandro sends Juan a text message. That message distracts Juan, and he collides with another vehicle. Alejandro is probably not legally responsible, even though he sent the text that caused the crash. The wreck was probably not foreseeable from his point of view.

Hit-and-Run Crashes in Hillsborough County

When tortfeasors leave the scene of a crash, like the tractor-trailer driver in the above story, it is difficult to hold them responsible in criminal court, unless they turn themselves in and confess. In other situations, prosecutors must place the defendant behind the wheel at or near the time of the crash, and prove this point beyond any reasonable doubt. That’s a tall order.

But in civil court, the burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). That makes it easier for a Tampa personal injury attorney to establish liability for damages, using evidence like:

  • Video Footage: If a security camera caught part of the tortfeasor’s license plate number, that may be enough to establish liability.
  • Additional Witness Statements: For various reasons, many witnesses do not loiter at the scene and tell their stories to police officers. Experienced attorneys know how to track down these individuals.
  • Body Shops: Similarly, when tortfeasors seek to repair damaged vehicles, they probably will not take them to well-known body shops. Instead, they may turn to shady body shops, and attorneys know how to locate these places.

To expedite this process, many attorneys partner with private investigators or other such professionals.

Contact Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers

Car crash victims may be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa car accident attorney, contact The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The experience you need in your pursuit of justice

The greatest distinguishing feature among attorneys is their level of experience. Our firm has more than 60 years of legal experience, much of it spent in the courtroom at trial. As a result, our Tampa personal injury lawyers rarely encounter an unfamiliar situation and can thoroughly answer your urgent questions. Our criminal defense practice features a board certified criminal trial lawyer and two former prosecutors with impressive knowledge of trial tactics and procedures.

The resources to provide quality representation for the length of your case

Whether your case involves medical malpractice, an auto accident or a wrongful death, your attorney must be prepared to take the case all the way through trial to verdict. Many personal injury attorneys advance the cost of litigation, so they can only last so long before financial pressures start to mount. As a client, you have to wonder whether an attorney's advice to settle your case reflects the quality of the offer or your attorneys need to get paid. Fortunately, The Matassini Law Firm has the resources to pursue civil verdicts and settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

Call our Tampa Bay car accident lawyers for a free consultation

A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa car accident attorneys, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Toll Free
2811 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33609