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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Gas Tanker Accident Leaves 1 Dead, Another Injured


A fiery gas tanker accident left the driver dead and a 23-year-old man injured after an accident in Hillsborough County, FL, according to a recent report. According to the accident report, a 23-year-old driver rear-ended the tanker resulting in an explosion that killed the truck driver and injured the other driver. After the rear-end collision, the tanker exploded, flew off the road, and then struck a utility pole where it eventually came to a stop.

Analyzing the accident 

In this case, it appears that the 23-year-old driver rear-ended the tanker, but it remains unclear whether or not the tanker was stopped in an awkward place that could have contributed to the accident. At this point, Florida Highway Patrol has only said that the driver rear-ended the tanker, but has not provided any more details. In some cases, trucks can stop around blind curves which can create a dangerous situation.

You’ve likely heard it said that a rear-end collision is always the fault of the driver who did the rear-ending. While mostly true, it is not universally true. In some cases, tankers stop where they’re not supposed to, creating road obstructions that result in serious injury. That could be the case here.

It is also true that tankers should not necessarily explode after a rear-end collision with another vehicle. If the tanker was in poor condition which led to the explosion, then the driver who rear-ended the tanker may still be entitled to damages.

Analyzing Florida’s new rules for tort lawsuits 

Governor Ron DeSantis recently passed legislation that raised the bar for those making injury claims. Prior, a lawsuit could be filed against the defendant even if the plaintiff was found to be mostly at fault for the accident. The plaintiff would be allowed to recover a percentage of their injuries. For example, if the plaintiff was 75% at fault for the accident, the plaintiff would still be able to recover 25% of their total damages.

The new rule makes it more difficult to win such lawsuits. If the plaintiff is deemed to be more than 50% at fault for an accident, then the plaintiff is not entitled to recover any damages from the defendant.

If a lawsuit were to be filed over the aforementioned case, the plaintiff would need to establish that the truck driver was more liable than he was in this case. Obviously, being the vehicle that rear-ended another vehicle will work against you. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the case is unwinnable.

There’s still a good chance that the tanker was stopped in an area that was dangerous or that there was something wrong with the tanker that made it explode on impact. A personal injury lawyer representing the victim would exhaust all possible avenues of recovery when investigating the claim.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Truck Accident Lawyer Today 

The Tampa auto accident attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm represent the interests of those injured in truck accidents. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.


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