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Kobal Law

Multi-Vehicle, Alcohol-Fueled Wreck in Seffner


A 22-year-old man faces serious charges after he drove the wrong way on Westbound Interstate 4 and triggered a multi-vehicle wreck.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the wrong-way vehicle crashed into a westbound Mercedes sedan traveling in the inside lane at Mile Marker 12.

A pickup traveling westbound in the center lane braked to avoid the collision and was struck in the rear by a flat-bed truck. This collision caused the pickup to rotate onto the outside shoulder where it collided with a parked tractor-trailer.

The flat-bed truck overturned, trapping the driver. Three other drivers were transported to area hospitals, including the driver of the overturned truck, who was trapped in the vehicle for ninety minutes. That driver was transported via helicopter.

Authorities charged the driver of the wrong-way vehicle with DUI-serious bodily injury.

Car Crash Medical Bills

In most cases, high collision-related medical bills begin piling up before these victims see doctors or even reach hospitals. That’s especially true if emergency responders believe a helicopter should take a victim to a hospital. Short helicopter rides usually cost more than $40,000.

Most of these victims are unconscious and unable to second-guess an emergency responder’s evaluation. Even if they can, they shouldn’t. Because adrenaline masks their pain, many car crash victims don’t “feel” hurt. As a result, their head injuries and other injuries get worse.

Additionally, it’s harder for a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney to obtain maximum compensation in these matters. Usually, if victims delay treatment, even by a few hours, insurance company lawyers later argue that their injuries weren’t severe.

These severe injuries are difficult to treat. Let’s go back to head injuries. Unless a highly-skilled doctor immediately performs brain surgery, the victim’s brain continues to bleed and swell. This bleeding and swelling kills progressively more brain cells. After these cells die, they never regenerate.

Brain injury physical therapy is also very specialized. These therapists must train uninjured areas of the brain to take over lost functions.

Furthermore, extreme trauma alters brain chemistry, causing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once again, victims must take expensive prescription drugs and work with expensive therapists to overcome PTSD symptoms like anger, hypervigilance, and depression.

All this specialized treatment drives up the medical cost. In a catastrophic (life-threatening) injury case, the medical bills alone usually exceed $100,000. A Tampa personal injury lawyer obtains compensation for these and other economic losses. An attorney also obtains compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Liability Issues

Chain reaction wrecks have very complicated liability issues. So, only the most experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer should handle such claims.

The intoxicated motorist was probably responsible for the initial wrong-way wreck. Alcohol clouds a person’s judgment. Therefore, drunk drivers often mistake on-ramps for off-ramps, and vice versa.

Liability also attaches if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was impaired instead of intoxicated. Evidence of alcohol impairment, which begins at the first drink, includes erratic driving before the wreck, the tortfeasor’s point of departure (i.e. did the tortfeasor just leave a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol), and physical symptoms, such as an odor of alcohol.

The last clear chance defense occasionally applies in wrong-way wreck claims. All drivers have a duty to avoid accidents at all times. If they fail to do so, they could be legally responsible for an ensuing crash.

The first semi-truck driver might have been responsible for the subsequent crashes. Commercial operators have a higher duty of care in Florida. They must anticipate accidents, such as a swerving pickup truck, and be prepared to avoid them.

Respondeat superior employer liability usually applies in commercial driver wrecks. Employers are responsible for the negligence of their employees, if those employees are negligent in the course and scope of employment.

 Count on a Savvy Hillsborough County Attorney

Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. We routinely handle matters throughout the Sunshine State.


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