When there is a possibility that someone besides the deceased played a role in his or her death, the estate of the deceased may be able to bring a lawsuit against the party or parties who may have in some way been responsible for their death. A lawsuit recently got filed against Venus Williams by the estate of a Florida man after he died in a car accident for which Williams may be at fault. Williams’ vehicle crossed the path of the man’s car as he crossed an intersection where he had a green light. She claims that the light was green when she entered the intersection, that she got stuck in traffic in the intersection, and that she did not see the man’s car as she attempted to finish crossing the intersection. The family of the seventy-eight-year-old man seeks an unspecified amount of damages in connection with their loss.
The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department recently issued a police report for the accident, which occurred on June 9 of this year. The crash fractured the man’s spine and left him with multiple internal injuries from which he eventually died on June 22. The report states that Williams caused the accident, although it is important to note that she hasn’t yet been cited or charged in connection with the wreck and it is not clear if any charges or citations will get issued against her. Police have also stated that Williams had not been using drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, nor was she texting and driving.
The complaint that got filed on behalf of the family of the deceased man accuses Venus Williams of inattentive driving, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and failing to stop at a red light. The wife of the deceased was in the vehicle with her husband during the accident, and in addition to the emotional devastation that she is experiencing as the result of what happened, she was physically injured, suffering a fractured hand and arm.
News reports regarding the lawsuit are not clear about what type of lawsuit the family members of the deceased man are pursuing. One common type of lawsuit that family members may be able to pursue after the loss of a loved one is a wrongful death claim. In Kansas, a wrongful death happens when a person dies because of the wrongful act or omission of another person. Family members may file a claim for wrongful death against a party if the deceased would have been able to pursue a claim for damages against that party if they had survived the incident. If the responsible party also died, the estate of the person whose family alleges wrongful death can bring the wrongful death claim against the estate of the deceased whose actions allegedly caused the wrongful death.
Lawsuits involving estates can get complicated. A Kansas estate planning attorney is a knowledgeable professional who can help you navigate the challenge of settling the estate of your deceased family member while one or more parties are pursuing a lawsuit against that estate. To learn more about how lawsuits affect estates in Kansas, call the Wichita law office of J. Joseph Weber, P.A. at 316-265-7802, or contact us through our website to set up an initial consultation.