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Another example of the importance of auto accident investigations

The story of tennis star Venus Williams’ alleged responsibility for causing a fatal accident has garnered a great deal of controversy. Williams continues to play in the Wimbledon tennis tournament outside of London this week, but some believe that she should have skipped the tournament to address the recent wrongful death lawsuit filed against her.

A 78 year-old man passed away two weeks after the accident occurred, and it is largely speculated that his injuries from the crash led to his death. Also, police initially indicated that Williams could have been at fault since she reportedly entered the intersection in violation of Florida law. 

However, a recent investigation found that Williams may not have been at fault for the crash. Video surveillance shows that Williams initially entered the intersection but stopped short to avoid another car that had ran a red light (Williams had the right of way at that time). After pausing, she continued through the intersection only to be hit by another driver (the man who ultimately passed away).

Because of this, Williams will not be charged for violating Florida law.

The investigation is critical in two respects. First, a traffic violation could be used as prima facie (first impression) evidence that the offending driver breached the duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel, and should be held liable for the accident. Second it shows how important is investigations are to uncover evidence that could exonerate a driver suspected of wrongdoing, or to solidify an injury claim for an insurer.

If you have questions about the process of a car accident investigation and how it may help your case, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. 

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