Yvon Pierre, 49, has been identified as the person killed in the Alligator Alley crash of West Broward County, Florida early yesterday morning. As was reported on this blog yesterday, an SUV was rear-ended by a pickup truck near Mile Marker 31 as both vehicles traveled west on I-75. After the SUV was hit from behind, it careered off the roadway and landed in a canal that runs parallel to the roadway.
Unfortunately, Yvon Pierre drowned in that canal.
This case presents a textbook example of motor vehicle negligence. As an injury lawyer, I can tell you that there is a presumption of negligence when one party rear-ends another. Putting the legal mumbo-jumbo aside, this means that the person who does the rear-ended is the one who is held responsible for the accident.
Once there is evidence that one party rear-ended another, the burden of proof shifts to the one who did the rear-ending to prove that they were not at fault. This creates a very difficult hurdle to overcome for someone who rear-ends another vehicle.
However, in some cases, the front vehicle did something reckless to cause the rear-ending, such as recklessly swerving between lanes, randomly slamming on the breaks for no reason, or some other negligent action.
However, in the absence of such evidence, the party who rear-ended the front vehicle is the one who is held responsible.
In this case, the rear-ending not only caused damage to the front vehicle, but it caused it to leave the roadway and crash into a canal. The fact that Yvon Pierre may or may not have been a capable swimmer is irrelevant. It is not uncommon for people who know how to swim to drown after their vehicles crash into a canal.
First, they could be incapable of movement either because they are injured or because they are unconscious from the collision. Second, they may be in shock.
Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that Yvon Pierre would have never found herself in an Everglades canal in the middle of the night, but for the negligent actions of the other driver.
This is all that matters.
Let me repeat that… the other driver is responsible for her death. Plain and simple.
In my opinion, Yvon Pierre’s family had better hire the most capable injury lawyer they can find because this case requires experience to get the best result possible.
An injury lawyer representing Yvone Pierre’s family needs to consider the extreme loss suffered by her death, her loss to her family for financial and emotional support, as well as other damages.
This is a terrible loss and is one that will surely effect the lives of many as time progresses.