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Police Identify Motorcyclist Killed in Crash With At-Fault Driver in West Palm Beach

As a Pembroke Pines motorcycle accident lawyer, I was sorry to read about the death of a motorcyclist hit by a driver in West Palm last week. As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Jan. 29, that motorcyclist was identified Saturday as William Haythorn, who would have been 55 on Jan. 31. Haythorn died when a driver made a turn in front of him on the afternoon of Jan. 28. Vanessa Verdieu, 23, reportedly failed to yield to the motorcycle when she pulled out of a shopping center. It wasn’t reported whether Verdieu would face any criminal charges in relation to the crash.

According to an earlier article from the Palm Beach Post, the crash happened at around 3:15 p.m. on South Military Trail. Haythorn was heading south on Military Trail when Verdieu, in a silver sedan, pulled out of the Coco Plum Plaza and attempted to cross the road. Investigators from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Verdieu failed to yield to Haythorn. Haythorn tried to avoid the car, but could not and was thrown from his motorcycle by the ensuing crash. Emergency workers took him to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. No injuries to Verdieu were reported. The crash was serious enough to close the 2700 block of South Military Trail entirely as medics and law enforcement officers worked.

As a Miramar motorcycle accident attorney, I’d be interested to know whether Verdieu will face criminal charges. From the description in this article, it seems likely that she was or will be determined to be at fault in this crash. After all, “failure to yield” suggests that yielding was her correct role at the time. However, the term might mislead readers into believing that she intentionally failed to yield. In my experience, “failure to yield” is much more often a failure to notice that there was another vehicle coming. This is especially true in multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes, which are statistically most likely to be caused by another motorist’s failure to see the motorcycle. It’s easy to miss even obvious bikes when you aren’t expecting to see them, and thus fail to look or listen for them.

This type of negligence is a big part of our motorcycle accident practice at Cohn, Smith & Cohn. Our Davie motorcycle accident lawyers represent motorcyclists and their loved ones in litigation against drivers who caused a serious crash. Unfortunately, in a tangle between a motorbike and a car, the rider almost always comes off worse, just because riders don’t have the protection of a steel cage and airbags. That means riders hit by at-fault drivers are likely to bear the brunt of the injuries and financial strain, even when they weren’t at fault for the crash. To make matters worse, some insurance companies try to avoid paying high settlements by trying to find ways to blame the crash on the driver. We defend our clients vigorously against this greedy and unfair practice and seek to get our clients all of the money they need for medical care and other damages caused by the crash.

If you or someone you love was hit on a motorcycle by a driver who wasn’t paying attention, Cohn, Smith & Cohn can help. To learn more about us or tell us your story, you can contact us through our website or call (954) 431-8100 today.

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