Everyone who drives a car, truck, or van uses the same roads in the country and therefore everyone must follow all laws that govern driving. Failing to do so may place others at an unreasonably high risk for being involved in a car accident, an event that often causes harm in the form of personal injuries, damage to property, or even death among those who are involved.
Traffic rules vary among the states but there are many constants among them. One such universal law tends to be the requirement that those who are involved in collisions remain at the scene of the crash until cleared by local authorities. Failing to stay at the scene is often called a hit-and-run and in most jurisdictions, it is a crime.
In Arizona, motorists are required to stop if they have been involved in a car accident and they must provide their basic information to a police officer or to another driver involved in the crash. For example, if requested, a driver must show her driver’s license and must provide information regarding her automobile insurance. She may also be required to call for help or administer first aid if someone is hurt in the collision. Failing to stop or failing to abide by other portions of this law may result in a charge of hit-and-run which can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the crash.
The laws in Washington bear some similarities to those in Arizona as leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in both states. This is a lesson that Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman has learned first-hand in the last two days as reports confirm he has been arrested in association with a car accident.
Police in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue have reported that Coleman was operating a pickup truck on Wednesday night when the pickup allegedly rear-ended a passenger car, pushing the car off the roadway and causing it to come to a rest upside down on a retention wall. Police claim that Coleman failed to stop at the scene and check on the motorist in the other vehicle and failed to report the incident to authorities, instead fleeing the scene of the accident on foot as his truck was heavily damaged in the crash.
When authorities located Coleman blocks from the scene of the collision, he was arrested and charged with hit-and-run and vehicular assault. Each charge is a felony and could lead to a prison sentence if Coleman is convicted for his role in the collision and it is possible that additional charges could be added pending the outcome of an official investigation.
At this time, it is not clear what caused the crash though a statement released by a representative for Coleman indicates that Coleman may have fallen asleep behind the wheel of his truck. The Seattle Seahawks have suspended Coleman indefinitely at this time but they have given no further comment on the situation.
When a hit-an-run car accident happens in the Phoenix area, victims often are unsure about their legal options and whether they have a valid claim. Yet regardless of whether an at-fault driver is apprehended, relief is possible and may enable injury victims to obtain the payment they deserve for the damages they sustained. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you realize what course of action may help you recover if you were involved in a crash.
The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. offers a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all victims of car accidents who call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and we have an attorney available 24/7 to take your call. Everything discussed during the consultation will be kept confidential and if we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf. If you have questions or if you need help, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us get to work for you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Teen Drivers: Why Everyone Should Be Concerned, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 15, 2015.
Seattle Seahawks’ Coleman arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run, by Eric M. Johnson and Steve Ginsburg, Reuters/Yahoo! Sports, published October 15, 2015.