Baltimore Ravens player Terrell Suggs has pled not guilty to all of the charges in his Arizona car crash case. The NFL player has denied that he left the scene of a March 4th accident.
Suggs Pleads Not Guilty to AZ Car Crash
Suggs was arrested on March 4th and later charged with two misdemeanors, including: driving with a suspended driver’s license and failure to notify after striking a fixture. The NFL player struck a wall while driving through a shopping center and then fled the scene. Suggs contends that he went to a nearby restaurant so that he could call someone to pick him up.
He is due in court in May, but if convicted of the suspended license charge, he could face up to 6 months in jail. Failure to notify charges carry a sentence of up to 30 days in jail.
Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident
Luckily for Suggs, no one - including himself - was injured in the car accident, but this case does bring up the issue of leaving the scene of a car accident. Leaving the scene of an accident is more commonly referred to as a “hit-and-run,” and it appears that these incidents are on the rise.
Crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes has increased, from 1,274 in 2009, to 1,393 in 2010, to 1,449 in 2011. In addition to these rising numbers, though there was a 13.7% increase in hit-and-run deaths over that three-year period, traffic deaths overall were falling 4.5%, from 33,883 in 2009 to 32,367 in 2011.
Are people just unaware that they’ve hit something or someone?
Doesn’t seem like it, according to Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The problem is bigger than I think most people are aware,” he says.
“People find themselves in these situations, and what do you do?” says Sara Solnick, chairwoman of the Department of Economics at the University of Vermont. She has studied numerous hit-and-run accidents. “Drivers are more likely to run if they feel there is a reason to do so. They’re more likely to have high blood-alcohol content, or they’re driving without a license, or they’re very young drivers.”
According to research done by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety, 21% of all fatal crashes from 1993-1999 involved drivers with no valid license. While an exact number of people driving without a license is unknown, the number is projected to be somewhere in the millions.
2012 Arizona Law
In 2012, Arizona enacted a law that required any driver who left the scene of a crash resulting in serious injury to automatically have his or her license suspended for five years. If the accident results in a death, the automatic suspension is 10 years, not including time in jail.
Knowing how strict the law is regarding hit and run accidents, it’s incredible to know that they still happen as often as they do. Sure, a car accident can be confusing and scary, but there are still actions that need to be taken regardless of how serious or not serious the accident is. There are a number of things you should not do, including leave the scene. Below we review other things you should NOT do if you have been involved in an accident.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
Here’s a list of things to NOT do after a car accident:
- Leave the scene. You are legally required to stop, check on the other person and car involved, exchange all insurance and contact information and report it to law enforcement. Failure to do so means you’ve committed a crime.
- Forget to call 911. Even if the car accident seems minor, if you don’t get an official police report that documents the accident, what proof do you have? Sometimes law enforcement might not respond to collision unless there are injuries, but you always have an opportunity to get a report of the accident. This can help in the claim process, as well as protect you.
- Lose your cool. Try to remain as calm as possible and be polite.
- Admit fault. Do not admit to anything. But doing so, you’re legally admitting liability for the accident. This can expose you to lawsuits or other penalties.
- Forget proper documentation. Documenting any damage done to cars or the scene will provide you with any necessary evidence should the accident lead to a lawsuit. Try to take a few minutes to write down what happened from your point of view. Note time, date, streets, makes models and colors of cars, direction you were heading, contact information, and information from any witnesses that were at the scene. This will all help to build your case and help determine liability.
Working with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you should immediately call a personal injury attorney that can help you build your case. They have the experience necessary to ensure you are able to prove your injuries so that you can collect the compensation you are owed.
<p> The attorneys at <a href="https://www.personalinjuryattorneys.me/car-accident-attorney-phoenix/">Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC</a> have experience handling personal injury cases such as car accidents, <a href="https://www.personalinjuryattorneys.me/slip-and-fall-attorney-phoenix/">slip and fall accidents</a>, and <a href="https://www.personalinjuryattorneys.me/dog-bite-attorney-phoenix/">dog bites</a>. After contacting an attorney they will investigate the specifics of the personal injury. The more information you can provide to them, the better. That means specifics of the crash, any witness information, any medical bills or time spent in hospital, and the specifics of your injuries. They will build a case for you based on these specifics and then defend you should the case go to trial. You'll want to work with experienced personal injury attorneys like the ones at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC. </p> </div> </div>