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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    3

    Default Library parking lot accident in Arizona

    Last spring I drove down a lane in my local library parking lot. Cars were parked on both sides, and ahead of me a golf cart was parked in the middle of the lane. It seemed strange to me, but I could see there was room on either side of the golf cart to go around it. I passed around it on the right. As I proceeded I saw back-up lights flash from a truck parked just ahead on my right, and it began backing up into my path. I hit my horn and tried to also get out of the way. The truck stopped just as there was an impact--the back bumper of this large extended-cab truck and the right side of my car. I assumed I had the only damaged vehicle. So I drove my car to the nearest available parking spot, out of the way of others entering the lot. I intended to survey my damage and then promptly go over to the other driver. To my surprise there was little damage to my car. When I approached the other driver, a woman was standing up in the golf cart yelling at me, calling me a "hit and run" driver. As she continued screaming at me and behaving like someone mentally disturbed, I tried to talk to the other driver who was demanding the name of my insurance company. I said I understood that it is difficult to determine guilt in parking lot accidents and that each party generally contacts their own insurance co. and that I believed I had the right of way. They(driver and his wife) claimed they had damage to their bumper, tho' I couldn't see it . They again demanded the name of my insurance co., not asking for my name or any other information. All this time, the woman in the golf cart continued verbally attacking me and it seemed impossible to carry on a conversation. Out of frustration, I threw up my hands and said I was going into the library and advised them I would call my insurance co., they should call theirs. When I came out of library, there was a note on my car with their phone no. again requesting my insurance carrier. I went home and immediately called my insurance co. They advised me that I was under no obligation to call the other party with my insurance information.

    Several months later, I received a letter from my local sheriff office charging me with two Class Three Misdemeanors--Failure to stop at scene of an accident and failure to give information. At my first court hearing, the other party handed me a bill for $500 in damages to their bumper. My insurance company first denied their claim. Some time later after reconsidering, they decided because there was a witness(the crazy golf cart woman), it would be best to pay the claim and avoid a possible lawsuit which could cost more.

    I have a "Case Management Conference" date in court coming up this week. Can you advise me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Library parking lot accident in Arizona

    A case management conference for what? The criminal charge?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    3

    Default Re: Library parking lot accident in Arizona

    That's my understanding. I think the court also referred to it as a "Bench Hearing."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Library parking lot accident in Arizona

    Show up on time, dressed for court, ideally with a lawyer along to represent you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Library parking lot accident in Arizona

    My Bench Hearing has been postponed. Awaiting new date, I uncovered 2 more questions. An obvious one, can a golf cart in a parking lot among trucks, cars be legal, ie, does the driver of the golf cart bear some responsibility for obstructing a parking-lot lane? And how does plea bargaining work? Do I offer a lesser charge deal or will the judge? Either way, what would be a reasonable charge for me to accept? I still believe that I am innocent of the charges, tho' I can see that I should have protected myself better (called the police to the scene).

    Any help is appreciated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,652

    Default Re: Library parking lot accident in Arizona

    Quote Quoting just-asking
    View Post
    My Bench Hearing has been postponed. Awaiting new date, I uncovered 2 more questions. An obvious one, can a golf cart in a parking lot among trucks, cars be legal, ie, does the driver of the golf cart bear some responsibility for obstructing a parking-lot lane? And how does plea bargaining work? Do I offer a lesser charge deal or will the judge? Either way, what would be a reasonable charge for me to accept? I still believe that I am innocent of the charges, tho' I can see that I should have protected myself better (called the police to the scene).

    Any help is appreciated.

    From your own post you are not innocent.

    28-663. Duty to give information and assistance; classification

    A. The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person or damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person shall:

    1. Give the driver's name and address and the registration number of the vehicle the driver is driving.

    2. On request, exhibit the person's driver license to the person struck or the driver or occupants of or person attending a vehicle collided with.

    3. Render reasonable assistance to a person injured in the accident, including making arrangements for the carrying of the person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if the carrying is requested by the injured person.

    B. A person who fails to comply with this section is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.
    28-662. Accidents involving damage to vehicle; failure to stop; classification; driver license suspension

    A. The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person shall:

    1. Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the accident scene as possible but shall immediately return to the accident scene.

    2. Remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has fulfilled the requirements of section 28-663.

    3. Make the stop without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

    B. A person failing to stop or comply with this section is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.

    C. A court may order the department to suspend the license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privilege of a person convicted under this section for one year.


    They had to track you down to get information on you.

    There isn't anything illegal about a golf cart in a parking lot. Since you seen it parked there, you believed you used caution while going around it. That seems to be where there is some discrepancy.

    It isn't so much how the accident happened, this is about the fact that you didn't leave the required information.

    Do as Mr. K has suggested. Your lawyer can try and work out a plea bargain. If you can not afford an attorney, check to see if you are eligible for a public defender

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