Pedestrian in Parking Lot...

by Debra

I was in a very busy parking lot in Virginia. I pulled out of my space and a SUV started backing straight out (after I was already out of my place). The driver appeared to be looking in her rear view mirror and I was to the side of her, so to be safe I pulled back into my space, not pulling in fully, so I was still at an angle.

After waiting for her to get past a van pulled out from the spot behind me, then another car pulled out, so I was waiting for quite some time. I never put the car back in gear, so my break lights and backup lights were on and I was not parked fully back in the space.

Once it was clear, I turned around to look, took some pressure off my break and I heard the sound of someone slapping my car on the side, but did not see the person in the rear window. Prior to the slap, she was not there, but right after slapping the car she appeared.

She could not have fallen because there was not enough time for her to get up, if she did fall, between the slap and time she appeared. The car had hardly moved because I immediately pressed down hard on the breaks. I could tell it was a slap because I could hear her rings hit the metal. Immediately after that, she appeared in my field of vision.

Apparently, she was in the blindspot when she slapped the car and then came around. The car was at an angle since I was not fully in the spot. She was not in a crosswalk and for some reason she did not use the sidewalk that runs across the parking lot to the other side. There are also sidewalks going around the shopping center as well. She did not appear to have a car or it was parked very far away.

The elderly woman walked behind my car giving me a look like she was deranged. I could not even put my car in park because she was so close to my vehicle that I was afraid it would move (like cars do when you take them out of gear) for fear she'd get bumped.

She proceeded to walk past the back and then she kept going on her way. I thought she'd go over to the passenger side to where my husband was sitting, but she kept on going and never looked back. When she walked away, she appeared to be scanning the ground, like she was looking for something. As she got further away, she looked as if she was looking for someone or something.

Also, after she was past the car and started walking away, I saw 4 young men look over at me, but nothing was said. We waited and watched her walk away for quite some time, not knowing what to do, and when she got around 50 feet away we proceeded to leave. She never said anything that we could hear.

We were so shocked we did not know what to do. Our first thoughts were to wonder if was she okay, but when she walked away we figured she was and the slap was a warning that she was there. After thinking about it more, I have began to wonder if she was part of a scam and is going to make a false claim.

There is no damage to my car. She did not have time to fall and pick herself up between the slap on the car and when she appeared. It has been 4 days and this has been driving me crazy with worry, thinking that someone is going to show up at my door saying I hit the woman.

Any recommendations on what I should do?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Pedestrian in Parking Lot...":

Debra (Virginia):

If you are concerned about possible retribution or violence you should contact the police immediately. If you are concerned about a civil lawsuit or civil claim of some sort you don't really have much to worry about.

If the woman wants to claim she was injured that's just fine. To do so she will have to either contact you in person, or by letter. If she attempts to contact you in person tell her you don't want to speak with her about the matter.

Tell her to put her claim in writing and mail it to you. Tell her once you receive it you will turn the matter over to your insurance company.

Once you turn the matter over to your insurance company a Claims Adjuster will contact you. She will want to take your recorded telephonic statement. That's perfectly normal. Your adjuster is on your side. She doesn't want to give the insurance company's money away unless she absolutely has to. The Adjuster will then contact the woman and will also take her recorded statement.

The Adjuster will do a thorough investigation of the facts. If she believes the facts merit some sort of settlement, she will make the woman an offer. You should know these adjusters are experts and can see a fraud from a hundred miles away.

This is what you pay your car insurance for. Don't worry. You'll be fine.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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