What to do about vehicular assault?

by Susan
(Wilmington, Delaware)

I was assaulted by someone in a private parking lot near my home. I have never seen or met this person before. Here is what happened...

I had just parked the car, and there were clearly three open spaces next to me, three behind me, and 50 other spaces around us. I opened my car door, put my feet on the ground, reminded my son about the package in the trunk, turned to get up, and inside my door was the front of her car.

I starting shaking wondering what in the heck...she backed up, okay, I stood up looking at her and her at me, and then she charged for me! Her car hit my door, throwing me back in the car. She proceeded to run into the door, crushing me behind the door while my legs were still on the ground.

I was screaming, and she screamed back "shut the f--- up, b--ch." I opened the door and screamed "you hit me." She then got out of the car with her fists up and said, "didn't I tell you to shut the f--- up." That is when my son got out of the car to tell her the same back and not to talk to his mother that way.

Then she shut up and stood there like a statue. I was able to walk to her and was yelling, "Why did you do this? Open your eyes, look around here, there are hundreds of places you could have parked! Why did you do this?"

She told me to stop screaming at her and she would open her eyes. I told her I will not stop screaming until she answered me. She never even said she was sorry.

What should I do about her charging me with her car, and suing her? I reported the incident to both insurance companies as an assault, and to the police. I have been to doctors, both knee and spine specialists.

As a result of the incident, I have permanent patella femoral syndrome, a large hemangioma on my back where I hit the door and seat, and a large cyst in my spinal column. What can I do about this? What options do I have to go after this woman for what she did to me? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "What to do about vehicular assault?":

Susan (Wilmington, Delaware):

The State of Delaware is a no-fault insurance state. As a result, you likely filed your injury claim with your own insurance company. While you were certainly entitled to report the collision and assault to the other driver’s insurance company, it is likely the company will ignore the matter.

Car owners in the State of Delaware are required to purchase at least the following minimum insurance coverages and limits of liability under the Delaware Motorists Protection Act:

- Bodily Injury Liability in the minimum amount of $15,000 for injuries in one accident to one person, and $30,000 for injuries in one accident to two or more persons

- Property damage in the minimum amount of $10,000 for each accident

- Personal Injury Protection in the amount of $15,000 for one accident to one person, and $30,000 for each accident to two or more persons

- $10,000 for damage to property other than a motor vehicle

You reported the incident to the police. They may or may not investigate the matter as a criminal assault. If they do, and the police decide the driver committed a criminal act, she may be cited or arrested.

The State of Delaware does not require its drivers to carry vehicle property damage insurance, only for damage the insured may cause to property other than another vehicle. However, when another driver is at fault in an accident, the insured driver may pursue the at-fault party for property damage.

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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