Update to the thing with my car yesterday.

This is an update to the previous post about the woman claiming that I ran into her car.  If you haven’t read the other one, this one might not make a lot of sense.

It’s been an interesting day, but in a wholly different way than yesterday.  I’m over being frustrated and scared about the whole car situation.  Now I’m upset, angry, and taking action.

There was a message on my work phone this morning when I came back from a meeting.  The Woman With The Tahoe (TWWTT) filed an insurance claim against my insurance company and they were calling to ask what was going on and get the information that they needed.  I called back, but the gentleman I was supposed to talk with wasn’t available, so I left a message and set out for lunch.

I had a lunch thing with my department today.  Normally for these things, I catch a ride with another couple women from my group.  But today, I drove myself.  As I was leaving the parking lot, I looked around for the Tahoe to see if maybe I could take down her plate numbers or something.  When I saw her car and started to drive up to it, I saw a gentleman with a clipboard taking notes.  I parked (a good ways away from her car) and asked if he was from my insurance company.  He said, no, he was from TWWTT’s company.  I introduced myself, said I was the one she was claiming had hit her, and that I hadn’t done it.  He asked if he could look at my car and take some photos and I said that would be fine.

He came over and took a look, took a handful of photographs, wrote some notes on his clipboard.  My agent called while the other gentleman was looking over my car, and he told me to expect a call from the claims department sometime later that day and that I should be sure to answer the phone when they called.  I said I would be sure to do so.

The agent from the other company was friendly and encouraging and said that, in his opinion, it really didn’t look like I had hit her.  He took my name and phone numbers in case he needed them, thanked me for letting him look at my car, and I went on my way to lunch.

When I arrived late to the restaurant, people asked what had made me so late.  So I told the situation to the group sitting around me.  A couple of them had already heard about it, but it was news to most of them.  And they were a wealth of information about what I should do.  And they were wonderfully encouraging.  It’s like having a bunch of helpful uncles.

When I got back to my desk, I called the local police to ask if I could get a copy of the report that had been written yesterday.  It turns out that there isn’t one.  I left a message for the officer who responded because he was out on the street at the time of my call and not available.  The woman who took the message suspected that because the claim was on private property and a week old, the officer probably gave TWWTT a form to fill out and file with her insurance.

After that, I contacted the security office at work and asked for a copy of the report that had been filed with that department.  That one I did get, complete with the name of the woman filing the complaint and photographs of the damage.  That’s right, I didn’t even know her name until I got the report from Security.  And can I say, there are some confusing discrepancies between reports – like when she says she saw me come into the parking lot and where she saw me park:  was it on the 6th or the 12th and was it beside her or just somewhere in the lot?  The whole thing is a mess.

I also went and spoke with the HR representative for my department.  She is a wonderfully pleasant woman and I told her everything that was happening.  She said that she would speak with Security, too, so she could get a good handle on what was happening and that I should be sure to keep her in the loop as things progress.  I mostly spoke with her to make sure that I’m not failing to do things like I should be with a situation this complicated and in a company this large.  And also so if things go badly and TWWTT gets nasty about it, I’ve already got someone who’s heard my side of the story.  I think that’s the first proactive thing I’ve done since this happened.  Everything else has been reactive, but this one, I’m stepping ahead of the game.

And since insurance is apparently one of the very few quickly moving things in the south, I got a call from the agent from the claims department from my insurance company.  He took a recorded statement about what had happened, with lots and lots of really wonderful questions.  Like, how big is the parking lot?  What color is your car?  How many blue cars are in the lot — more than one?  When were you informed of the incident?  What’s your understanding of the situation?  Were there any witnesses?

I feel good about my statement.  I answered all the questions clearly and honestly, trying to make it very clear where things were confusing to me and just didn’t make sense how she could be making this claim against me.  And at the very end, when he asked if there was anything else I’d like to add to the statement, I was able to explain where the paint on my car had come from.  He said, just from my statement, that they probably were going to deny her claim because it didn’t seem like she had any proof against me.  She can’t file a claim just based on her opinion.  It’s not the final call because someone still has to come out and look at my car and there are other things that have to happen, but he’s feeling good about it going in my favor.

Also, if TWWTT decides to argue against their findings and takes me to small claims court, my insurance will provide me with a lawyer, free of charge.

He did ask me to ask Security if there was security footage of the parking lot the day of the incident, so I contacted them again to ask if that was available.  Unfortunately, although there is a camera in that lot, it’s angled in such a way that it didn’t see either one of our cars that day.  When I called the claims group back to let them know that information, I missed the call from the woman from my insurance who wants to come out and look at my car and, amusingly, our mailbox.

Naturally, my cell phone had died by then and I don’t have the ability to call numbers that aren’t local from my work phone.  So, since Justin still has a cell phone with a Savannah area phone number, I called him and begged him to call her back.  He did and now I have an appointment with her tomorrow at 11:30.

It’s been a busy day.  But I’m feeling good about it.  I have a lot of support from the people in my department at work, all of them incredulous that TWWTT is trying to do this and several of them offering suggestions on what I should do next.  Justin, of course, is wonderfully supportive of me.  And all the insurance people I’ve spoken with today seem to agree that the claim just isn’t going to go through.  Why she didn’t just file a hit-and-run last week is absolutely beyond me.  But she can’t randomly accuse me of this and have the insurance just go along with it with no proof.

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