NSW Incident with Pedestrian at Car Park - Help?

Discussion in 'Personal Injury Law Forum' started by stillconfused, 2 July 2018.

  1. stillconfused

    stillconfused Member

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    This incident happened today at a Westfield Bondi Junction parking lot and I'm still quite shocked/confused as to what happened. I apologise in advance at how long this may be - I just wanted to include as much detail as I can recollect as it is still fresh in my mind.

    It was a busy Sunday afternoon at Bondi Junction, so the car park in P4 (Coles/ Myer) side was quite hectic. I was on my way to drive out from the car park, so I was following the 'Way Out' signs to lead me to the Hollywood Avenue exit which led me to the lane next to the entrance boomgates as well as a few pedestrian crossings to the basement entrance of the mall.

    As I was driving super slowly (cars and pedestrians everywhere as it was quite busy). I knew that there were pedestrian crossings around so I was being quite careful. I see that there is a man on my right looking down (perhaps on his phone or maybe not, but he seemed preoccupied) so I pressed the brakes, but as he looked like he was slowing down and not watching the road to cross, I let go of the brakes so at this point my car was moving at a very slow pace forward (probably 2-3km/hr).

    There was an entrance lane merging into mine, so I pressed the break, and as I did that, I was shocked to see that as I turned my head to the right, the man who was still looking down (at his phone or maybe just looking down as he walked), finally turned his head up. I saw him look at the car for 1 - 2 seconds, and then just walks into the side of my car.

    He starts yelling at me, and I rolled down the windows (he sounded aggressive and to be honest. I was unsure of what to do). He said that I hit him and because he was so loud, I was apologising. He said that I should have seen a pedestrian crossing where he was walking and I said 'sorry, I didn't see' - which was untrue but in the moment, I was in so much shock and he was so angry that I just didn't want to challenge him.

    What I meant to say was, yes, even though there are cars covering the visibility of the crossings right now, I know that there are crossings on this road, that's why I hit the breaks, but you were looking down and I genuinely thought that you had stopped walking so I let go of the breaks.

    As this man was yelling at me, about 5 meters behind him, a lady shouted as she walked past "Watch where you're going. Stop playing on your phone".

    I thought she was talking to me so I replied back "But I'm not on my phone..." but now that i'm replaying the moment in my head, it would make more sense if she had seen him on his phone and then walking into the side of my car.

    He then proceeded on his angry rant and took photos of the car and something along the lines of "I now have 3 sore toes! I'm going to get your insurance to pay for this." He then grumbled away and walked normally to the entrance of the shopping center.

    My questions are:

    1. Can I ask Westfield if they happen to have CCTV footage of the whole incident? Am I allowed to watch and/or obtain this?

    2. I know that in pedestrian-vehicle incidents, the vehicle is most probably going to be at fault as the driver is held to a higher duty of care. Is this the same in all situations?

    I'm quite a reasonable person and regardless of who is to blame, I still would hate to think that someone got hurt by this. However, I am replaying this incident in my head and whether or not I hit this man as he claims I did. The part that makes the least sense is that I hit him with my car, then why did this man collide with the side of my car (after the driver's door) when the car was barely moving?

    I hope that someone here can give me answers and help me make sense of the situation and help me on the best thing for me to do now.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes people take advantage of a situation. One time, I saw an old lady crossing the road. Some Chinese guy pulled out of a driveway and turned right in front of her. Then I saw the old lady leap forward and hit her hands on the side of the car and then pretended to fall down!

    I could hardly believe what I just saw! That's a genuine 'soccer mum' for you! (You know, like in soccer - falling down with an injury that is not real).

    You should inform the centre management to keep on hold any camera footage they may have.
     
  3. stillconfused

    stillconfused Member

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    This is why I'm confused - if he is genuinely hurt because of something I did, I would want to help (insurance would cover me anyway). However, I don't want to enable someone to do insurance fraud...

    I asked Westfield to check what happened for me but unfortunately, where it happened, it was not covered by CCTV. The centre has also said that usually, the 'injured party' would ask for footage but this has not been the case. They also have said that if the incident happened where they think it happens, there was no pedestrian crossing there.

    So I think there isn't much that I can do apart from wait and see if I ever hear from that man again?
     
  4. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    Yea, he probably found somebody else to sue. But still, don't forget to notify your insurance company of the incident.
     
  5. Ozwarlock67

    Ozwarlock67 Well-Known Member

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    Clancy is right, but all things considered, I doubt you'll hear any more. Pedestrians also have a duty of care to look where they are going!!
     
  6. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    Pedestrians have a duty of care to look where they are going? Theoretically they do, but so far as 'the way the wind blows' No, no they dont, Pedestrians can do no wrong.
     
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