If my wife’s car was repossessed due to non-payment of an auto loan but it was damaged as a result, can the bank or tow company be held accountable?

I stopped the tow truck before the my left my road and asked to get the car seats from the car. I had to go back to the house to grab the key. He said I could. As I pulled away and went to turn around the tow truck sped off. I chased him down. Cut him off then stopped in the road. He still wouldn’t let me get the car seats. I went home. A cop arrived wanting information for an accident report. My wife’s vehicle had come out of the cradle (tow method for front and rear tires). The vehicle smashed into the cast iron tow arm. The rear bumper was smashed and the frame damaged. It’s due to snatch and grab tow methods.

Asked on February 9, 2016 under Accident Law, Missouri


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The tow company is liable for negligence for damage to your wife's car.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable tow company would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
If the tow company was an employee of the bank, the bank would be liable for negligence (for the damage to the car) because an employer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs during the course and scope of employment.
If the tow company is an independent contractor,  NOT an employee of the bank, then the bank is NOT liable for the damage to your wife's car.

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