If a car that is being towedgets looseand does damages property, is the insured car’s owner responsible for damages?

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If a car that is being towedgets looseand does damages property, is the insured car’s owner responsible for damages?

Asked on February 14, 2011 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is not clear which car owner you mean by the "insured car's owner"--e.g. the owner of the car being towed or the owner of a car hit by the towed car when it gets loose. As a general matter:

1) The owner of the car being towed would seem to *not* be liable, since he or she was not (presumably) responisble for or at fault in the car getting loose from the tow. If he or she has relevant insurance (property damage liability), the question and any claim should be referred to the insurer, who has an obligation to defend as well as indemnify--in that case, let the insurer decide whether to fight or not.

2) The towing company would certainly seem to be liable for any damage--to the car as well as to other property--since it was very likely their negligence in one way or another that led to the incident (badly maintained equipment; improper hook up; towing too fast; etc.)


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