Am I responsible for a tow bill following an accident ifI didn’t want the vehicle towed in the first place?

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Am I responsible for a tow bill following an accident ifI didn’t want the vehicle towed in the first place?

My 70 year old mom reversed the car of the driveway, and across the cul de sac street over a curb. The car went over the grass about 15ft down a slight embankment and stopped at a log. There were 2 flat tires. When the officer arrived, he called a towing service, then called me on my mom’s phone to inform me. I asked him to leave car on driveway, but he didn’t listen and said that the tow service needs $100 cash for pulling the car out now. I told him to knock at my door and ask my wife. But he hung up. The tow service is charging $245 for towing (5 miles) + $15 /storage day. Am I responsible for towing?

Asked on March 4, 2011 under Accident Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am going to have to err on the side of the towing company for at least the initial charge here and say that suing them for the additional charge is a crap shoot. In other words, you will have a 50/50 shot at winning.  The police have the right to call a tow company if they believe that the situation warrants it.  I believe that they are given the ability to make that judgement call when assessing a situation that requires their involvement as law enforcement, and I think that this situation is one of those times.  Yes, I agree that they should have asked your wife for the money to mitigate the fees but did they have to?  Maybe not.  In any event you need the car out so get it and then decide if you want to take them to small claims court.  Good luck.


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