What to do if my father was in a car accident and the tow company is trying to charge way too much for it?

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What to do if my father was in a car accident and the tow company is trying to charge way too much for it?

He just wants to get his personal stuff out but they won’t let him. Can they do that?

Asked on July 1, 2014 under Accident Law, Oregon

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First off, see if the tow company has a contract with the jurisdiction in which the accident occuured (to tow vehiles that have been involved in an accident). if so, see if there is a maximum rate that can be charged. If not, your father still have a few options. He can file a complaint against the towing companyfor charging overinflated fees. Additionally, he could file a claim with the Better Business Bureau and possibly the fraud department if one is available in your state. Finally, his insurance company may be able to help.  The fact is that your father may be able to contest charges if the tow company misrepresented their services, claimed to be affiliated with your insurer and/or law enforcement, or committed any other act of deception. He could also sue in small claims court.

As to the items that your father would like to retieve, until the bill is settled (one way or the other), I'm agraid that there might not be much that he can do. Check on the towing regulations in the area in question. However, there are almost always exceptions made for the retieval of medicines, the driver's/passenger's wallets and the like.


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