What should I do if a towing company damaged my car while removing it after the police have called them to tow it?

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What should I do if a towing company damaged my car while removing it after the police have called them to tow it?

On 2/1/11 my car became stuck on the side of the road. It was technically parked legally according to the IL state drive handbook. There was a blizzard with visibility less than 50 feet. The police picked me up from my car and drove me to a hotel. The road was closed on Thursday 2/3/11 when I went to retrieve my car and main roads had been opened. The road my car was on was still closed, so I left it there until the next day. By noon on 2/4/11 When I went to get my car it had been towed. The towing company winched my car out from between 2 snow drifts that were not touching it.

Asked on February 7, 2011 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the towing company was negligent, or unreasonably careless and damaged your car, they are responsible for that damage; even if the police called them to tow it, they had an obligation to use reasonable care in doing so. (Or if for some reason they deliberately damaged it, they'd of course also be liable.) The issue might be factual, however; that is, can you show that the damage was caused by the towing company and was not pre-existing damage?Or even if they damaged it, so can show they were negligent (instead of it being the case, for example, that they had to move it to avoid the car partially blocking the road and under the exigencies of the situation, couldn't help but damage it?).

If you have collision insurance on your car, the easiest thing is probably to submit a claim to your own insurer and let it look for reimbursement, if appropriate.


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