A Tow Truck Damaged My Car. Who's Responsible? | Scott Goodwin Law

A Tow Truck Damaged My Car. Who’s Responsible?

by / Wednesday, 31 January 2024 / Published in Motor Vehicle Accidents
White truck loaded onto a tow truck.

If you’re a driver, it’s very likely that your car will need to be towed at some point in time. Car breakdowns happen to all of us, and when they do happen, your car might need to be towed to a mechanic. A tow truck might also be able to help if your car ends up getting stuck in a ditch or in thick mud. (Cars are also often towed if someone is caught driving under the influence or without a license/insurance, after a car accident, having an expired parking meter, or for other parking violations like blocking fire hydrants or being in a no parking zone – but we hope those aren’t the reasons why your car was towed.) 

While tow trucks are meant to help, in some cases, cars get damaged while being towed. Bumper damage is one type of damage that has been associated with cars being towed improperly. If some of a car’s tires are on the ground while being towed, there can be a risk of transmission damage. Tire damage, damage to windshields, dents and scratches, and damage to wheel alignment can also be caused by improper towing. So, when damage occurs while being towed, who is responsible?

Because tow truck drivers are professionals, it’s expected that they will exercise due care while attempting to tow a vehicle. Due care means acting in a way that other professionals would in the same situation. Proper towing techniques are very important for safely transporting vehicles, as are generally safe driving actions. If a tow truck driver fails to take reasonable care while towing a vehicle, and the vehicle is damaged as a result, it can be considered negligence.

If your car was damaged while being towed, you have a few options to consider. One thing you can do is contact your auto insurance provider to find out if your policy covers the damages. If you have comprehensive coverage, this could cover the damage caused by the tow. If you can’t go through your own auto insurance, your next option would be to contact the towing company. Before contacting the tow company, you’ll need to get some estimates to prove how much the repairs would cost and gather any other evidence you might have that proves the damage was caused by the tow. 

If the towing company doesn’t cooperate, you can try filing a lawsuit. Depending on the total amount of your damages, you may be able to try taking the towing company to small claims court. However, be aware that going through small claims court means that you’ll need to represent yourself instead of having a lawyer represent you. If you’d prefer to be represented by a lawyer, get in touch with a car accident lawyer for help.

Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

At Scott Goodwin Law, you’ll be able to get help from an attorney experienced in handling car accident cases in the State of Michigan. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so that you can get answers to any questions you have about your case and learn more about your legal options.

Image: Pexels / Jonathan Reynaga