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What Damage Can Happen From Towing a Car?

If you have a vehicle towed, it is often because it has already been involved in an accident or because it has a mechanical issue. When you entrust your car to the towing service, you don’t want your vehicle to be damaged by the towing.

However, a tow truck can damage a vehicle when special precautions are not used. Of course, various cosmetic damages could result from the vehicle being hooked up to the tow truck:

  • Scratches to the exterior
  • Dents
  • Dings
  • Transmission damage
  • Wheel and tire damage
  • Linkage damage

Mechanical Issues and Transmission Damage

Mechanical damage can also result from towing when it is not done properly. For example, towing can damage a vehicle’s transmission when it is not properly done. If a vehicle with an automatic transmission is towed with the drive wheels on the ground, a lot of damage could result.

If a vehicle is in “park” the drive wheels will skid and damage the tires and linkages that lead back to the transmission. When a vehicle is towed, it should be put into “neutral.” Front-wheel drive vehicles should only be towed from the front wheels.

Four-wheel drives with a transfer case or vehicles with a manual transmission need to be put into neutral. Automatic transmissions do not disengage the wheels when in neutral, so towing could force the transmission to go into a direction that it can’t turn, which will lead to damage. The wrong movement might prevent the oil from moving through the gears and transmission as it should.

What Damage Can Happen From Towing a Car?

Pursuing a Claim Against the Towing Company

Pursuing a claim for damages from the towing service can be challenging. You will have to prove that the damage in question was done by the tow truck itself.

Sometimes, the tow truck driver might admit to the incident. At other times, you might have to produce documentation or other evidence, such as eyewitnesses, who can confirm that your vehicle was not damaged prior to being towed.

For example, if there is a coworker who parked beside you everyday and who knew your car was not damaged and was free of dents and scratches. Or, if you carpool and there are riders who can confirm your vehicle’s transmission was fine the day before it was towed, that can be beneficial in getting your claim with the towing company resolved.

Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer

If your vehicle was damaged while towing, you can pursue a claim against the towing company. Consult with a personal injury attorney who will review the details of your case and help you gather up supporting evidence and documentation.

Your personal injury lawyer will not be compensated until you recoup your losses through a settlement or a judgment. Time is of the essence, though, because personal injury claims have a statute of limitations that are dependent on state law. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today to get your claim on track.

Additional Resources

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