Being in an accident is already stressful but it becomes even more stressful when your car is further damaged by the tow truck that comes to take your car to the body shop. Tow truck damage can include damage to the bumper if the car isn’t hooked up to the truck properly and sometimes even tire or windshield damage.
In order to file a personal injury claim against the towing company you will need to prove that the damage came from the tow truck driver and not from the driver of the other car that was involved in the accident.
It can be tough to prove this. You should talk to a personal injury attorney today to find out what proof you need to file a personal injury claim for tow truck damage.
We have asked attorney, Alaina Sullivan, about what you should do. Here is what she had to say:
Types of Damages that Could Occur
Seeing damages to your car that you believe were caused by the tow truck is an incredibility frustrating thing, especially considering the fact that your car had previously been damaged in an accident.
Probably the most common damage that can come from a tow truck to your car is damage to your bumper. A tow truck can cause damage to your bumper if its hook was not properly positioned to pick up your car.
A tow truck hitting your car can cause significant bumper damage, depending on how large the tow truck is and how small your car is. Other damage from a tow truck can cause to a vehicle is windshield and tire damage.
If you do believe that the tow truck damaged your vehicle further, you should make sure you have as much physical evidence as possible.
Document the Damage
The first thing you are going to want to do to protect yourself if you believe the tow truck driver damaged your vehicle is to document it. Most damages from tow trucks include:
- Scratches to your car’s exterior
- Deflated tires
- Car alignment difficulties
The best evidence would be to take pictures of the damage. Hopefully you have photographs of your car before the tow truck took it but if you do not, take pictures as soon as you notice the damage.
They may try to defend themselves saying that the damage was already there or was from the accident, which was the reason why they were called to get your car in the first place.
You may need statements from witnesses to back up your story if that does happen. You could even get the tow truck driver’s admission to damaging the car.
Take a video or pictures as they try hooking your car up to the truck. They may not like it but it is within your right to protect yourself and your property.
One of the most important parts of proving your case to get compensation for your damages is to show that the damage was, in fact, caused by the tow truck. If the truck came to the scene of an accident to get your car, the fact that it needs a tow truck to begin with means that your car is likely damaged.
How do you decipher the damage that came from impact and the accident to the damage caused by the tow truck driver?
You will need to show what damage was caused by the tow truck alone to get compensated for that damage. That can involve some inspection to the car and an attorney's help, but many insurance companies have claims adjusters on staff who can do just that.
Payment from Towing Company
You would be able to file a claim for damages caused solely by the tow trucking company against the company itself. You can do this by filing a claim against the company’s or the driver’s insurance policy. The next question would be is the trucking company a municipal entity or private one.
Every municipality has laws governing how tow trucks drivers operate, as well as what happens when an accident occurs and who pays for damages.
If the tow truck driver is paid through the city or state, it might be hard to get your claim compensated, but many tow truck drivers are actually independent operators and not government run. Therefore, the immunity that extends to governmental operations would not necessarily extend to them.
You can file a claim under your own insurance policy for recovery. Normally, your collision coverage policy will cover damages from tow trucks. Collision policies will pay for damages caused by other objects or cars that collide with your own car.
Since a tow truck is considered another “object or car,” you would be covered under this policy. However, you will likely need to pay up to your deductible first before you are reimbursed for damages.
This would mean the damage would need to be significant enough that it would be above that amount, whether it be $500 or $1,000.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you have been in a car accident and your car was damaged by the tow truck service following the accident, it is recommended you contact an attorney today to discuss your case if you do not currently have a lawyer or have any questions.
A licensed personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine if you have a claim against the other party’s insurance company.
To receive the compensation for your medical bills, property damages, and pain and suffering, you should speak with a personal injury attorney in your area today.