I want to know is this a legitimate legal issue that I can take to court?

Asked over 1 year ago - Murfreesboro, TN

Hi. My on the morning of the first my car hydro-planed on top of a curve and had to be towed off. Well the tow company did several damages to my car such as when the driver towed it, he somehow bent the front inside driver rim of my car which caused my tire to deflate and when he towed it to my living location, he dropped the front bumper on top of the side walk. When the second towing company (AAA) came to change the tire on my car, the front bumper was stuck on the side walk and needed to pushed back in order to properly change my tire. Well, in this case my front bumper popped off. I just need to know is this a legitimate legal issue that I can take to court?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Jere Franklin Ownby III

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, the negligence of the tow truck company is compensable in court. From what you write, it doesn't seem that your damages are going to be sufficient to justify your hiring an attorney. I doubt if you're going to want to pay an attorney "by the hour" to get your compensation from the negligent tow company. And, I doubt if an attorney would be willing to take such a relatively small matter on the standard one third contingency fee basis.

    That doesn't mean that you can't be compensated for your loss. Here's what I would do if I were you: first, write the negligent tow company and tell them what happened and invite to come and look at the damages for themselves before have them fixed. (Photocopy your letter). Second, photograph all the damages and get estimates on everything is going to take put your car back when it was. Send photocopies of the estimate along with a letter (photocopy the letter) to the negligent tow company requesting that they compensate you for your loss. State in your letter that you will initiate a lawsuit in General Sessions Court if they do not agree to compensate you in full for your loss within a reasonable time.. Third, if you cannot reach an agreement with the tow company, go down to the courthouse and file your own lawsuit in small claims court – called General Sessions Court here in Tennessee.

    You are going to have to spend a good piece of one day waiting for your turn to be heard before the General Sessions Court Judge. He will have to decide whether or not it is worth it. Then, you'll just explained to the Judge what happened, show him your photographs, show him your documentation and asks that he give you a Judgment against the tow company for the damages caused by their negligence. You'll either win or you will lose but you do have a reasonable case and I think that you will when from what you've told me here.

    Oh one other thing that you might want to check on: here in the City of Knoxville, we have a Board of our City Government that manages/controls/administers the tow truck industry. If you were here in Knoxville, I would suggest that you contact the Tow Truck Board from the Knoxville City Government. I don't know if your local City and County government has equivalent bodies, but it would be worth your while to make some phone calls and find out. Perhaps they might be able to help you.

    If you find that this answer is helpful to someone in your situation, please indicate that on the Avvo website.

    If you want to discuss this further with me, send me a note. Attorney Jere Franklin Ownby JOwnby@OwnbyLawFirm.com
  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Report it to your insurance company to resolve. Small claims court is always an option as well.

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  3. Adebayo Olusegun Adesina

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you can sue the towing company if you believe they damaged your vehicle. You need to contact an attorney to assist you with the process. On the other hand, you may try small claims court if the cost of repairs to your car is not too high. Note- you will have to get an estimate for the cost of repair and be able to demonstrate that the damages you are claiming did not exist prior to the towing. (e.g. recent pictures or the car, video or prior maintenance report, mechanic testimony etc) Good luck!

  4. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unless you have pictures of your car before it was towed this may be hard with respect to your tire and rim. However, since AAA can verify the placement of your car on the sidewalk. If you have not already taken pictures then I would do so. Before you contact the first towing company you need to get a written statement from the AAA tow truck driver regarding what he saw. Once you have this them call the first tow company and talk with the manager.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being... more
  5. Carol Lynn Schlitt

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If I understand correctly, you had an accident and needed a tow. You believe that the towing company damaged your car. It is not clear to me what role the second towing company played in causing damage to your car.

    You live in Tennessee and I practice law in New York and am not expert on the laws of Tennessee. I can offer some general guidance, though you are always best off to check with a local attorney. If the towing company damaged your car, then you have the basis for a claim for compensation for the damages from the towing company. You would need to prove that the damages were not merely expected damages that one might get with a tow. You will need evidence such as before and after photos and witnesses statements as well as estimates to repair the damage.

    You should start by contacting your insurance company to let them know about the damage. Your insurance company may help you pursue compensation from the towing company. You should then notify the towing company that you suffered damages to your car and want them to reimburse you. If you cannot settle the claim, you could pursue the matter through Small Claims Court or the local equivalent.

    With limited property damage of this nature, you should be able to handle the matter yourself. That said, you can always benefit from speaking to a local attorney. You can find one here on Avvo or by county your county bar association.

    I hope this information helps.

    The Schlitt Law Firm and Carol L. Schlitt provide answers for informational purposes only. If this answer is... more

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