Is it wrong that a tow company charges us daily even though we didn't know that it was being stored? The car was totaled.

Asked 9 months ago - Antelope, CA

cousin uses the car and got in accident 10/31/13. The car was apparently totaled and towed away. It was not until 12/6 that we got a letter in the mail stating that the tow company was storing the vehicle and that it accrued quite a large amount of storage fees. I was BAFFLED at the thought of this since i was not aware that is was even being store. I do not mind paying a bill for tow away fees; however we can not pay the outrageous and a surprise of storage fees. If I had known much much earlier i would have taken care of it immediately to avoid additional fees; however when getting the notice of stored vehicle more than a month afterwards, the fees amounted to a much to high amount. I am trying to contact my cousin and her insurance on the matter as to why it wasnt taken cared of.

Additional information

Hellos guys, sorry that my description was too vague. I will clarify things up.
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The car is not used by us and we were going to sell it; however my fiance's cousin needed a car so we let her borrow it. We change the registration to list My fiance and her cousin as the registered owners of the vehicle. We recently did this so that she could use the car and pay for her own car insurance.
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Apparently she was hit on the freeway, first car drove off, and while spinning out was hit 2 more times by other cars. We no longer carried the car insurance for the car, her cousin did. we found out she got into accident that night and that the car was towed away. We had no idea that it was being stored.
The real thing that bothers me is why did the tow company wait more than 30 days to notify us that the car was being stored.
Is there are law stating that they must notify us of the storage and can not charge more than 15 days without that notice????

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Wendy Marie Schenk

    Contributor Level 16

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Interesting scenario. So intake it you are the registered owner? So hopefully you carried insurance on it. It's strange that in 2 months time you never learned that your cousin was in an accident...not to mention in your car. Insurance companies typically only deal with the registered owner of a car, so if the other driver was at fault it seems like you would have received a letter. This makes me guess that your cousin was at fault. If so, time for your cousin to step up to the plate. Hopefully he/she carried insurance. If the tow yard can sell the car for salvage to cover the cost of storage, you may have to go that route. Then sign your cousin up for payment plan to pay you back if there is no insurance to cover it.

  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Best to get it out sooner than later to avoid more charges.

    Licensed & have offices in PA & NJ ONLY. (Philadelphia, PA & Marlton, NJ)
  3. Sean Michael Patrick

    Contributor Level 16

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If it was totaled, the insurance should take care of the bill. You have an obligation to mitigate damages (limit the storage charges) if possible. The best approach is to contact the tow company and put them in touch with the insurance company, and continue to try to contact the insurance company to resolve the situation. Best of luck.

    I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which... more
  4. Richard Todd Rosenstein

    Contributor Level 19

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a common practice. Tow/storage companies do not store vehicles for free. You should turn the matter over to your insurance company to adjust your damage claim and to remove your vehicle from the tow/storage facility. You must mitigate your damages by having your vehicle removed from the storage facility as soon as possible.

  5. Christopher John Gansen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . baffled? really?

    who was at fault? how much insurance is involved? whose is covering this?

    contact this tow yard and say you just got notice of the charges; see if they'll reduce them or your insurance will handle it. seems like you should've been more diligent.

    seems like if you had insurance this never would have happened.

  6. Michael Shemtoub

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Whose fault was the accident?

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for... more
  7. C. Donald Briggs III

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Notify any insurers who might be involved and get them to pay. You should try to get the car out ASAP to avoid further charges.

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