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anyone familiar with tow truck companies?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 jimschroder

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Posted 03 November 2004 - 08:13 PM

I'm in the process of suing a tow truck company that destroyed my transmission by towing my awd w/ 2 up and 2 on the road... (see my other post)...

wondering if anyone out there knows a lot about tow truck liscencing/operations?

specifically - would the same driver ever drive different trucks? or different type trucks? do you have to have a different liscence to drive a normal truck vs. a flatbed?

thanks!

#2 dustyrider

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Posted 03 November 2004 - 08:52 PM

I'm in the process of suing a tow truck company that destroyed my transmission by towing my awd w/ 2 up and 2 on the road... (see my other post)...

wondering if anyone out there knows a lot about tow truck liscencing/operations?

specifically - would the same driver ever drive different trucks? or different type trucks? do you have to have a different liscence to drive a normal truck vs. a flatbed?

thanks!

i dont know about what your looking for.
but i have sued a tow truck company in small claims court before
you just have to prove that the driver was incompetent... aka get a tow truck driver that knows not to tow a car this way as a witness.
you can get witnesses, the more the better, get the mechanic to say there was another way to tow the car and that the damage caused was by the towing because hes seen it before.
make sure you get the driver of the tow truck too. he sounds like he may just prove your case on the incompetence area alone.
just keep your cool and get the people you call to the stand to do the talking for you!
the tow truck company has insurance for this sort of thing and you will be going against their lawyer. who most likely will be pretty lousy and if you talk with your witnesses before hand will most likely plead your case to him during questioning again furthering your case.

i have no idea what your damage is going to cost you though and if it goes to a higher court than good luck. get a lawyer or cut your losses. lawyers suck up any money you could hope for.

:( about the car

#3 f15xxx

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Posted 03 November 2004 - 09:48 PM

yeah, i USED TO own a porsche!!!

enough of the humor. i am a lawyer. you need to be able to prove that the driver was negligent: ie: wasn't trained properly, didn't listen to your protests about special sube towing procedures, or, didn't have a commercial license. these outfits are usually bonded and have to have some kind of liability binder on file with the state. call your secy of state to see. take 'em to court. if your damages are higher than small claims jurisdiction amount, they will want to bump you up to next level of jurisdiction which will allow for discovery and motions etc. if you don't know what you're doing, things can spin out of control pretty quickly. most of all preserve all receipts, tow dispatch reports (it might say "sube" - need flatbed), and write down all statements made to refresh your memory later. it's too bad what happened to your car, but that's what THEIR insurance is for. good luck fellow sube-dude.

#4 The Dude

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Posted 03 November 2004 - 11:15 PM

I'm curious, since you weren't present, how do you know how the car was towed? Can you provide proof that the car was towed improperly?
Small claims court is "joe citizen" friendly, but there are procedures, and you have to know what you are doing. I recommend that read you a book or two on the subject. The towing company is counting on you getting confused and discouraged.
Frankly, if you can prove that the car was improperly towed, you're probably eighty per cent of the way to judgement.
It's pretty simple
1. Proof that the car was improperly towed
2. Proof that there is damage to the transmission
3. A letter from a qualified source ( say your Subie dealer) that the damage to the transmission is consistent with damage one would expect to find from improper towing
4. If the Subie dealer will state that damage from improper towing doesn't always present itself immediately, even better.

But you have to know the rules for your PARTICULAR state. In some states a signed letter is admissable. In some states a letter has to be notarized.
And in some states a letter is no good, only a live witness will do. DON'T find out the rules in front of the judge.

It's a little intimidating, but small claims court is a worthwhile procees. Not only is your $3,500 repair (don't forget to sue for a rental car while the car is being repaired, if it is allowed in your state) at stake, but you will be gaining some valuable knowledge and skills.

It would be helpful if you could provide a little more information in your posts.
Do you have proof that the car was improperly towed? What is the form of that proof? That is where this whole process begins. Somehow, I get the impression that maybe you don't have any proof.

#5 jimschroder

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 04:03 PM

I'm curious, since you weren't present, how do you know how the car was towed? Can you provide proof that the car was towed improperly?
Small claims court is "joe citizen" friendly, but there are procedures, and you have to know what you are doing. I recommend that read you a book or two on the subject. The towing company is counting on you getting confused and discouraged.
Frankly, if you can prove that the car was improperly towed, you're probably eighty per cent of the way to judgement.
It's pretty simple
1. Proof that the car was improperly towed
2. Proof that there is damage to the transmission
3. A letter from a qualified source ( say your Subie dealer) that the damage to the transmission is consistent with damage one would expect to find from improper towing
4. If the Subie dealer will state that damage from improper towing doesn't always present itself immediately, even better.

But you have to know the rules for your PARTICULAR state. In some states a signed letter is admissable. In some states a letter has to be notarized.
And in some states a letter is no good, only a live witness will do. DON'T find out the rules in front of the judge.

It's a little intimidating, but small claims court is a worthwhile procees. Not only is your $3,500 repair (don't forget to sue for a rental car while the car is being repaired, if it is allowed in your state) at stake, but you will be gaining some valuable knowledge and skills.

It would be helpful if you could provide a little more information in your posts.
Do you have proof that the car was improperly towed? What is the form of that proof? That is where this whole process begins. Somehow, I get the impression that maybe you don't have any proof.



Here are some more details - I was not present when the car was towed. The apartment doorman is sure that he has never seen a flatbed used in that lot, but he's not willing to put it in writting. Subaru has stated that the damage is due to improper towing. The towing company said they used a flat bed, which I could see on my reciept, so I showed them my receipt, and it (surprise, surprise) didn't note that they used a flat bed.

I have also on the receipt the name of the tow-truck driver. I'm guessing the tow truck company will (or has) create a record showing they used a flatbed, so I will need to find a way to prove they didn't. That's why it would be helpful to know more about tow truck drivers and if they drive one specific truck or what... otherwise I am trying to prove from the damage that they couldn't have used a flat bed and they will probably just create a record saying they did.

#6 The Dude

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 04:33 PM

If you can prove that the towing company didn't use a flat truck, you've got their asses nailed. So, it's worth a little effort to see if you can do it.
Can you:
1. Post a note in the lobby/common area asking if other tennants saw the tow truck.
2. Any surrounding businesses or other building that might have seen the tow truck?
3. Is there a surveillance camera at your building?

How many flat bed trucks does the tower have? If only one, maybe you can prove it was somewhere else while your car was being towed. Check with the Better Business Bureau, how many complaints do they have? You can still nail this guy without proof on the flat bed truck, but it's a tougher job.

BTW, if you can prove that they didn't use a flat bed truck, I'm willing to bet that they will settle without going to court. No business wants to look like a low life piece of garbage in front of a judge.

Also, small claims court, or not, it's still perjury to lie. Your communications with the tower should be in writing. If the tower had written "flat bed truck should be marked on your receipt", you'd pretty well have him right now.
Good luck.

#7 slo5oh

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 06:23 PM

so you had it towed from somewhere on the road to your apartment? or you had it towed from your apartment to somewhere else (like the mechanic?) Check on both ends... where it was towed from and where it was towed too.

I have a couple friends that used to tow for a living and it's a toss up on getting the flatbed. It changes every day. They are the ones that have told me about towing awd cars and also to always latch on and pull any car with an auto trans by the side with the drive wheels.... ie fwd cars pick from the front, rwd cars pick from the back. I wouldn't count on "jack never drives the flatbed" for your case.




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