Tow truck damages your car: Who pays?

Posted at 12:58 PM, Jan 19, 2016

Butch Hunt received his dream ride -- a Harley Davidson --  from his wife for Christmas.

But when he hired a towing company to bring it  home, he said, "when the tow driver released the front strap, boom, it laid right now."

The Harley fell off the flatbed, and the result was not good.

"You can see a big dent here and how deep it is," he said. "It put a big dent in the tank, and cracked  the instrument panel."
But he says the towing company has been dragging its feet on covering these repairs.

So we paid a visit to the tow company.

No one was in the office, but we did reach the owner on his cell phone, where he said since Hunt accepted the driver's offer of $100 dollars cash on the spot, he figured the case was closed.

Hunt says not so fast.

"All I want them to do is make it look like it did when they picked it up. Fix the tank fix and the instrument panel, let Harley look at it and make sure nothings wrong with it."

What You Can Do
Towing damage happens a lot more than you think. A lot can go wrong when you lift a car into the air.

Luckily, consumers do have recourse.

If your car is damaged during towing....

  • Take photos of the damage and the tow truck.
  • Don't accept any cash on the spot: That can make it harder to collect a settlement later.
  • Ask the towing company to pay for repairs.
  • If they refuse, file a police report, and contact the better business bureau and state attorney general.
  • At that point, you can also contact your insurance company, and ask them to pay for the repairs under your policy and sue the towing company.

Hunt said he just wants his Harley fixed. "Step up, be a man, fix my bike," he said. "I'm not looking to make money."

Update: Towing Company Steps Up

We are happy to report that after we got involved, the towing company reconsidered, and has now agreed to pay for the several hundred dollars worth of repairs to Hunt's bike.

So don't take no for an answer, so you don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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