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Old 08-14-2015, 04:10 PM   #1
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Help with towing laws

Seeing if any California tow truck drivers can help me out . Well my truck was impounded by chp . And my truck was towing my camaro . I found out when trying to pick up my camaro . That they towed my truck which is 4x4 with the front wheels hooked and the back wheels dragging with the trailer connected to my truck .on top of that the towing company is trying to charge me for the truck and the trailer tow 350 each . Plus storage . Anyone know the laws on this. I tryed looking it up couldnt find anything
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:20 PM   #2
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Why was your truck impounded in the first place?
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:25 PM   #3
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The laws regarding tow companies in CA are very sketchy, and much of it is fuzzy and gray. You may not be able to determine anything.

A few years ago, a tow company took my wife's car (long story, won't bore you with every detail). I went to retrieve it, but they had a policy at that tow yard: They wouldn't release any car that did not have current registration stickers. Well... I had only purchased the car ONE week before, had ALL of the temporary registration, bill- of- sale, pink slip, every scrap of paperwork you can imagine... but no PERMANENT registration sticker (DMV said it would take a couple of months). The tow company told me that two months of storage charges would be worth more than the car's value, so I might as well just sign over the title to them.

I called the cops.... the cops told me that tow companies can make their own rules. If they make a rule that they can't release red cars, then that's the rule. If they say that they can't release cars on days that end in "Y," well, that's the rule. If they can't release cars unless the owner speaks Swahili and owns a goat farm with exactly 404 goats and a baby hippopotamus, well, then that's the rule.

(Luckily for me, I knew a cop who was able to personally call and threaten them with the hellfire of all the CHP if they did not release my car immediately... yes, it was a personal favor done for me, and not everybody has that special opportunity. Without that, I would have lost the car.)

Point being, the "rules" are made up by each tow company. There MIGHT be laws regulating what they can and can't do, but realistically, there is no law enforcement agency that will enforce them, and no way to get your vehicle--- or vehicles--- back, unless you pay whatever extortion charge the tow company says you have to pay. Damage to the vehicle MIGHT be recoverable in small claims court... but that's the only way.
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:31 PM   #4
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Plus they damaged your transfer case by doing this.

Bummer.
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:34 PM   #5
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Why was your truck impounded in the first place?
Yea, i want to know why did they impounded it in the first place
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:39 PM   #6
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Why was your truck impounded in the first place?


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Yea, i want to know why did they impounded it in the first place

Suspended license . And Thats not a reason to tow my cars incorrectly
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:44 PM   #7
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Suspended license . And Thats not a reason to tow my cars incorrectly
Well then your SOL, suspended license is automatic 30 day hold.. and no its not, but you could have avoided this whole situation by not driving.
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:45 PM   #8
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are you going to be able to at least get the Uhaul trailer out before the rental charges start adding up also?
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:48 PM   #9
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are you going to be able to at least get the Uhaul trailer out before the rental charges start adding up also?

The trailer and the camaro are out . The truck is in there for 30 days . The problem is not the 30 day hold its the fact that they towed the truck incorrectly probley causing some damage . But ive been doing some research and cant find anything on laws where the tow company is responsible for the damages . I will be taking them to small claims just wanted some back up information
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:52 PM   #10
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The trailer and the camaro are out . The truck is in there for 30 days . The problem is not the 30 day hold its the fact that they towed the truck incorrectly probley causing some damage . But ive been doing some research and cant find anything on laws where the tow company is responsible for the damages . I will be taking them to small claims just wanted some back up information
I see. Keep notes, and try to prove them negligent in court - see this.....

http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...companies.html
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:54 PM   #11
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I will be taking them to small claims just wanted some back up information
Probably your best bet, maybe you could get the tow truck operator for negligence (I am not a lawyer) for not towing your truck correctly plus damages?
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:55 PM   #12
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After retiring from the military I was the Operations Manager at Rancho Del Oro/United Road Towing, San Diego, CA, for a little over a year before moving on. Some companies (not all) will charge per 'rolling vehicle' (i.e. the truck and the trailer in your case).

In regards to the registration, glad you had someone call and talk to them (threaten) them. The law requires that you provide proof of current registration. In your case, all you needed to do was provide the temp registration and temp paper 'tag' you are supposed to display.

As far as the damage, they (the tow company) should have a claims form you can file with them. When they 'deliver' your vehicle to you, fully inspect it and take pictures prior to leaving. If (as you've already indicated) there is damage, ask them for a claims form and fill it out right then & there and ask for a copy of it for your own records. If they settle great, if not, you will have to take them to small claims court.

Don't know what company you were dealing with, but it sounds like they're a little sketchy to say the least. You state it was impounded by CHP, that means the tow company has to have a contract/agreement with them and must meet certain criteria. I would contact your local CHP, ask for the Tow Officer, and file a complaint. Good Luck.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:13 PM   #13
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At least you're not hauling this;
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:32 PM   #14
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The tow companies I have dealt with will pull the driveshaft if the are going to leave powered wheels on the ground. If they did this there should be no damage to your truck. But I would still go over it with a fine toothed comb just to make sure. And any little scratch that you think even may have not been there before make a note of it and file a claim with the tow company. It's all about the paper trail if you end up in court.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:47 PM   #15
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You're pretty much screwed. The police will not care if any laws were broken during the impounding of your vehicles by their subcontractor, playing that angle is a waste of your time.

The only recourse you have it to sue the tow company if they damaged your vehicles, and good luck because they never hesitate to lie about anything they do incorrectly.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:33 AM   #16
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The trailer and the camaro are out . The truck is in there for 30 days . The problem is not the 30 day hold its the fact that they towed the truck incorrectly probley causing some damage . But ive been doing some research and cant find anything on laws where the tow company is responsible for the damages . I will be taking them to small claims just wanted some back up information
I'm not a lawyer, but typically it's real hard to make a claim for damages when the damages were ultimately caused by you breaking the law. but for you driving on a suspended license none of this would have happened. It's like trying to have someone arrested for stealing your drugs.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:18 AM   #17
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Wow. Holy shit.

Next they will tell you 350.00 for the truck, 350.00 for the trailer and 350.00 for the Camaro.



And how far did they freaking tow it? 350.00? Holy shit. My last tow went 20 miles and was only 95.00.

California sucks all the way around.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:28 AM   #18
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Are you saying the rear tires were literally dragging? If not, then they most likely had the veh in 2wd and in neutral. Your transfer case should not be spinning the front driveshaft in 2wd, so no damage would be caused by this at all. Unless you can prove with factual and photographic evidence that damage was done to the vehicle, your not going to get anywhere
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:22 AM   #19
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Wow. Holy shit.

Next they will tell you 350.00 for the truck, 350.00 for the trailer and 350.00 for the Camaro.



And how far did they freaking tow it? 350.00? Holy shit. My last tow went 20 miles and was only 95.00.

California sucks all the way around.
A friend had his semi towed once. Here, in Illinois, the max allowed is $750 for the tractor and $350 for the trailer. The mileage doesn't matter. Plus $100 storage for one night.

Yes, they make it hurt.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:27 AM   #20
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Wow. Holy shit.

Next they will tell you 350.00 for the truck, 350.00 for the trailer and 350.00 for the Camaro.



And how far did they freaking tow it? 350.00? Holy shit. My last tow went 20 miles and was only 95.00.

California sucks all the way around.
Impounds are charged different then regular tows. Mostly because they know they have you by the short and curlies
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:28 AM   #21
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I'm not a lawyer, but typically it's real hard to make a claim for damages when the damages were ultimately caused by you breaking the law. but for you driving on a suspended license none of this would have happened. It's like trying to have someone arrested for stealing your drugs.


This.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:41 AM   #22
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A friend had his semi towed once. Here, in Illinois, the max allowed is $750 for the tractor and $350 for the trailer. The mileage doesn't matter. Plus $100 storage for one night.

Yes, they make it hurt.
Wow.

I drove trucks for a long time. Once I had a 40 foot flatbed trailer towed for parking it on a side street. When I went to get it they charged me 55 dollars.

This was about 9 years ago so I'm sure it would be more now. But damn. I'm glad I live in the South.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:46 AM   #23
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I'm not a lawyer, but typically it's real hard to make a claim for damages when the damages were ultimately caused by you breaking the law. but for you driving on a suspended license none of this would have happened. It's like trying to have someone arrested for stealing your drugs.
Actually saw an old COPS episode where a guy called the cops because a woman took the money he gave her to go get him drugs. Kinda funny, but ya know what? They found the woman and arrested her IIRC. lol

I get your point, and it is a good one, valid indeed. However, the real problem is when these towing and recovery companies contract with law enforcement, it becomes institutionalized gouging of the public. People are not given an option of which company, then they are left at the mercy of the company/yard to get their property back. In many states, there are no laws. standards, etc governing the price, conditions, responsibility of the company. While we are talking about people violating the law in many cases, we are also talking about expensive personal property. In many instances, it boils down to outright extortion.

As far as the OP, I wish you the best of luck. I don't know why they didn't put the rear tires on dollies. But hopefully no real damage occurred. But really, it looks like you're just gonna have to pay up.
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:59 AM   #24
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this reminds me of the clip from the movie Liar Liar where he is at the tow yard trying to get his vehicle, funny as hell, you should watch it.
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:11 PM   #25
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I'm not a lawyer, but typically it's real hard to make a claim for damages when the damages were ultimately caused by you breaking the law. but for you driving on a suspended license none of this would have happened. It's like trying to have someone arrested for stealing your drugs.

I knew someone would chime in with this. It's like it's justified for tow truck driver's to hand out extra punishments..... NOT.

When they impound your car they are responsible for it. They record the mileage and are supposed to document any pre-existing damage.

In court it's your word against theirs, physical proof and any witnesses. Whoever has the best case wins.
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