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Old 03-22-2019, 08:02 AM   #1
bigfishy
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Angry Help! Seeking advice! > towing!

I got into a serious accident last Saturday, and the vehicle was total.

It was towed by a private company. I did not sign any paper work when they towed my car. They did not give me a rate either. Now, it is in their storage lot, the operator refuse to release my vehicle to my insurance with various reasons. (eg, they made me wait for hours at the shop & does not show up even when an appointment was made). I gave them my information to release the car, but they said they will put it on a hold.

I called 311, but they don't have an answer for me.

What can I do in this situation? Can I go to the cop and report it as a stolen vehicle?
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:45 AM   #2
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I don't have personal experience, but I'd start here:

https://www.caasco.com/advocacy/towing-rights
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:20 PM   #3
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That sucks. Hope you're ok.

You sure you didn't sign anything?

I'm sure others will chime in with better advice but have you asked your insurance provider what to do? If it is a right off then at a certain point they sorta manage the logistics of the vehicle no?
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Old 03-22-2019, 05:53 PM   #4
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I'm so sorry you had an accident, and hope you are ok! Typically the tow truck on scene is by contract with the police and they can track which company towed it via the incident #. Your insurance should be looking after all this for you.

The mechanic shop that I work with also works with a body shop, and the cars that come in for repair via insurance are at the discretion of the insurance company. If it is a write off, you should be given the choice to purchase it back in an as is condition, but pending pay out to you, the insurance claims the vehicle and informs the towing company what to do with the vehicle.

Do NOT settle for the first offer from the insurance! They will try to low-ball you for a settlement. Do your homework, find the blue book value of the vehicle and go into the negotiation armed with that knowledge. Of course, they are also known to try to make you do all the leg work, but they are ultimately responsible for the car now and they should be keeping you informed with updates on the status of the car ... AND how to claim your personal belongings from the vehicle.
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Old 03-22-2019, 05:57 PM   #5
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Default accident

have u called police /insurance company why wont they let u get your vehicle
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:13 PM   #6
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Default Help! Seeking advice! > towing!

Majority of times at accidents that require police present, paperwork does not come up much except for signing to waive medical attention, documents for towing don't usually come up (though it is supposed to) but you -had- the right to have it towed by whatever company you prefer (as long as it's in a very timely manner). As for the location it is towed to, you have that choice to -unless- the police or insurance company wish to do an investigation to gather further information, in which case it would be towed to an impound or insurance pen at a salvage yard; until their analysis is complete.

During this time you should still be allowed to access your vehicle to retrieve belongings but as soon as the accident happened and the vehicle is damaged to the point of questioning safety and or drivability; it is the insurance companies property to deal with (even though you technically own it).

Unless you have it in your policy, they are not required to set you up with a rental or substitute vehicle until they resolve the matter of your original vehicle, and you don't have to pay any impound fee's or towing fee's until a resolution, in which case if the vehicle is in fact a write-off and you opt to buy it back, those fee's are then on you (which can get pretty expensive even after just a weeks time: recovery tow approx $250+, approx storage fee of $50-120/day)

You should be riding your insurance company to do their job as they should have you in their care since you first called them within an hour of the accident (up to 48hrs) and have it at least mostly handled within 2-3days, at most a week to have an offer from them; from there it depends on which route you go and what they offer.

The police cannot be of further assistance unless you are facing charges, but otherwise they have nothing to do with your car anymore once their accident report is fully filed (within 24hrs of incident), and getting it back is a matter of the insurance company or towing company respectively. No matter what they say, during regular operating hours, with proof of ownership; you may access your vehicle without question but you may have to sign that you did so, just for liability matters (lost/stolen items or additional damage to car or you).

Unfortunately being without your vehicle, especially after a traumatic event; is pretty rough but it is what it is, cheapest rental companies are usually discount and Uhaul; and can usually attain a vehicle for $200 deposit (CC) at $20 and up/day, + mileage driven & bringing it back on a full tank.

Edit: as well, take those time to research your vehicle based on Year, odometer mileage, and the options it has; and find similar vehicles for sale on autotrader, save five somewhat higher priced ones that closest match your vehicles details for your reference. When insurance sends you an offer, make sure it is fairly close or equal to what you have found, and if they argue the price, send them those listings via email as an estimation of what you need in order to replace that same vehicle that -you- insured.


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