Cambridge, MA asked in Contracts, Car Accidents, Consumer Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts

Q: Is "property damage" a legal issue? A tow truck driver damaged my car.

A tow truck driver towed my car and damaged the front fenders, front bumper, and undercarriage when he tried to remove the equipment attached to my car. He and the owner of the company refused to pay for the repairs to my car, and I want to file a small claims suit against the company. I also have to write a legal memorandum about this case for a course at college.

3 Lawyer Answers
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Were you illegally parked? How did the damage specifically occur? You may be able to sue them in small claims court for objectively unreasonable damage to your car during the tow. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: The legal memorandum you will want to write yourself as it's course work. (you won't want to present it in court as small claims court judges are not big on non-lawyers trying to play lawyer and it won't work if the other side has an attorney because then you lose the sympathy the court may have for you as a layperson because you've decided to be a lawyer so the court will react "game on."

Your point is that assuming the tow truck had a right to tow you they had to do it in a way that wouldn't damage the vehicle.

If their response is that they damage every car they tow, then that's baloney.

If you asked them to tow and signed a waiver the issue will be that you assumed the risk of damage; your point would be that the risk wasn't to have fender and other damage. A witness who is credible (i.e. not your drinking buddy who will testify with a bleary eyed smirk), could testify there was no damage similar to what is now.

Did you get two estimates? Did you send to the tow company with a request they forward these to their insurer? After they refused did you file a complaint whith whoever regulates towing companies?

2 users found this answer helpful

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth
Answered
  • Salem, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Subject to knowing more about the circumstances of the Tow, e.g. was it removed by the City for being illegally parked, assuming they were towing the car because you called them to tow it, you can sue them for damages. If it was illegally parked the grounds for seeking damages are slightly different depending upon the circumstances.

If you go to the Mass Trial Court Law Libraries, which is online, you can research the law for damages related to this matter. There is also a Trial Court Law Library in downtown Boston.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.