I think the point is your son used your car, had an accident, and it's
his responsibility to fix the situation. There is little reason for
you to get involved if your son is of legal age. Let him learn how
these things work.
The damage sounds slight, a couple or few hundred at worst. If he
wants to take the tow truck company to small claims court, let him.
It might also be time to talk about him getting a car of his own and
his own insurance. You could reimburse him for the amount of money he
would add to your policy if he was under your coverage...or not. That
would depend on how independent you want him to become, how soon and
then they should pay for it
why not get your estimates for repair
and call the tow company. Tell them you intend
that they pay for it.
that would be a first step
next you would have to take them to court
whoever messed the car up should pay for it
(it's a cheap education for the tow driver)
The question is : Who messed it up?
If the tow driver was negligent, yes. If he truly could not pull it out with
no risk of damage, no, the kid should pay.
We did not see the car or how it was in the ditch. None of us can pass
judgment not having seen the circumstances. Perhaps a crane or helicopter
was needed to avoid damage. We just don't know.
This is Turtle .
You remine me of a fellow here in town who worked for the INS office
and was not real smart in what and how things work in the world. his
wife was black and he was white and did not know about operation on
black people is different than operating on white people.
His wife went in the hospital at 2:00 a.m. to remove her appendix and
everything went well and in about 5 week later he sees the doctor and
tells him that he messed up and left a bad scare on his wife by having
a bad white mark where they had cut on here. The Doctor told him that
was normal and that he need to get a doctor to remove the white mark
and the scare in another operation. The fellow end up sueing the doctor
for leaving the white mark & scare and lost because it was common
practice to do it this away and lost another way of wanting the doctor
to do elective surgery to remove the white skin also. he lost in all
about $14k in tring to get some free elective surgery and also having
to pay for the elective surgery .
this proceedure may have changed now a days with all the big hospital
with all kinds of doctor on duty but back then there was one country
doctor on duty and he was just a General prec. and did some small
operations in the bind. any thing big you was sent about 60 miles to
another hospital for anything more than this. then Elective surgery was
You might better check to see what was done and what is standard
operating proceedure in the towing business in your state or County.
When car is towed most often it happens. I never heard tow opersator
footing repair bill. Your insurance maybe? Probably when asked to tow
your car out of ditch, the request itself accepts possible unwillful
The part I'm having trouble with is that there was no damage from going
into the ditch, but there was damage in removing it from the ditch. I
can see two likely scenarios:
1 - Car goes into ditch big time, sustains damage and is in the ditch
in such a way that hooking on to it for removal with a conventional tow
would cause some slight additional damage.
2- Car just barely goes into ditch, with no damage, in which case I
would think it should be able to be removed without damage.
As Toller pointed out, the tow operator should have told his son
upfront that he could not remove it without damaging it, in which case
he could have pursued other options. If he simply removed it and
damaged it in the process, then I would pursue a claim against the tow
company. Worst case, you could take them to small claims court. Since
you have a witness, you should be in a pretty good position.
The part you are not seeing is that the damage to the car
would have never occurred unless the car went into the ditch.
The way this was described, I don't think there was any negligence
on the part of the tow truck driver.
"The part you are not seeing is that the damage to the car
would have never occurred unless the car went into the ditch."
And what does that have to do with anything? I suppose if Toller
takes the car to a body shop for repair and they let it fall off the
lift while it's there, the body shop isn't responsible either, because
it never would have occurred if the car went into the ditch? How
about if the body shop sprays paint onto his seats? That wouldn't have
happened either if the car hadn't gone into the ditch. Who's right
here depends on many things, but the fact that the car was in the ditch
has nothing to with it.
Whatever news reader you are using, it failed to correctly
mark the attribution.
I'm guessing that's my response.
The part you left out is that I went on to say they there didn't
appear to be any negligence reported by the original poster.
Letting a car fall off a lift or spraying the seats sounds like negligence.
Trying to pull a car out of a ditch and damaging it in the process doesn't.
At least to me.
Exactly. I mentioned before, we don't know the real circumstances, how the
car was sitting, what is was sitting on or against. It really may have been
impossible to pull out and not do any damage. None of us was there so we do
On 25 Dec 2005 04:59:53 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
It also has nothing to do with how old the son is; whether he is
living with his parents or in a whorehouse; whether he was racing in a
school zone or avoiding an old lady in a wheelchair; or who is paying
for the repairs.
Fact, according to the OP, the tow truck driver acknowledged he
damaged the car and that it was unavoidable. Maybe so, with the
equipment *he* had. If he could not do the recovery without additional
damage, he should have declined the job or waited for proper
equipment. A more technical recovery probably would have cost more but
that is not our topic here.
In this state at least, once he attaches his hook, he is in "care,
custody and control" of the vehicle. And is liable for damages to it
other than illegal acts such as theft, arson or vandalism.
Most towing companies actually engage in two main businesses; recovery
and towing. Recovery is getting the vehicle in a position to tow.
Maybe pulling from a ditch or a lake or getting it off its roof. Once
it is "on the hook" and moving, it becomes cargo.
Yes, you do. "
I fail to see why anyone should eat the loss just because the tow truck
operator says the damage was unavoidable. If it's really small, it may
not be worth pursuing, but I sure don't see how asking about it makes
Toller a jerk. The tow operator is supposed to be a professional. He
should be able to determine up front it he can safely pull the car out.
If he thought there was risk, then he should have stated so and then
the son could have called another tow company or pursued other options.
Since he damaged it, there is a good chance he is responsible for it,
but without being there or knowing all the facts, its hard to tell.
BTW, beating the son is a bad advice too.
Sometimes you just have to sigh, take your lumps and get on with life.
I'd be fairly certain that the tow truck operator didn't deliberately
try and damage that panel.
Similar thing happened to my daughter when her car's electrical system
suddenly was "dead"; no lights, cranking or anything. She called AAA and
the guy who came was either too stupid to find the obvious (a dirty
battery cable connector.) or more likely wanted the extra income for a
tow job, so he told daughter there was no hope of getting it going on
the spot and towed her car 20 miles to the mechanic we've used for years
He cleaned the battery cable in a jiffy, and the engine started right
up, but then he discovered a hole ground through the front edge of the
car's transmission pan through which all the fluid had vamoosed. The guy
had towed the car by lifting the rear end and either got it too high or
went over some lousy pavement.
Fortunately our mechanic is the kind of guy who'd rather braze up the
hole himself rather than stick us for a new transmission pan, so the
whole bill from him was about ninety bucks, including a new gasket,
filter and fluid.
I considered us lucky to get out of it for that little. Hell, you can
hardly get a good dinner and a couple of glasses of wine for that here
in Red Sox countrey these days.
1. What did your son sign before having the work done? There's a
very good chance he explicitly acknowledged the risk of damage from
the tow and waived his right to recover against the tow operator for
anything short of willful negligence. (If so, remind your son never
to sign a contract without reading it first. Tow operators aren't
the only people whose contracts are designed to protect them from
If the car was in your son's care and control, and if he acknowledged
the risk of damage and waived claims against the tow operator, your
beef is with your son, not the tow operator.
2. Were the police called? If not, you might save the most money by
paying for the repair yourself, since that keeps your son's negligent
accident off of insurance records.
(Legally, of course, you should report the accident to the insurance
company yourself, probably required by your insurance contract. But
a lot of people take care of little things themselves to avoid
raising their insurance premiums. Not exactly legal, but common.)
If you get away without the insurance company finding out about your
son's accident, remind him how extremely lucky he is to only have to
pay off the repair bill instead of paying more for insurance for the
next several years.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
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