When you’ve parked legally and are the victim of wrongful towing, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to fight the tow company and get your money back. The first step is always to get your car out and pay all towing and storage fines that have been incurred. The longer you wait to take this step, the more money it will cost. Here are four detailed steps to get the matter cleared up and your money refunded.
1. Get Your Car Back
If there’s a sign nearby the location of your wrongful towing, then simply call that number. If you have trouble finding a sign, then telephone the police but don’t call 911. Most state laws require auto storage facilities to let the police know when they have your car. After you’ve located your car and go to get it, remember to maintain your composure and be polite. You can expect that you’re being recorded on camera and the person holding your property may become unreasonable if you attempt to argue the legality of your situation. Also, make sure to take note of where you are, the names of the people you talk to, and most importantly, any documents that you sign. Before you sign, make sure to cross out any language that makes you release your right to pursue damages.
2. Keep Any Evidence
If your automobile was taken due to wrongful towing, the next step is to go back to the scene and collect evidence. This step is significant because it determines whether you should just pay the fee and move on or if you should fight for your money back. If you parked in one spot but your car was not there when you returned, look out for signs that said the area was for restricted parking only. Take pictures of any relevant signs and where your car was originally parked. Also, take down the contact information of any witnesses and keep a record of what time you first parked and what time you returned.
3. Look up the Law
Many times wrongful towing occurs because there were no signs in the area indicating any of the rules. Research the law in your area and see what the signage requirements are. For example, many states require the presence of a weatherproof sign in a conspicuous place along with a notice that vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense.
4. Exercise Your Right to a Hearing
You have the right to a hearing with a justice of the peace in your local area. You will need to request the hearing, pay a filing fee within the specified time, and agree to the date for your hearing. Once it’s time for your hearing, the judge will look at whether there was probable cause to tow you, and whether the fine you were charged was a valid amount according to the state statute.
If you are wrongfully towed, it’s important to know the law in order to proceed with the correct course of action. Following these steps should help you get both your car and your money back.