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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Acc. scene clean up

My Dad was in an accident in his Mark VIII on Monday. The details are in the Quiting Smoking thread if anyone is curious. But I'm having a problem with the towing company that towed the car away. They want to charge 150.00 for towing it away (less than 10 miles to there yard) - is that high? They are charging 50.00 a day storage - understand I have to pay this. These are the two issues,
1) They are trying to charge us 200.00 for cleaning up the accident scene! When I've come across accidents, I usually see the Fire company with the brooms and such. Has anyone heard of this charge. or had an issue with it before?
2) They will not allow us to remove his personal effects from the vehicle. They claim that if the car didn't have full coverage, they have the right to detain the removal of any personal effects until the towing bill is paid in full! I don't believe it! Has anyone heard of this!!
We have contacted the on scene police officer. He is suppose to be contacting the towing company over this issue. He can't believe they are trying to charge this ABOVE the towing bill. Any input would be helpfull guys. Thanks in advance. I gotta check on my Dad. Later.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 02:56 PM
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Towing companies can be ridiculous...the one that works my apartment complex charges $110 last I heard, and it's about 7 miles away if that.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 03:04 PM
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The towing bill is probably about right.

But the storage fee and the other is BS. Who made the determination to tow it to their yard? If you or your dad told them to tow it there, then you will probably have to pay it.

But $50 a day sounds WAY high! Maybe if you haven't paid the towing fee for a while I could see that. But from day one, that is BS.

You might want to contact the Better Business Bureau and see what they say.

IMHO, if they denied me access to my vehicle, I would report it stolen. To my knowledge they can only deny you access if they have filed a mechanic’s lean on the car. And that takes time for the paperwork to be filed, approved, recorded, etc.

With those prices, I think I would contact a lawyer and go from there. That just sounds ridiculous.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 03:06 PM
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Sure sounds like a scam to me... if the accident officer doesn't come through soon I'd call downtown and ask about fraud investigations or something like that.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 03:08 PM
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ill take the 50 bucks a day storage, its 75 a day here. but an accident clean up fee? isnt that what the FD and PD do, not the towing company?

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 03:33 PM
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Acttually we sweep up the sceen but leave the removal to the towing company. All the glass, car pieces, and even the materials we use to contain the incident (speedy dry, haz-mat pads and buoys) are left for the towing company to remove. Larger spills require an actual haz-mat clean up crew to come in. I never heard of them charging extra for that though, it should be included with the contract with the town/city.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 03:35 PM
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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That's a big help so far guys!! Thanks. The on scene police officer is the one who contacted the towing company for removal of the vehicle. We didn't know about the accident until we got a call from the hospital. We weren't involved in that part at all. My Dad's in pretty bad shape, so I know he didn't give an OK. In going to the Delaware States website, I looked up the code. It just says that the towing company has to approved by the De. state police super, and that each company must submit a form that states the usuall and customary charges. It's pretty vage. I do know that when my sister contacted the officer, he seemed stuned about the clean up charge. God I don't need this!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks again guys. You're all great in my book!!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 08:31 PM
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my first wreck (yea i know sounds bad) was at a huge intersection, lady ran a red and hit me while i was turning left...two weeks after i got my license.... there was a towing buisness on the corner...they ended up charging us around 60 to tow it 20 feet....and as far as i know there was no clean up charge, the officers and passerbys did it for us

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 08:42 PM
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1)Accident cleanup fee is legit. I had to pay one of those once. Wish they had told me that before they did it cause for the $160 I paid I would have grabbed the broom and swept everything up myself.

2)No, they can not deny you access to your own property. Only way they can do that is if the cops want to search your car for some reason and they don't want you taking anything out of it, but even then I think there is a time limit (probably 24hrs or something like that) after which time they have to release the car to you if they haven't found anything. But the yard themselves never has any authority to deny you of your own property

3)$50/day seems excessive but not enough to surprise me. My question is why was it ever towed to their yard? Shouldn't they have towed it to a body shop so that someone could look over the damage and write up an estimate and deal with the insurance companies? Just cause you were in an accident doesn't mean some towing company now has complete control of your vehicle and your property and where they go and how long they stay there. I have had some experience with tow companies, and I have never heard of any of them arbitrarily deciding to take your car to their yard. Usually if you don't have a preference they take it to a nearby body shop.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Update: First, I want to thank you guys for your input. It was a big help. It gave us (my sister and I) a few bullits . My Dad is improving daily, and it looks like he's gonna pull thru. After talking with the on scene police officer (who also contacted the tow company), and firing a few bullits ,We ended paying a fee of $325.00 for the release of the car. It potentially could of been near $600.00. I took some photos of the car (and the other car involved in the initial impact), but will get them later. But now, I have ANOTHER beef with this towing company. When I finally was able to get to the car, I discovered that they had piled up all the wreckage from the "ACCIDENT SCENE"--- in His car, and loaded up the trunk with the sh*t too!! Like the plastic and metal reinforcement material behind the bumper covers, broken headlights, tar paper, styrofoam, steel pieces from-whatever, gravel, and -- get this, an "Entire" front bumper cover from a Nissan, complete with headlights!! The car involved in the initial hit in the intersection was an Infinity Q45.
I suspect that the towing company either-- wasn't expecting the "owner" to want the car back ( although it is pretty much totalled), or wanted to keep the car for additional profit (the suspension, motor parts, rear, trans., interior, etc.). After all, it is a '94 Lincoln Mark VIII - Panther Edition. I think that's why they were fighting us soooo hard -- The Bas***ds !!!!!!!
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 02:02 AM
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A little late but I think some city's have a limit as to what a tow company can charge you. Anyways some companies can be pretty shady. I have heard of lots of companies that try to take advantage of peoples lack of knowledge. Around here the standard charge is 75 per day. Plus processing, towing and other b.s. they come up with. Oh, and there's nothing you can do about it because the city and the towing company are budies.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 02:16 AM
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When I wrecked my Mustang, it was $190 recovery fee + $2 per mile + $15 a day storage. They let me get my stuff out of it no problem, but the portable jump-start/air compressor thing my grandpa gave me for Christmas was stolen. Oh well. They didn't charge me an accident clean-up fee, but there really wasn't anything to clean up. They also added it up wrong and gyped me $10. I didn't catch it when I payed.

When my dad totalled his G20 by rear-ending someone, the police did the accident clean-up, and they piled the filth in the back seat footwells. My dad asked them why they did that, and the cop replied "standard procedure." It pissed me off, because A. if the insurance had decided to fix the car, they would have had to deal with that in addition to the damage, and B. because I could have made money selling the carpet and such when I parted it out after it was totalled.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 03:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncaged 94
My Dad was in an accident in his Mark VIII on Monday. The details are in the Quiting Smoking thread if anyone is curious. But I'm having a problem with the towing company that towed the car away. They want to charge 150.00 for towing it away (less than 10 miles to there yard) - is that high? They are charging 50.00 a day storage - understand I have to pay this. These are the two issues,
1) They are trying to charge us 200.00 for cleaning up the accident scene! When I've come across accidents, I usually see the Fire company with the brooms and such. Has anyone heard of this charge. or had an issue with it before?
2) They will not allow us to remove his personal effects from the vehicle. They claim that if the car didn't have full coverage, they have the right to detain the removal of any personal effects until the towing bill is paid in full! I don't believe it! Has anyone heard of this!!
We have contacted the on scene police officer. He is suppose to be contacting the towing company over this issue. He can't believe they are trying to charge this ABOVE the towing bill. Any input would be helpfull guys. Thanks in advance. I gotta check on my Dad. Later.
I'm only about 30 miles from you man. Aberdeen. The towing prices are about right. Here in Harford County MD. the towing charges are regulated. Basic accident/police rate charges are $115 8am till 8 9pm. After 8-9pm they go to $130. In the basic tow 10 minutes of clean up time and 10 minutes of wait time are included along with the mileage back to the tow companies yard. Anything more than the 10 minutes for either clean up and/or wait time, is $1.00 per minute. If the vehicle isn't going back to the tow companies yard it is $3 per mile. The county regulated storage rate is $23 per day. Plus there are regulated charges for winch time and if a car is rolled over or dollying. That towing company has every right to hold personal effects and license plates till the bill is paid in full. Without that leverage nobody would pay their tow bill. Even with that tool at their disposal you would be surprised how many people never come pay their bill or get their stuff. For every person that actually does pay their bill there are 2 or 3 that don't when the car is not insured. basically those who would or will pay end up having to pay for those that don't. I've been in the towing bussiness most of my life, sorry to tell you bud but this is the harsh reality of the situation. Those trucks are not cheap to operate. Fuel isn't cheap, the maintinence isn't cheap, and the insurance on them trucks is far from cheap.

I will give you the $50 a day storage does sound a bit expensive though..........but i've seen worse. Most companies will work with you like the one you just deal with on the bill. They would rather get some of the money than none of it. As far as putting parts and junk in the car that is a usual thing to do. Most companies won't unless you know a car is totaled at the scene. Being in the towing bussiness all my life and around a body shop i know when a car is totaled and when it isn't 99.9% of the time. Personally always only put large chunks and stuff like that inside the car. Stuff like broken glass and staydry i carried a bucket and trashbags on the truck for.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 03:45 AM
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WOW..in AZ the tow companies we use have to clean the road and cannot charge anything for it. They can charge extra fees for something like an off-road recovery, but not for something in an intersection.

As far as putting the pieces inside the car that is also common, if they left bumpers on the back of the tow truck they woujld fall off an cause another collision, so they just put them inside the cars.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL
1)Accident cleanup fee is legit. I had to pay one of those once. Wish they had told me that before they did it cause for the $160 I paid I would have grabbed the broom and swept everything up myself.

2)No, they can not deny you access to your own property. Only way they can do that is if the cops want to search your car for some reason and they don't want you taking anything out of it, but even then I think there is a time limit (probably 24hrs or something like that) after which time they have to release the car to you if they haven't found anything. But the yard themselves never has any authority to deny you of your own property

3)$50/day seems excessive but not enough to surprise me. My question is why was it ever towed to their yard? Shouldn't they have towed it to a body shop so that someone could look over the damage and write up an estimate and deal with the insurance companies? Just cause you were in an accident doesn't mean some towing company now has complete control of your vehicle and your property and where they go and how long they stay there. I have had some experience with tow companies, and I have never heard of any of them arbitrarily deciding to take your car to their yard. Usually if you don't have a preference they take it to a nearby body shop.

Mike
Maybe in your state they don't have a right to hold your belongings......In Maryland the towing companies have every right.

Quote:
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Dude don't LOL. The trucks are expensive, the maintinence is expesive and the insurance is really expensive. Is an industry with alot of hassle and headache. Thats why I don't mess with it anymore.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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I'll post the pics I took of the other car when I get back from the Hospital.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Here in Delaware (I looked it up on the De. website), according to the provisions in the De. traffic code, ALL approved towing companys (for there area) must submit a form stating what there usuall and customery charges are for towing, storage, and any miscellanious fees. The charges have to be approved and accepted by the De. state police superintendant, and the dept. of Homeland Security. I have just talked to a friend who told me about an accident his grandfather was in about two weeks ago, in the same area as my dads. They had to deal with "Same" towing company! Guess what, they were only charged 125.00 for towing, and only 75.00 for the accident scene clean up!!!! He couldn't remember what they wanted for storage. Hows that for gouging!! The on scene police officer did say that he was "Stunned" when we told him what the towing co. wanted to charge us. Needless to say, we ARE contacting the BBB, Consumers Affairs, and possably the media--- "live at five" Here's pics of the Infinity Q45 that was involved.

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