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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Guys, I need some serious straight-up legal opinions.

Today I left work to find my Xterra missing (2012 Pro-4X w/ 9k miles). I frantically ran back inside to find the facilities people to see if they knew anything.

To make a really really long story short, a towing company was supposed to tow a blown up 2004 black Nissan Altima to a scrap yard. They mistakenly yarded my Xterra instead.

The cops showed up to investigate and tracked down the salvage yard, towing company etc., and are getting back to me tomorrow.

Here's the bad part:
-they hauled it onto a flatbed while it was in first gear (drivetrain stress?)
-they slim-jimmed my drivers door and broke the interior trim and weatherstrip
-the front bumper and grill is scraped up and has yellow paint on all the scrapes
-the guy who towed it back threw it onto a construction trailer and the rear ramps mashed up my bumper cover.
-the interior stinks like the dirt bag from the salvage yard
-there's greasy/waxy yellow writing all over the front windows

Seeing as this is basically auto theft, does anyone know what I'm entitled to here? I took pictures of the damage, and the cop was here for the whole story, since he made all the phone calls. I want all the front pieces replaced (winch bumper?!), a full inside and out detail to get rid of the stink and writing, and what do I do about the potential drivetrain damage?


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One of my coworkers saw the chick driving the flatbed, but didn't know what vehicle she was towing at the time. She pulled in, saw a black Nissan, and took it. I'm beyond pissed right now.


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Sorry man that sucks. I'd be pissed. I read an article today about a city tearing down the wrong house. There are some real geniuses out there...

Btw, that's an insurance claim. You could let your insurance company handle it and go after the tow company. You'd be refunded any deductible you paid. If they give you a hard time, sick your insurance company on them. They don't want that...
 

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Here's some MGL for you:
"No vehicle shall be removed from such way or property without the consent of the owner of such vehicle unless the person who has lawful control of such way or property shall have notified the chief of police or his designee in a city or town, or, in the city of Boston the police commissioner, or a person from time to time designated by said police commissioner, that such vehicle is to be removed."

"Any person who removes a vehicle illegally parked or standing on a private way or upon improved or enclosed property, or holds such a vehicle after its removal, and who has not complied in full with the provisions of this section, shall release such vehicle to its owner without assessing any charges for its removal or storage."

So you're at least entitled to not paying the extortion fee to getting your X back.


Get your insurance to go look at it, on the tow lot if possible. That way you'll have some on-the-spot leverage if the tow company tries anything fishy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The nice officer said no need to bother with my insurance company at all. He's going directly after the first towing company's insurance company and then calling me tomorrow.

Terrance, the cop had the salvage yard tow it directly back to me, and trust me, there was no fee. I'm basically just looking at all the damage the two towing companies caused, and you know, the fact that they stole my vehicle/never checked the plates/etc.


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Groovy. That being the case, I agree that the damage is probably all on insurance at this point. If they don't cover it on their own then they'll go after the other insurance companies for it without needing your involvement. If you do end up having to pay for anything (say, your deductible), I say take the tow companies to small claims.

Predatory/shoddy towing is a blight on all of the United States.
 

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I would still report it to your insurance. Sure, the towing company is licensed and bonded to cover this type of incident. And if the owner is any type of an honest man he will be be sure to make things right by you. However, say something doesn't get fixed to your satisfaction yet the towing company insists they are done. The claims adjusters and laywers at your insurance company can then step in. That's what they do. If you never report it, then call them out of the blue later on they may not be as willing (or even able) to help.
 

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In many cases a "friendly" letter from a lawyer will persuade the other party to make things right. No need for trial but some people need to realize they are in the wrong before they make it right. Why would you make a claim on your insurance in this case. Notify them but get estimates for detailing to remove the writing, estimates to repair damage and an estimate for a drivetrain check by a Nissan certified technician as well as any lost pay/time etc and give to the towing company. They make good its done. They dont you can go to small claims and win easily or you can then make a claim and ins. company lawyers go after tow company.


This is part of the problem with America. Give the company an opportunity to fix the mistake that they made without lawyering up. If they have ANY issue at all with your requests (provided none are outrageous) then go to a lawyer. We can't have people lawyering up over stuff that can be handled without one such as:

Getting your truck accidentally towed
Spilling hot coffee on yourself at McDonalds
 

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Getting your truck accidentally towed
Spilling hot coffee on yourself at McDonalds
The analogy is probably closer to someone spilling hot coffee on you. MainerX's truck wasn't in any position to be asking for it other than being a black Nissan.
 

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My Charger was damaged in a car wash last year (their fault) and whenever they mentioned that the estimates were too high I mentioned my insurance company's lawyers would be happy to talk to their lawyers.

That shut them up!!
 

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Also a surprising point that ThePlasticOne was able to mention a black Xterra being towed and he didn't accompany it with a 5 page dissertation on how that Xterra was racially profiled and it didn't deserve to be towed because the white Armada down the street parked it where it is. Therefore, it's the white Armadas fault.
I was pretty tempted actually. And wow dude, you have some issues with me.
 

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I say you never tip anyone is the service industry until the tow companies resolve this issue for you.

No Xterra Justice, No Tip!

That will show them!! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, the cop who responded is kind of handling everything right now. I called him tonight and he said neither the towing company or the salvage yard that "bought it" are cooperating very well. The chick who towed it claimed "we never check the VIN or plate numbers," and confirmed that they wedged my driver's side door and broke the weatherstrip. It's starting to seem kind of fishy. Like they didn't just accidentally yank a nice new black Nissan. It's hard to tell.

In any case this isn't turning out as planned and people aren't as honest and responsible as they should be. No one is fessing up to the mistake, so the cop is pursuing the salvage yard's insurance, since they're the ones who contracted out the towing company.


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Report a claim for what? Some unknown towing company towed my truck by accident and damaged it? Wouldn't I have to pay the deductible? Who would my insurance company go after if they don't know who to go after?


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