Rear differential damaged by towing

To anyone out there who could help,

My 2005 Toyota Matrix (4WD) was towed due to parking violation, and my rear differential was damaged, possibly due to incorrect towing by the towing company.

Does anyone know what my chances are in suing the towing company? Is there any way to prove whether the damage was caused by the towing?



Do what I do, park correctly.

But how exactly is the differential damaged?

If your vehicle was towed you should have received a tow slip showing method used when picking it up (flatbed, dolly otherwise, 2 wheels) etc. There are good chances of suing tow company successfully if incorrect method was used. They legally document this stuff typically.

To the other poster, park correctly is irrelevant to this post. If a tow company tows they must use proper methods per vehicle. They carry manuals around or call dispatch. They may likely have missed the AWD badge on this car.

You destroy a center and possinly rear differentialby towing on two wheels since the front are fixed and rears are spinning.

Yeah, I was just poking fun about the park correctly thing.

[i]What kind of parking violation was it?[/i]

It really depends on the type of parking voilation. For example, was there a sign that absolved the towing company of liability in the parking lot? Was there language on an unpaid ticket that allows them to damage your car without being legally responsible? Were you double parked or parked in a fire lane? Were you parked in front of a fire hydrant during a fire?

The nature of the parking voilation will say a lot about whose fault it is. There are clear situations where the tow truck driver might be neglegent, but there are also some circumstances where you assume fault by parking illegally.

Wrong on liability and absolving a towing company. Part of the service of towing is using proper methods.

Towing company’s don’t get an automatic out. Anyone taking possession of a good must take prudent care, if not they liable for damage if not reasonable care taken. A sign stating anything is absolutely meaningless and never overrides anything.

Andrew is correct. For instance, the wording on parking lot receipts stating, “We are not responsible for damage to your vehicle while it is parked here” is legally meaningless.

In a similar vein, the towing company is liable if your car was damaged by their handling of your car. In the case of the AWD Matrix, it should only be moved via a flatbed truck. Towing it will cause major damage, most likely to the CENTER differential. While I don’t understand how it would damage the rear differential, I suppose that this is possible also.

Towing company’s don’t get an automatic out.

Is that the law in all 50 states?

What if I park in front of a fire hydrant and there is a fire? I see some circumstances where there could be extenuating circumstances, so more information on the nature of the parking voilation would help. The way I understand it, the law isn’t black and white. That is why I question any legal advice given by anyone who isn’t familiar with all of the available facts.

If a tow company had to move a car out of spot for emergent conditions or accessibitly, they can either put slides under the locked rear wheels or drag a short distance with parking brake engaged. Once out of the way proper towing technique is used instead of destroying property.

Is that the law in all 50 states?

In Washington DC the only way to be assured you’re never parked incorrectly is to sell your car(s).