Towing company damaged my rear differential

I recently had my lifted chevy silverado 1500 towed to a brake shop to have the brakes bled because I recently swapped out a broken steel braided brake line. However when I got the truck back from the brake shop I noticed a popping sound coming from the rear differential. The brake shop claimed they only bled the brakes then moved it a few feet into a parking spot. So the only person left is the towing company. The truck was originally parked on the street with the E brake on. This leaves me to think the tow guy tried to move the truck either with it on, or tried to drive the truck using the e-brake to slow down. Either way my truck is broken and I am not the one who broke it it. Do I have sufficient grounds to sue if they refuse to accept responsibility for the truck?

Until you have found the source of the popping there is no way to place any blame on the tow truck driver or the shop so what would you be suing to recover?

+1 to @“Rod Knox” . What if the tow truck driver says he did everything right so it must be the guy who bled the brakes. They both may say it was the guy who swapped out the brake line, oh wait that is you. Without clearly identifying the popping sound no way to find out what may have caused it, even if you do find the source you still may not conclusively be able to pinpoint the cause.

One thing I tried to teach my kids is in the real world one cannot always obtain justice. And, when one cannot, one gnashes his teeth, mumbles unprintable things under his breath, and moves on with his life.

In this case, I doubt you can prove who damaged your car, if it is damaged. You need to find that out first thing.

This leaves me to think the tow guy tried to move the truck either with it on, or tried to drive the truck using the e-brake to slow down.

Neither of these actions is likely to damage the differential, although they could possibly damage the parking brake

I am curious as to why someone who is unable to bleed the brakes would replace a brake hose and then pay a wrecker to haul the truck to a shop.

Could it be that the truck fell off the jack while the wheel was off resulting in damage to the drum/rotor?

“Neither of these actions is likely to damage the differential, although they could possibly damage the parking brake.”


Although the actual cause of the differential damage is murky, a differential that failed following misuse of the parking brake would have failed shortly thereafter anyway.

In a court of law…you need proof to win your case. So far…you have no proof and no case. Get the proof and then proceed from there. From what I’ve read…you have a very slim to none chance of winning in this instance.

As I’m sure others are in agreement, you will certainly be able to find a lawyer willing to accept your money to argue your case, but the general consensus is you don’t seem to have a snowball’s chance as you’ve presented the facts. Save your money that you would have spent on a lawyer and spend it wisely to repair your vehicle.

I would not hire any lawyer that would accept the case with the information you’ve provided.

I’m in agreement with everyone else. You have no evidence of anything at all. Instead of suddenly thinking “sue, sue, sue”, find out what’s broken and fix it.

The OP sounds like the reason we have to have those “Caution Contents May Be HOT!” warnings on coffee cups. I mean really, did you order ice coffee? If not, don’t you expect the coffee to be hot! Another example of “nothing is my fault, so who can I sue”.

I don’t think we have enough information . . . at this time . . . to be telling OP that they have only themselves to blame, or that they’re the one who actually caused the diff damage

Assuming that is in fact the problem

I agree with one thing, though . . . even if the diff was damaged by either the shop or the towing company, I don’t think it will be easy to get them to admit fault and pay the repair bill

There’s way too many unanswered questions at this time

An older, lifted truck, probably put on a lift to do the work, wheels hanging unsupported, subsequent clicking from rear end…leads me to suspect a stressed drive shaft u joint. Safely support entire rear end, chock front wheels and put in neutral. Get under and rotate wheel while listening for click…bet you find it at a u joint.

+1 for @TwinTurbo. All too often lift kits are installed with no modifications to prevent the drive shaft angle from exceeding the limits of the u-joints and when the vehicle is lifted with the axle swinging problems can occur. Done properly the rear axle would be shimmed and a double joint added.

Just to pile on a little, I think there has only been a couple times that I’ve had a car towed when I haven’t been there when they hooked the car. If there were any special circumstances like the E brake being on, the tow driver should have been made aware of them. Assuming that towing with the E brake was the problem, which it probably was not. Who knows what the conversation was with the tow driver anyway. Seems to me though towing a lifted 4WD would have raised some issues with the driver. At any rate if I’m on the jury its a not guilty at this point. People have a responsibility to mitigate losses with their stuff.

+2 to TT’s post. An excellent possibility.