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need legal help/tech advice ASAP!!!!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by coolhandluke, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. coolhandluke

    coolhandluke 1/2 ton status

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    My blazer died on the way to work this morning. I coasted in to an apartment complex. by 10 it had already been towed. The thing is, I reinstalled my front driveshaft, and worked on my hubs. I wanted to see if everything was ok, so I was going to drive to work in 4 high (only a mile) so, when they towed it it was in 4 high, in park. when I went to go get it, there is a HUGE valdez size slick of ATF. First, what would have broken that caused this oil slick? what legal recourse do I have?
     
  2. txbluethunder

    txbluethunder 1/2 ton status

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    maybe they pulled the rear drive shaft to tow it. man, i hope thats what it is.
     
  3. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> They didn't put the rear end on a dolly? That's standard practice with an Auto vehicle, unless they towed it backwards, but even then most places around here will put the front wheels on a dolly with a 4x4. I'd have to think that they are definately liable for it, mainly since they had to expect something to break when they towed an Auto tranny vehicle with drive wheels on the ground. Morons.../forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

    Most likely your transfer case let go, quite possibly the transmission as well since it was in Park..</font color>
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Probably have no legal recourse. The tow company was acting on a request from the apartment complex I'm sure, and thus is working for the property owner. Basically, you abandoned your vehicle on their property, and they had the abandoned vehicle removed.

    Hindsights always 20/20, if you had told the apartment complex manager what was going on, none of this would have happened I'm sure.
     
  5. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    If it was in park they broke the park pin at least and dragging an auto like this would make the tranny puke from the dipstick tube. You should see fluid from the top of the tube going down on everything in it's way to the ground.
    I would say they are liable.
    I had a problem with a tow this week end, I had already removed the broken front driveshaft and the tow truck driver insisted he tow it from the rear after I told him I would remove the rear driveshaft.
    After a few miles the front wheel fell off and hit an oncoming car.
    I am still waiting to see what happens but my insurance company says he's liable and I could even get the tire and wheel as well as the hub replaced by him. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  6. coolhandluke

    coolhandluke 1/2 ton status

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    I tried to contact the owners. I left the vehicle at 8:30. I was back by 11:00. THe office didn't open until 10:00. So I had 1 hour to contact them?


    Let me know how your bad towing experience works out.
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    It's their property. If someone parked a car in your driveway, although you may not call a tow truck as *soon* as you notice it, you are under no obligation to wait for the owner to come get it, right?

    I'm not saying I agree with what they did, (not like it was really in the way I'm sure, nor that it was an excessive amount of time) but the simple fact is, its their property, and you left it there. It's too late now that there is money involved, they'd have to be saints for them to help you out in any way now. You've gotta understand who you are dealing with, most apartments don't allow you to work on vehicles in the parking lot even when you LIVE there. All about appearance and liability.
     
  8. coolhandluke

    coolhandluke 1/2 ton status

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    I'm not arguing that the apartments had a right to tow it. I don't have a beef with them. What about the tow company? shouldn't they be liable for damage done? shouldn't they not do any damage when towing it?
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I really doubt there is any fault to be found with the towing company.

    You'd really need to speak with a lawyer. My interpretation of what happened is this though(we'll go neutral here):

    Someone abandons vehicle in apartment parking lot.
    Apartment manager calls tow company to remove abandoned vehicle immediately.
    Tow company arrives, and with instruction from the apartment managers, removes vehicle.
    Vehicle is damaged in process.

    Now, the question is, would a "reasonable" tow truck driver know (or even think) that your truck was in 4wd when they towed it? No.

    Since the tow truck was acting under authority of the apartment complex, liability would *probably* rest with the apartment complex, but ONLY if they unlawfully had your vehicle removed and that is what caused the damage, and unfortunately in your case, I doubt they had it moved unlawfully.

    Extracting money from a towing company will be as difficult as conducting open heart surgery on yourself. These are argument-hardened people that have to deal with crap from people 8 hours every working day, and I'd guarantee you won't get far. You can talk to them about it (nicely), but if they say no, 99% sure thats as far as you are going to get.
     
  10. coolhandluke

    coolhandluke 1/2 ton status

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    I see your point, I guess I just don't understand how they are not liable (the tow companYy) a quick glance at the hubs would have shown they were in the LOCK position. I'm contacting my lawyer buddy as we speak. we'll see how it goes.
     
  11. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    would a "reasonable" tow truck driver know (or even think) that your truck was in 4wd when they towed it? No.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    <font color="green"> Would a reasonable tow truck driver know that it was an automatic transmission and therefore put the rear wheels on a dolly? I would sure as hell hope so, and that's the main reason that I think there is some liability involved. </font color>
     
  12. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    being a tow truck driver in a previous life, i would have done the following.

    1) Picked up the truck from the rear. In an Automatic/RWD vehcile, this is key.

    2) Checked the hubs and t-case. Some t-cases have a true "N" and i would tow in that, to cover my ass.

    3) Dolly'd it. Dollying a vehcile sucks major money ballz. It take an extra 20-30 minutes to do it right. But i am not going to be on the hook for damage.

    4) Call a flat bed. I used to drive a wrecker. If i couldn't get to a car or the risk was more than i am willing to assume, i would call for a flat bed and make the call a return.

    Threaten to call the BBB and see what happens. Also, if the shop was a AAA memeber, call and complain to them (it would help if you yourself are AAA memeber)

    good luck.
     
  13. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    I just asked my buddy who has drivena tow truck for ten years. He says teh tow company is liable for the damage. They should have dollied it or towed it on a flat bed.

    He said you should call them up &amp; let them know that they messed it up. I'm sure they will say they didn't or aren't responsible, but he says legally they are. I would definitely threaten to complain to AAA if they do AAA calls.
     
  14. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Can't recall if it was someone on here or on another list (quite awhile back) but he was either a tow truck driver, or son of, and he AND his father both believed it was perfectly acceptable to tow a vehicle with the drive wheels on the ground, driveshaft in place, tranny in neutral.

    Regardless, if you place trust in everyone that is a "professional" you are really setting yourself up for disappointment. No offense to those who know what the hell they are doing (or even care!) of course, but you are few and far between unfortunately.

    As to the other stuff, tell me how ELSE that vehicle could have been moved? Auto transmission in park, in 4wd. Forklift? (yes, I know they could have unlocked the hubs, they could have also broken the window to get it out of gear/4wd. Both are tampering with the vehicle)

    These guys aren't out there to troubleshoot a vehicle for hours, they are out there to remove it. Really though, this is just my opinion of the situation. I hope you CAN get them to pay for this, if I called a tow truck to move my truck and they did that, I'd be pissed for sure, but I'd be just as angry at the apartment manager for not waiting if I was you. It's not like it hurt them in any way to wait even 8 hours for you to move it.

    Keep us posted though, I'd sure like to know what a REAL lawyer thinks about it! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  15. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    1. pull it out of the space anyway you can. I have drug a car out of a spot.

    2. After the car is out, get it up in the air with the drive wheels in the lift.

    3. If it is a 4wd vehicle, dolly the front tires.

    that is how it is done
     
  16. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Thats how *you'd* have done it.

    Of course, no one was there to witness it except the tow truck driver. Any reason the park pawl couldn't have let loose dragging it from the spot? Of course, that probably doesn't explain an oil slick under the vehicle, so it was likely moved incorrectly, but proving that unless the guy says he towed it with no dolly?

    Perhaps thats it...see what their policy is on towing 4wd trucks, find out if he had the equipment to tow it correctly at that time, and maybe that will lead to something?
     
  17. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    The towing company is obligated to tow it safely. No question about that.

    Getting them to repair it will be a long ugly process no doubt.
     
  18. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    Are you sure the oil slick is from your vehicle? These tow companies tow some POS's sometimes. Maybe the slick is from a car that was sitting there previously.
     
  19. MudNurI

    MudNurI 1/2 ton status

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    Okay here's my take-

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    . by 10 it had already been towed....... I tried to contact the owners. I left the vehicle at 8:30. I was back by 11:00. THe office didn't open until 10:00........so I was going to drive to work in 4 high (only a mile) so..........when they towed it it was in 4 high, in park.........a quick glance at the hubs would have shown they were in the LOCK position......

    [/ QUOTE ]


    first off- if you left it at 830 and they opened at10- but you said it was gone by 10- but then you didn't go back till 11- you could have left a note on the office door, and also the windshield- you said its only 1 mile to work- so I'm assuming your job wasn't this far from the apartment complex- I'd think any reasonable boss would have let you go down there at 10am to talk to the owners- or let you call them???

    Also- my hubs are ALWAYS in the lock position- doesn't mean my trucks in 4Hi or 4LO--- I never have parked my truck in 4h/4l always put it back in 2 wheel...

    sorry to play devils advocate-

    brandy
     
  20. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    Well, a smart tow truck operator thinks before they act. If it's FWD they leave the rear tires on the asphalt. If it's RWD they leave the front tires on the asphalt. If it's a truck you pull the rear driveshaft and leave the rear tires on the asphalt. If it's AWD you flatbed it.

    Anybody that leaves the front tires of a truck on the asphalt is a [censored] idiot. It is unsafe to have a truck (with most of its weight on the front) being towed around with its back end in the air.

    Any moron knows that if you haul a automatic in neutral with the motor off and the transmission turning you will probably burn out a pump in the transmission.

    Of course, I see tow truck operators do stupid [censored] all the time. I doubt most of them even have a CDL. There's nothing like seeing them stick one of those hooks way out on a control arm to yank a FWD car out of the ditch.

    If it's broken and they don't want to fix it then you're kind of up a creek. Even though they damaged your private property very few of them will own up to it and not many lawyers are willing to work for it. Of course, I don't get mad, I get even. It's not the apartment owner's fault that it got hurt.

    It's amazing how pissed off a tow truck operator can get when someone cuts all their valve stems off while they're in Wal-mart hitting on the old ladies. Of course, I'm willing to bet it didn't piss him off nearly as much as the guy who's got a transmission with a crispy-crittered front pump.
     

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