Non-consensual towing is when a law enforcement agency seizes legal custody of a vehicle. But, that’s only a tiny part of it because the entire process of towing, detaining, and insurance is more complex. For example, in a non-consensual tow, law enforcement contacts a towing company to relocate vehicles from a street, highway, or property. The towing company usually has a prearranged agreement with the law enforcement agency to carry out this work.
When Non-Consensual Towing Happens
A law enforcement agency or officer is prompted to order a tow when there’s an accident scene, a vehicle breakdown, or a crime scene. Depending on the time and location, these situations can cause traffic hazards or delays. Hence, the officer needs to act swiftly by making a report and calling the towing company to intervene.
Ideally, police officers have what’s called- a “rotation list,” which contains the details of local towing service providers. Using that list, they will call each company on that list in succession.
Vehicle Owner Problems
Often the owner of the vehicle has no choice in the matter but can be slapped with an outrageous bill that includes all types of fees. Some of the fees seen on these towing bills include:
- Equipment fee for trucks sent to the scene that were not used
- Extra personnel fee for people sent to the scene
- Arbitrary emergency call-out fees or fire department fees
- Cargo transfer fees (for trucks carrying cargo)
- Storage fee (if the vehicle is taken to a holding lot)
- Paperwork fee to release vehicle
To add to your pain, the towing company has your vehicle, and they can hold it hostage until all fees are paid. Most people merely pay the fees to get their car back.
Many car insurance companies pay towing fees as part of an accident claim – another reason towing companies are happy to pad their bills with extra fees.
What Can You Do?
Due to the variety of laws and regulations that vary from city, county, and state, it is best to be prepared to handle contacting a trusted towing company yourself. Keep contact information for your towing company of choice on your phone. Inform law enforcement that you will handle getting your vehicle towed.
If that choice is taken out of your hands, contact your insurance company and tell them the circumstances. No one likes being taken advantage of, especially when in a vulnerable situation, including insurance companies. Let them handle it. They have the resources to investigate insurance fraud.
Unlimited Recovery and Towing
Don’t be caught off guard in a non-consensual towing situation. Have a reliable, trusted, and fair towing company on speed dial. Unlimited Recovery and Towing is here for you. Keep our number on your phone and call us when needed – we’re ready to help. Our number is 919-790-9393.