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Who pays for the towing and storage bills of my wrecked car?

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Who pays for the towing and storage bills of my wrecked car?

When your car is involved in an accident and incurs towing and storage fees, it’s natural to wonder who is responsible for covering these expenses. The responsibility for paying towing and storage bills can vary depending on several factors, including the circumstances of the accident, your insurance coverage, and state regulations. 

At-Fault Party’s Insurance

In many cases, if another driver is at fault for the accident that resulted in your wrecked car, their insurance company may be responsible for covering the towing and storage costs. This scenario assumes that the at-fault driver has liability insurance designed to cover the costs associated with accidents they cause.

When pursuing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you can include towing and storage fees as part of your claim. The insurance adjuster will assess the total damages, including these costs, and work toward providing compensation for your losses.

Your Own Insurance

If you have collision coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, your own insurance company may cover the towing and storage expenses for your wrecked car, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Collision coverage is designed to pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle in the event of an accident, and it may extend to cover towing and storage fees.

However, it’s essential to review your insurance policy and consult your insurance provider to confirm your coverage’s terms and limits. Different policies may have varying degrees of coverage for towing and storage costs.

No-Fault Insurance States

Some states operate under a no-fault insurance system, where each driver’s insurance company is responsible for covering their policyholder’s medical expenses and other related costs, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. In such states, towing and storage expenses may be covered by your own insurance company, irrespective of fault.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If the at-fault party in the accident does not have insurance (uninsured) or has insufficient coverage (underinsured), you may need to rely on your uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This coverage protects you when the responsible party lacks adequate insurance to cover your damages.

UM/UIM coverage can extend to cover towing and storage costs associated with your wrecked car, ensuring you are not left with these financial burdens in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.

State Regulations

State regulations can play a role in determining who pays for towing and storage fees. Some states have specific laws governing towing and storage charges after accidents. These regulations may dictate whether the at-fault party’s insurance, your own insurance, or another source is responsible for covering these expenses.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with your state’s insurance laws and regulations to understand how towing and storage costs are handled in your location.

Personal Liability of the At-Fault Driver

If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, or their insurance company refuses to cover the towing and storage bills, you may have to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In this legal action, you can seek compensation for all the damages incurred in the accident, including towing and storage costs.

Mitigating Costs

Regardless of who ultimately covers the towing and storage expenses, mitigating these costs is essential. This includes promptly contacting the towing company to retrieve your vehicle and avoid additional storage charges. Additionally, documenting the condition of your car and the fees incurred is essential for filing claims with insurance companies or pursuing legal action.

In conclusion, the responsibility for paying towing and storage bills for your wrecked car can vary depending on insurance coverage, state regulations, and fault determination. It’s crucial to review your insurance policy, communicate with insurance adjusters, and, if necessary, consult with legal professionals to ensure that you receive fair compensation and that these costs are appropriately addressed in the aftermath of an accident.