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Need some advice ASAP..... Negligence, Other Injury

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by ISLANDER, Aug 10, 2021.

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  1. ISLANDER

    ISLANDER Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi, I'm needing some advice about a situation that happened this afternoon to a friend of mine.

    Her car broke down the other day and she contacted a business to tow it to their shop to get it fixed. They were informed not to drive it and it had to be towed. Well, they decided to drive it and it caught fire, totaling the vehicle. What would be the next step she needs to do? Thanks for any help and information.
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Too many pronouns.

    By "they" I assume you mean that the car was driven to the shop by a tow company employee? Why would the tow company drive the car when they were supposed to tow it?
    Did the company give a reason to your friend?
    Does you friend have comprehensive insurance?
    Did she report this to her insurance company?
    Did she obtain the tow companies insurance info and call the provider?

    It's kind of surprising that your friend doesn't know to file a claim for the damage either to her insurance company or the tow company's insurer.
     
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  3. ISLANDER

    ISLANDER Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I apologize for all the pronouns.
    Here's some other info I just got.

    The shop has its own tow truck.
    Yes, one of the employees drove the car.
    I don't know why they chose to drive the car instead of towing it.
    Did not give a reason why, they just kept apologizing.
    She contacted her insurance, but no help from them because she doesn't have full coverage.
    She has not contacted the company's insurance yet.

    Thanks again for any help and information.
     
  4. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Okay. Tell her to file a claim with the shops insurance company.
     
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  5. ISLANDER

    ISLANDER Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Will let her know that asap. Thanks again for all your help. Is there a way to find out a business's insurance online?, just in case they refuse to give it to her.
     
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  6. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    I don't know....but there would be no logical reason for the tow company to not give you the info.
     
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  7. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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  8. ISLANDER

    ISLANDER Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Okay, thanks again for your help.
     
  9. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Just understand that the shop's insurance company has no direct duty to her. The insurance company's duty is to its insured (the tow company in this instance). Generally it is the insured that needs to make the claim.
     
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  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You might look on the shop's website if there is one. But the answer is probably no.

    Then she will have to figure out the value of her car, demand payment from the shop owner, and sue if the shop owner doesn't pay.

    If she's dealing with a manager at the shop she ought to be able to find out the owner's name and address from the Scty of State or Corporation Commission business records.
     
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  11. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Who told the person at the shop not to drive the vehicle, and did that person explain why the vehicle shouldn't have been driven? Also, why did the vehicle catch fire? Last, what was the vehicle's year, make, model and mileage?

    So...is there really a question about what her next step should be?

    No. If the tow company won't cover this voluntarily and won't provide its insurer's information, her recourse will be to sue.

    Sure there is. If the company doesn't provide the insurance info, then the OP's friend can't make a claim. If there's no claim then the incident won't impact the company's insurance rates. Making a claim against an insurance policy is easy, but filing a lawsuit requires more time and effort, and the claimant might not go to that effort. Therefore, not providing the info makes it more likely that the insurer will never become involved. That's very logical.
     
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  12. ISLANDER

    ISLANDER Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My friend told the owner of the shop not to drive the vehicle and it had to be towed.

    Told the owner, oil was leaking out the engine and was knocking after starting.

    Do not know why engine caught fire. My guess is oil got to the manifold/exhaust.

    Vehicle is a 2014 Ford Escape with 90,000 miles.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  13. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Oil on a manifold or exhaust won't normally cause a fire. Lots of smoke but not fire.
     
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  14. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    So your friend said not to drive it and that it "had to be towed" because it was leaking oil and knocking after starting?

    Ultimately, if this goes to court, your friend would have to prove that it was negligent for the tow company to do what it did and that the driving of the vehicle caused the fire. I can't intelligently opine about the likelihood of proving that.

    A vehicle that wasn't drivable to begin with isn't going to be worth a lot, but it looks like Blue Book value for that vehicle in fair condition (and depending on sub-model and options) is somewhere in the $5-11k range, which appears to be within the limit of small claims court in Georgia.
     
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