You've been injured in an Atlanta traffic accident. You are being loaded into the ambulance when a tow truck driver waves a piece of paper under your face and asks you to sign. You have never been in a car accident before, so you assume this is routine. However, a week later when you are feeling well enough to get your car, you are handed a bill for thousands of dollars. What is going on?
Unscrupulous truck drivers know that after an accident, injury victims are vulnerable. An injured driver has more on his mind than checking out a tow truck company.
Dishonest tow truck drivers listen to police scanners for reports of Atlanta car accidents. When the tow truck driver hears of your accident, he speeds to the scene hoping to get there before the police. Why? If police order what is known as a "no consent" tow, the tow truck company must charge you a preset fee. But, if the tow truck operator can get you to sign a release form giving permission to tow away your vehicle, the towing company can charge any rate they desire. In fact, they may charge you more than ten times the present fee!
Even if a price is quoted, the towing company can "back fill" the invoice and add miscellaneous fees and charges once you sign the bottom of the form. The tow truck operator will try any number of tricks to get you away from the police to sign a release. They may ask you to come to the side of the road to go over paperwork; they may even follow you to the emergency room.
Once your vehicle is hitched to the tow truck, the operator will try to convince you to use his company's storage yard and/or repair shop. This can lead to more overcharging. And, if you don't pay these excessive fees, the towing company won't release your car.
You could be charged up to $2,000 in towing and storage fees. In addition, if you agree to use the tow company's repair shop, it would not be unusual to be fined a $500 administration fee, a $1,500 teardown fee, and a $500 environmental fee before any repairs actually occur.
How much should you expect to pay an honest towing company? About $150.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, claims of inflated towing or storage bills more than doubled between 2009 and 2010. Learn what can you do to avoid being a victim of an Atlanta towing scam in Atlanta car wreck attorney Shane Smith's post, "Cheating Atlanta Accident Victims: Avoiding Tow Truck Scams in Georgia."
Worried about being reimbursed for the costs of your Georgia traffic accident? An Atlanta car wreck attorney can help. To discuss your claim with a Georgia personal injury lawyer, contact Shane Smith Law at (980) 246-2656. The initial consultation is free.
Learn how to protect your Georgia accident claim, request a free copy of 10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Wreck Case.