As a Maryland car accident lawyer who has practiced for nearly twenty (20) years, it is my experience that nothing stirs more emotion among car accident victims than their automobile’s property damage.
I’ve had clients who were seriously injured in an Auto Accident get more upset over how much the insurance company was offering for their totaled vehicle than over the fractures or disc herniation they received in the accident.
The purpose of this article is to educate you about what you need to know if your automobile has been damaged in a Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident.
If your car is seriously damaged and is not driveable it will likely be towed away from the site of the crash. The police from the county where the accident occurred will usually call the tow operator who has the contract with that county to tow vehicles involved in accidents. The towing company will transport your vehicle to its facility or to the county tow yard.
Some jurisdictions, such as Baltimore City, will actually give the driver of the damaged vehicle the choice of having the automobile towed by the operator who has the city contract or the driver’s own tow operator.
If given the choice, it’s probably a good idea to have your own company tow your car. Why? There is a good chance it will cost you more money when the county tow operator takes the vehicle. In Baltimore City, for instance, it will cost you $200.00 to have your vehicle towed to the city storage lot. After that, it’s $40.00 a day. Now it’s true that if you were not at fault for the accident the responsible party’s insurance company has to pay the tow and storage fees, but insurance companies don’t always accept blame for accidents that are the fault of its drivers. If the defendant’s insurance company disputes the claim, you have to pay the money up front to the tow yard to get the vehicle out and that can be expensive especially if the car sat in the yard for awhile while the insurance company was investigating.
Your own tow company will likely charge you a lot less to have the car towed and it will tow the vehicle to where you want it to go. One problem associated with using your own tow company after a Maryland car accident is the police usually only allow you a short period of time to get your tow company to come to the accident scene and tow the car. Baltimore City police permit you only 20 minutes to have your company get to the site and tow it. If your car can’t be towed by the tow company in that period of time they will automatically have their tow contractor handle it.
Coming up next time- One big reason you don’t want your car towed to the county/city yard.