Tow trucks are necessary in our car-reliant world. While no one wants to see their vehicle on a tow truck, towing allows you to move inoperable vehicles to be repaired. It also lets the city or other entities tow vehicles that violate the law.
While towing is a helpful service, it can also be dangerous – both to vehicles and motorists. This is why Indiana has specific laws regulating towing practices.
If you have concerns about towing accidents, seek help from an Indiana truck accident lawyer today.
Indiana towing laws are designed to regulate the towing industry and protect the rights of vehicle owners. Understanding these laws is crucial for both tow operators and motorists to ensure fair and legal towing practices. Here is an overview of Indiana towing laws.
Towing companies and operators must be licensed by the Indiana Secretary of State. This license demonstrates that the company meets certain standards and has proper insurance coverage.
Tow operators must undergo background checks and meet specific training requirements to obtain and maintain their licenses.
Indiana law regulates towing fees to prevent excessive charges. Towing companies are required to provide a schedule of fees, which should be conspicuously posted.
The Indiana Administrative Code establishes maximum rates for non-consensual towing. These rates vary depending on the size and type of vehicle.
Tow companies must post clear and visible signs in designated parking areas to notify vehicle owners of towing policies. The signs must specify the name and contact information of the towing company, as well as the towing fee schedule.
Towing companies must have a written agreement with the property owner or law enforcement agency authorizing them to tow vehicles from a specific location. This agreement must be readily available for inspection.
Abandoned vehicles can be towed without the owner’s consent if certain conditions are met. These conditions typically include factors like expired registration, missing or expired license plates, or obvious signs of abandonment.
After towing a vehicle, the towing company must promptly notify the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the location from which the vehicle was towed. This notification should include information about the towed vehicle.
Once a vehicle is towed, the owner or operator must pay the towing and storage fees to retrieve it. The towing company must release the vehicle to the rightful owner or their authorized representative upon payment of these fees.
Towing companies are required to maintain a detailed inventory of items found in the towed vehicle. This inventory must be documented and kept for a specified period.
Towed vehicles must be stored in a secure and safe location. The storage area should be fenced and well-lit, and access should be controlled to prevent theft or damage.
Towing companies must allow the owner or their authorized representative to retrieve personal property from the towed vehicle without unreasonable delay. This includes items like wallets, documents, or personal belongings.
If a vehicle owner believes they were wrongfully towed or charged excessive fees, they have the right to file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
Towing companies can be held liable for damages if they fail to comply with Indiana towing laws. This can include penalties, fines, or even suspension or revocation of their towing license.
Towing from private property, such as shopping centers or apartment complexes, is regulated by specific laws. Towing companies must follow strict procedures, including proper signage and notification to law enforcement.
Both tow operators and vehicle owners need to be familiar with Indiana’s towing laws to ensure fair and legal practices. If there are disputes or concerns, seeking legal advice or contacting the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division can help resolve issues and protect the rights of all parties involved.
Towing is a critical service for stranded or immobilized vehicles, but if not executed properly, it can lead to costly damage. Some potential sources of damage include:
Entities should always hire reputable and experienced towing companies, and these companies should properly train drivers to avoid accidents and damage. Moreover, comprehensive training and ongoing professional development for tow operators is essential to ensure they understand the intricacies of safely towing various types of vehicles. This includes learning about the specific towing capacities and methods for different vehicle makes and models.
While towing is a valuable service, it’s not without risks and can result in costly damage to your vehicle. If this happens and the damage was preventable, the towing company should be held liable for the repairs or replacement of your vehicle. Speak with a truck accident attorney about your options.
Improper towing practices can lead to serious injuries for both tow operators and other motorists on the road. Some ways serious injuries can occur include:
While you do not hear about towing mishaps and accidents as much as other types of vehicle accidents, they do happen and can have costly results. If you suffered losses due to a tow truck, reach out to the legal team at Blackburn Romey today. Contact us for your free consultation.