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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    9

    Default Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damaged During Tow

    My question involves towing laws for the State of: Florida (Osceola county)

    When I woke up this morning I found that my motorcycle had been towed from the front of my rented townhouse. I park in a recessed entryway (roughly 4-5 feet in from the sidewalk) which is where I have been parking my motorcycle for over a month. Today, with no prior warning whatsoever my motorcycle was taken. The towing company claims illegal parking, but they also state that no property manager or neighbor had complained or requested towing, and I have had no police officer cite a parking ticket.

    I arrived at their compound to find scratches and paint chips across various parts of my motorcycle. The employee I was speaking with informed me that the person who towed my vehicle used a car wheel lift instead of a motorcycle flatbed. This is likely what caused most of the damage (other than the man dragging my left-side mirror across the wall in my entryway).

    Tomorrow morning I am going to bring the bike back to the lot to speak with the manager about replacing all the damaged parts and having them pay for a full inspection at the Harley-Davidson dealership I go to. I don't expect a response before I go up there, but I do fully expect them to deny responsibility thus causing a full civil legal battle. So in the meantime, if anybody could help me, I need help finding the answers to these questions:

    1) Do my local laws hold towing companies responsible for damage done, or do I have to file an insurance claim?

    2) Did they break the law by using a non-standard motorcycle towing vessel?

    3) Should my vehicle have been towed in the first place?


    I have made bold the most important parts of my story so far, for swiftness and ease of reading.

    Please help!!

    -Daniel

    Edit: I apologize for forgetting this detail:

    The only parking related sign is one at the front gate that says "Unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owners expense" but this sign does not state what is unauthorized.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    25,774

    Default Re: Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damage Done to Vehicle

    why are you surprised that when you park in someplace other than an actual parking space your vehicle got towed?

    You really need to assume that anytime you park a vehicle in a place other than an actual, designed for the use, parking area, your vehicle is no longer an authorized vehicle.

    question: What would be the difference between you parking your bike where you did and somebody else parking their car in the middle of the lawn?

    answer: nothing


    the police aren't going to ticket you on private property.

    1) Do my local laws hold towing companies responsible for damage done, or do I have to file an insurance claim?
    the person that caused the damage is liable for the damage

    2) Did they break the law by using a non-standard motorcycle towing vessel?
    I do not think there is a law in the country that requires some specific type of tow unit to be used for any particular vehicle.

    3) Should my vehicle have been towed in the first place?
    non-legal answer: absolutely. Legal answer: probably not if the management has not contracted with the company to tow unauthorized vehicles without specific request to do so.

    http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/f...tatutes_715-07
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    9

    Default Re: Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damage Done to Vehicle

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    question: What would be the difference between you parking your bike where you did and somebody else parking their car in the middle of the lawn?

    answer: nothing
    http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/f...tatutes_715-07
    Answer: Parking a car in the lawn is not only obstructive to the people living there, but it could potentially cause damage to the lawn. Parking my motorcycle in a recessed entry way does not obstruct anything or anyone, and does not cause damage. Also, here in Orlando (a city with high motorcycle theft) it is very common for people to park motorcycles on sidewalks or by a doorway, or even more commonly INSIDE the house. I chose to not park inside out of courtesy for the owner of the property, but in a spot that I thought would help prevent theft. Apparently I was wrong on that account. Furthermore, with no designated motorcycle parking, leaving a bike in a car parking space often causes people in cars to run them over when they try to park and don't see the bike.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    25,774

    Default Re: Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damage Done to Vehicle

    argue whatever you want. Both actions are improper and justification to tow the vehicle. Just expect that when you park your motorcycle on the sidewalk it will continue to get towed and you only have you to blame.

    and I suspect that parking your motorcycle inside your apartment will get you evicted.



    Furthermore, with no designated motorcycle parking, leaving a bike in a car parking space often causes people in cars to run them over when they try to park and don't see the bike
    It still does not allow you to park where you are not authorized to park.
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    9

    Default Re: Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damage Done to Vehicle

    Update.

    I called the towing company today and they told me (direct quote) "Yeah I gave the owner the information and he's not gonna do anything for ya, and I don't give a **** so have a good day" and hung up. I called back, they refused to give me the owner's number, they are refusing to show me the pictures of the vehicle before they towed it, and repeatedly hung up on me.

    I've called my insurance company asking for help, but if anyone here can PLEASE show me something in the law that states that the towing company is liable for damages, that would be a life saver.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damage Done to Vehicle

    What do you expect to be shown? There's not a statute that specifically covers every single thing that can go wrong in life, and what your recourse would be.

    If somebody negligently damages your vehicle and you cannot get them to voluntarily pay for the damage, you can sue them.

    If you have insurance coverage, the easiest thing to do is to let them cover the damage and subrogate against the towing company's insurance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damage Done to Vehicle

    I don't expect anything to be shown, I was just hoping that there is something in the law that states a towing company is liable for damages.

    I have full coverage insurance, but now the towing company is refusing to give us their insurance information.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    9

    Default Re: Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damage Done to Vehicle

    I'm going to court to file a claim. The court says I need a written estimate of costs of repair and labor.

    Now I'm concerned. I know generally the burden of proof falls upon the accuser, but that seems a bit unreasonable in a situation like this. I couldn't have known this would happen so it is not reasonable to believe I could have pictures immediately prior to towing. So I assume there is some kind of law in place requiring towing companies to take pictures of vehicles before moving them, and to keep them for a certain period of time.

    Is this a correct assumption? If so, how long are they required to keep those pictures?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damage Done to Vehicle

    I couldn't have known this would happen

    actually, yes, you could have and should have known this could happen. Only a self righteous person would think that they were somehow authorized to park on a sidewalk. As such, a reasonably intelligent person would suspect their motorcycle that was parked on the sidewalk might get towed.

    I saw no law requiring them to take any pictures. If they do, I suspect it is so they can defend themselves against false claims of damage. I gave you a link to the germane law. You can always take the time to read it.


    I have full coverage insurance, but now the towing company is refusing to give us their insurance information.
    why would their insurance information be any of your business? Did their insurance company do something to you? You sue whomever injured you. That would be the towing company. If they choose to involve their insurance company or not is up to them.
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    9

    Default Re: Brand New Motorcycle Towed from Apartment Front Door, Damage Done to Vehicle

    My insurance company said they need the towing company's insurance information to file a claim with them. Now that they've refused, this has to go to court. I've finally found an attorney and have a consultation in a few minutes.

    I've also found out that this company is not accredited with the BBB, they have an F rating, and they do not respond when the BBB comes knocking. Wonderful to see humanity still has some integrity...

    Honestly, is there any way I can lose this particular case in small claims court? It is very obvious that this company did the damage to my vehicle, and their pictures show that.

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