I have a special place in my heart for the tow companies of Arizona. The first ever member of TowLawyer was from Arizona. Upon joining our website, I remember him telling me how the resources of the website were a major help to the tow companies in Arizona who were trying to abide by the law. Recently, however, the bad deeds of a few tow truck companies have negatively impacted towing across the state.
Celebrating our nation and wishing you and your family a happy Independence Day.
I don’t need to tell you that owning a tow business is high risk. It’s a dangerous profession with expensive equipment and expensive claims. These risks are present every day. For these reasons, careful consideration should be given to how you legally structure the ownership of your business. If you make the wrong choice, everything [...]
In my opinion, some tow company owners are too nice to their employees. I’ve seen many an owner pay for an employee’s mistakes (literally), such as paying for a traffic fine or for the damage an employee caused, only to have the employee fail (literally) to repay the favor. When this happens, tow companies are sometimes quick to immediately “dock” the employee’s paycheck to recover any monies that were spent on the employee.
As we have written about in this blog, downtime claims, which are claims for that time when your tow truck is down and not generating income, are tough and insurance companies often fight them tooth and nail. For this reason, before you retain an attorney to prosecute such a claim and spend even more money, it is best to know what you are getting yourself into.
More than 41.5 million Americans are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA. The National Safety Council has released estimates indicating that 402 fatalities are expected during the holiday period, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 28. More accidents mean more tow operators on the side of the roadway putting themselves in harm’s way for the sake of helping others.
As we have discussed in this blog, the American Rule of attorney’s fees requires each side to pay their own way unless there is a statute or contract that says otherwise. Unfortunately, consumer protection lawsuits are one of the types of statutes that carry an attorney’s fees provision. Even more unfortunate, these are exactly the type of lawsuits a tow company can expect to be hit with by a disgruntled consumer.
Kansas City, like many other cities, has a city owned tow lot where police ordered tows are stored. The City sets the tow rates which then must be paid by the owner of the vehicle before the vehicle is released. All seems pretty ordinary, right? Except it’s not. Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the City of Kansas City and its Board of Police Commissioners for what it calls “predatory impound and towing practices.”
Attorneys get asked this question so much it bears repeating: if (insert name of tow company here) sue (insert name of vehicle owner here) who stiffed me on my tow bill, I can make him pay my attorney’s bill right? Unfortunately, and it pains for me to have to say this, the answer is NO! The American rule provides that each party is responsible for paying its own attorney's fees, unless specific authority granted by statute or contract allows the assessment of those fees against the other party. What this means is that absent rare exception, tow companies are responsible for their own lawyer.
At the 2018 Florida Tow Show, Michael McGovern and I were pleased to present our seminar on human resources issues in the tow industry. Much of this seminar was spent discussing wage payment practices. In reflecting on the seminar, I was again reminded of the many unique features of the tow industry regarding the payment of wages to tow drivers. Many employees are paid on a commission. Most work is done “outside the office.” Many employees take trucks home at night and on the weekends. Add to this the fact that there are actual laws specific to the tow industry for the payment of overtime wages. All in all, human resources in the tow industry are complicated to say the least.