Who Pays Towing Fees After a Car Accident?
Your car was totalled in a serious accident. You’re juggling medical bills, phone calls with your insurance company, all while looking for a new vehicle. Then a bill for a tow truck gets dropped in your lap. Your totalled car is still in storage and is racking up costs. Do you really have to pay towing fees when you didn’t even cause the car accident?
In fault states like Indiana, the at-fault driver is responsible for towing fees after a serious car accident. But no matter who pays, it is very important to get your car out of storage as soon as possible. If you weren’t at fault but do not recover your vehicle, your claim could be affected.
Responsibility for tow truck fees changes if the collision took place in a fault state or no-fault state. In no-fault states, everyone involved in a car accident is responsible for their own property damage, medical bills, and other losses, regardless of who actually caused the accident. But in fault states, the driver who is most at fault for causing the accident – or is 51 percent or more at fault – is responsible for the other party’s damages. The amount of fault you have for an accident also affects how much damages you can recover.
Indiana is a fault state. The driver with the majority of fault for the collision should cover costs for the tow truck and storage fees. If the car accident happened in a no-fault state like Michigan or Kentucky, everyone would pay for their towing fees.
Regardless of where you live, you should check your car insurance policy to make sure it covers towing fees. Some plans only cover it if you have a roadside assistance plan.
If you are at fault, you pay towing costs
Like we said, the at-fault driver is responsible for tow truck costs. You and by proxy your insurer will pay for the towing and storage for any vehicles that need towing if you caused the accident. This is why it is so crucial to have auto insurance – not only is it illegal to drive without insurance in Indiana, but without coverage, any costs from an at-fault collision will have to come out of your pocket.
If you are not at fault, they pay towing costs
You shouldn’t have to pay for property damage that you didn’t cause. The at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for towing and storage, which is why it is so important to get the at-fault driver’s insurance and contact information.
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance, you will need to use the uninsured/underinsured coverage on your own policy to cover the storage bill. Once that runs out, you’ll need to use your own money.