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      10-13-2008, 07:43 PM   #1
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Any Lawyers Here?

Hey guys... Sad news... My car was towed and the tow company messed up my rim. I'm taking them to small claims court and need to consult a lawyer. Anyone here a lawyer or attorney, or has connections that can help me out?
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      10-15-2008, 11:45 PM   #2
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bump...
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      10-15-2008, 11:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boba View Post
Hey guys... Sad news... My car was towed and the tow company messed up my rim. I'm taking them to small claims court and need to consult a lawyer. Anyone here a lawyer or attorney, or has connections that can help me out?
Rim? As in one? I'm sure that it would be cheaper and easier to get it fixed yourself. Lawyer fees are not cheap. I have a friend who's an attorney..not in this field, and he charges around $300-350 per hour.
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      10-15-2008, 11:56 PM   #4
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Attorney fees are going to be more expensive than your wheel, if you take to small claims court. Attorneys charge for everything, remember that, including copies, faxes and phone calls.

My brother is in law school and I am soon to follow so he knows a lot about how they function.
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      10-16-2008, 12:03 AM   #5
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I understand, but I just can't get over the fact that I was treated unfair. Besides the rim damage, I was charged $70 for "misc. - toll"..??

Is it ok if I borrow 10 minutes of your time to explain, and perhaps you can help me? I'm so helpless right now.
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      10-16-2008, 12:13 AM   #6
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I would love to help you Boba but I'm not really qualified to do much, because I am not in law school as of now.

It depends on how much the bill was in the end man, if you had something like $700 for the tow fees and wheel damage you could pay a lawyer locally to write a letter and send it to the tow company. The attorney would know what to write in the letter, if they don't give you a refund after that and you decide to take them to claims court it won't be worth it.
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      10-16-2008, 12:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by in5ane_3 View Post
I would love to help you Boba but I'm not really qualified to do much, because I am not in law school as of now.

It depends on how much the bill was in the end man, if you had something like $700 for the tow fees and wheel damage you could pay a lawyer locally to write a letter and send it to the tow company. The attorney would know what to write in the letter, if they don't give you a refund after that and you decide to take them to claims court it won't be worth it.


Tow fee was $223, aside from county storage fee and the ticket itself. It was $127 for towing charges, and then $70 for "misc - tolls" and $26 for storage. Technically, it wasn't stored because I arrived at the tow place right when the truck arrived (with my car still on the flatbed). It was then driven off and parked right in front of their office, and not in their "storage lot". I have pictures to prove it was parked in front of their office. Will this count?

Replacement for wheel is $242.50.

But what are the odds that they're going to pay up just because an attorney wrote a letter? If I was the tow company, I'd just rip the letter up in half! I don't know what would make them want to pay after denying the damage on my rim.


Anymore input from you would be GREATLY helpful, heh.

Thanks!!!
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      10-16-2008, 12:26 AM   #8
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Also, the driver said a sheriff was there when the car was getting towed, and they did a "180 check" (not sure if that's what it's called -- can't recall) on my vehicle, and the sheriff noted the condition of the car prior to towing.

Could that help me at all? I know he probably won't look into the specifics such as my rim........

And when I heard from the driver that they had a "180 report", I told him to let me see it, but he denied it. If my rim WAS damaged prior to towing, then why are they refusing to let me see the report?
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      10-16-2008, 12:22 PM   #9
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shit happens. Just pay the fine and move on with your life. Not worth your time dealing with assholes like that.
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      10-16-2008, 12:36 PM   #10
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u don't need a lawyer for small claims court, they just do whatever they think is fair and don't follow all the formalities of "law"
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      10-16-2008, 12:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boba View Post
Tow fee was $223, aside from county storage fee and the ticket itself. It was $127 for towing charges, and then $70 for "misc - tolls" and $26 for storage. Technically, it wasn't stored because I arrived at the tow place right when the truck arrived (with my car still on the flatbed). It was then driven off and parked right in front of their office, and not in their "storage lot". I have pictures to prove it was parked in front of their office. Will this count?

Replacement for wheel is $242.50.

But what are the odds that they're going to pay up just because an attorney wrote a letter? If I was the tow company, I'd just rip the letter up in half! I don't know what would make them want to pay after denying the damage on my rim.


Anymore input from you would be GREATLY helpful, heh.

Thanks!!!
That's where your luck comes into play. If it's a small mom and pop tow company they would most likely disregard the letter from the attorney. If it is a large company they may take that into consideration.

So the total amount for your damages with the tow fee was ~$600. Was the tow with your consent or did you get towed because you parked somewhere you shouldn't or something like that?

A letter is your best bet without losing too much money. If the tow happened because you broke a law then you have to pay the fees regardless and if it was your consent you'd have to pay regardless.

If you take this to small claims court for ~$600 it won't be worth it because of the fees that an attorney would charge.

In regards to the sherif doing a 180. I have no idea what that means but assume he went around and looked at the car. I don't know how damaged the wheel is but the sheriff would not likely mark any curb rash on the wheels. Hope this helps
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      10-16-2008, 12:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermojorizin View Post
u don't need a lawyer for small claims court, they just do whatever they think is fair and don't follow all the formalities of "law"
You can do that as well but it would be a huge hassle for $200.
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      10-16-2008, 01:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in5ane_3 View Post
That's where your luck comes into play. If it's a small mom and pop tow company they would most likely disregard the letter from the attorney. If it is a large company they may take that into consideration.

So the total amount for your damages with the tow fee was ~$600. Was the tow with your consent or did you get towed because you parked somewhere you shouldn't or something like that?

A letter is your best bet without losing too much money. If the tow happened because you broke a law then you have to pay the fees regardless and if it was your consent you'd have to pay regardless.

If you take this to small claims court for ~$600 it won't be worth it because of the fees that an attorney would charge.

In regards to the sherif doing a 180. I have no idea what that means but assume he went around and looked at the car. I don't know how damaged the wheel is but the sheriff would not likely mark any curb rash on the wheels. Hope this helps



Yes I did park in an illegal lot and was towed, so I have no reason to fight for that. What I want to fight for is the damage on my rim and them denying everything. Basically, they said to pay right now or else come back in the morning where the rate is going to be different, but refused to tell me exactly how much it was. So I had to sign the paper and agree to its disclaimer, or else the rate might be 2x or 3x that of what it was right now. It's in the covno below.

I asked around on forums, and someone suggested calling the Bureau of Automobile Repair (BAR) for help. Please input your advice, thanks!!!




This is the conversation me and him had:


Him:
Quote:
If you signed something that said you agreed you were picking up your car without damage then there is not much you can do. You signed a contract, which in this case was the invoice.

Me:
Quote:
I was forced into signing it.

They said if I didn't pay now, I'd have to come back in the morning to pay for it, but rate is going to be different in the morning. I asked them, then how much is the rate going to be in the morning? They said "Come back in the morning to ask my manager since he's not here right now."

That is ****ing completely bullshit. How could they not know how much the rate is? This kind of rate is supposed to be FLAT RATE, not like the rate changes everyday.



So I HAD to sign the paper. What if I come back in the morning and the rate was 3x as much?


So I guess I'm too dumb to be signing the paper, and should just go back in the morning knowing that if they wanted to really **** with me, they'd set the rate to be 2x or even 3x more expensive than what I had initially paid ($223), AND THEN still DENYING the fact that they damaged my rim. So right now I'm at nearly $1k loss.



Sorry if im coming on a little too impulsive. I just cannot forget the fact that I was treated so unfair and it pisses me off so much whenever I think about it, knowing that there's not much I can do

Him:
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They must have their rates posted at their establishment. This might be an angle.

They might be able to help you.

http://www.bar.ca.gov/


Me:
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They told me to "STEP OUT OF THEIR PROPERTY", so I was unable to check if the rate was posted in their office, and they refused to explain to me the rate. Just told me $223 and said "LOOK, YOU EITHER PAY NOW OR COME BACK IN THE MORNING"
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      10-16-2008, 02:57 PM   #14
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Did you get to see the car before signing anything, or did you have to sign before seeing the car?

If you could've requested to see the car I believe your SOL my friend. You signing the contract also hurts a lot of your chances. Do you have any proof of the fact that he said it may be 2x or 3x in the morning?
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      10-16-2008, 03:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by in5ane_3 View Post
Did you get to see the car before signing anything, or did you have to sign before seeing the car?

If you could've requested to see the car I believe your SOL my friend. You signing the contract also hurts a lot of your chances. Do you have any proof of the fact that he said it may be 2x or 3x in the morning?


What's SOL?

Unfortunately, I did see the car before signing the paper, and that's how I found out it was damaged and the argument started. So I guess I was tricked into their little scheme of getting themselves out of paying for my damage huh?

I don't have proof that they said it may be 2x or 3x, because they never said it, but it was just me thinking about the "what if's". They refused to tell me how much it would be in the morning, and I really cannot risk waiting in the morning to pick it up because what if they try to belittle me and really charge me more expensive in the morning?
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      10-16-2008, 03:11 PM   #16
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What's SOL?

Unfortunately, I did see the car before signing the paper, and that's how I found out it was damaged and the argument started. So I guess I was tricked into their little scheme of getting themselves out of paying for my damage huh?

I don't have proof that they said it may be 2x or 3x, because they never said it, but it was just me thinking about the "what if's". They refused to tell me how much it would be in the morning, and I really cannot risk waiting in the morning to pick it up because what if they try to belittle me and really charge me more expensive in the morning?
SOL is sh*$ out of luck.

Well pretty much if you saw the car before you signed papers you're done. At that point you should have called a squad car in to asses the damages so you can have another witness. You said you had a 180 from the sheriff and with cop there at the scene he would've had the right to view it.

So pretty much, you signed a release for the car, saw the car before signing and have no witness encounters of anything they said.

You are really out of luck here boba, I'm not sure there is much more you can do.
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      10-16-2008, 03:14 PM   #17
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You don't need a lawyer for small claims court. It'll end up costing you more for a good lawyer in the long run.

However, if you work at a law firm (like me - Top 10 in the US, Top 25 worldwide), then you know your way around things or can easily ask for advice on certain things. However, filing for small claims is not one of them.
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      10-16-2008, 03:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by SteveMondragon View Post
You don't need a lawyer for small claims court. It'll end up costing you more for a good lawyer in the long run.

However, if you work at a law firm (like me - Top 10 in the US, Top 25 worldwide), then you know your way around things or can easily ask for advice on certain things. However, filing for small claims is not one of them.


Thanks Steve!




Insane: I had another witness (my friend) who dropped me off to pick up my car at the tow station and he was with me all the way from start to end-- heard every single conversation we had.

Also, when this happened, I called the sheriffs to ask for that particular sheriff who was there to witness the towing, but they said "hes out on duty right now". I asked then when can I see him? Sheriffs said I can't, and just hung up on me. I'm pretty sure the convo was recorded at the station. He told me there's NOTHING the sheriffs can do, and I'd have to settle this in civil court.

That was when I felt completely lost... No help EVEN FROM THE LAW ENFORCEMENT. Completely helpless and being 19 years old and not familiar with the laws... What could I do?
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      10-16-2008, 03:48 PM   #19
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You can file a claim in small claims court, and if you are successful you can recover your costs (filing fee, copies, etc.). Two hours of any decent attorney's work will eat up any recovery you may get.

Just file the small claims case, make sure you serve him correctly, and try and document everything you have that supports your case. The judge decides it on the spot, so the clearer you are and the better able you are to explain your position and the arguments behind them the more likley you will be to succeed.
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      10-16-2008, 04:21 PM   #20
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Thanks Steve!




Insane: I had another witness (my friend) who dropped me off to pick up my car at the tow station and he was with me all the way from start to end-- heard every single conversation we had.

Also, when this happened, I called the sheriffs to ask for that particular sheriff who was there to witness the towing, but they said "hes out on duty right now". I asked then when can I see him? Sheriffs said I can't, and just hung up on me. I'm pretty sure the convo was recorded at the station. He told me there's NOTHING the sheriffs can do, and I'd have to settle this in civil court.

That was when I felt completely lost... No help EVEN FROM THE LAW ENFORCEMENT. Completely helpless and being 19 years old and not familiar with the laws... What could I do?
Damn man really wasn't your day that day huh? You singing the document really puts you back. The only way you can win is if you convince the judge somehow that your side of the story is true. I really don't know what to tell you, if you'd like man go for it in small claims court.

Don't want to offend you or anything but a judge would look at these kinds of things so you may want to consider that, but do you have a clean record?
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      10-16-2008, 04:37 PM   #21
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Damn man really wasn't your day that day huh? You singing the document really puts you back. The only way you can win is if you convince the judge somehow that your side of the story is true. I really don't know what to tell you, if you'd like man go for it in small claims court.

Don't want to offend you or anything but a judge would look at these kinds of things so you may want to consider that, but do you have a clean record?


Of course I do lol.
Do you really think it's worth fighting over in court though? Most I'll get it probably $250.
Also, they won't look at my immigration status in court right? I hold a Canadian passport.
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      10-16-2008, 04:41 PM   #22
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Of course I do lol.
Do you really think it's worth fighting over in court though? Most I'll get it probably $250.
Also, they won't look at my immigration status in court right? I hold a Canadian passport.
That I really don't know, you'd have to speak to an immigration specialist about that.

If you're asking me, I honestly wouldn't go after the $250. It's not worth it, and I'm a full time working and full time student, if you want to take that into consideration.
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