What do you do in an emergency roadside situation on the roadway?
What to Do When Your Car Gets Towed After an Accident
After an accident, your car may be towed from the scene. If your car is not drivable, the police will have a tow truck tow the vehicle to location of your choice, or to a law enforcement authorized vehicle storage facility licensed by State of Texas. Otherwise, you’ll be allowed to drive your car away from the scene. If the police decide it’s unsafe for you to continue driving your car, there are a few things you should get before the tow truck tows your vehicle away from the accident scene.
- Photograph the accident scene. Make sure to take pictures (with your phone, for instance) of the outside of your vehicle from multiple angles, the other vehicles from multiple angles, and the inside of your car. These photos can be used as evidence in your insurance claim, and possible lawsuit, later.
- Gather insurance information and statements. Don’t forget to exchange insurance information with the other driver(s). If possible, collect statements about what happened from them and any other eyewitnesses. You could use your phone to record them. Law enforcement on the scene assist with information exchange most of the time
- Remove anything of importance from the vehicle. Remember: It may be several days before you have access to your car again. Don’t leave valuables or important documents behind.
- Get documentation from the tow truck driver. Find out where they’re taking your car, how much they’re charging for the tow, what vehicle storage facility they are taking your vehicle to, and their contact information or business card. Make sure you get a copy of the police tow slip if law enforcement provides it.
- Consider your immediate transportation needs
After your car is towed, you’ll need to find another method of transportation to get you from the accident scene or hospital to your home or rental car location. If you’re close to your home, you can ask the tow truck driver to take you there if it’s not out of their way, but they aren’t obligated to take you. They have limited cab space, too, so if there are more than two people who need a ride, you’ll need other arrangements.
You could call a taxi, ride-sharing service, or a friend or family member to pick you up. If you’re not sure who to call, the police may be able to point you in the right direction. Make sure to save your receipts for any rides you take as well as for any rentals, especially if the other driver was at fault. You might be able to get reimbursed for them.
Note: Only give your car to a tow truck driver who has been called to the scene by law enforcement. Anyone who shows up before that may be trying to scam you and charge more than allowed by local or state laws. Many trucks may arrive on scene that are already supposed to be there, such as the Tow and Go freeways in Houston. They must still wait for law enforcement to order the vehicle towed, regardless. It is against Texas state law for a tow operator to solicit you at the scene into bringing a vehicle directly to a repair facility, rather than a vehicle storage facility!