How I can get my money back from being wrongfully towed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How I can get my money back from being wrongfully towed?

I live in an apartment complex and recently had my car towed. The complex is making some improvements such as new roofing. Apparently, the contractor did not want to be held responsible for any damage done to vehicles in the area they were working. We supposedly were notifified a day or so before not to park in our normal area. The notification was in the form of a flyer which was left in our doors. I along with many others never saw the flyer and woke up to find our cars towed. I work late at night and am not looking for this type of correspondence but only to get in my unit safely as I am a female. They could have easily knocked on our doors that morning and/or sent text messages and emails. They contend that was their only obligation and will not discuss the matter further. This cost me $200. I plan to file complaints with BBB for both the apartment complex and the towing company. Bottom line is neither made much effort to get the word out. Is this the best avenue to pursue?

Asked on June 25, 2016 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The BBB does not get you money--they  have no power to order or compel reimbursement. Only suing them (if you sue, name both the complex and the contractor, since both or either may be legally at fault or liable) will get you the money. You'd sue them for negligently (carelessly) costing you money (the towing fee) by not properly making sure residents were aware of the parking restriction. However, it's not clear that it's worthwhile to do so: even if you file in small claims court, there's still a filing fee, which will offset and reduce what you can get back; if you act as your own attorney (since if hire a lawyer, you'll spend far more on the lawyer than you'd win), you'll give up at least a day of your time and work (and therefore wages/income); and you can't count on winning (no case is 100% guaranteed), so you could go to the cost and time of suing  but get nothing. It's not clear that $200 is worth this. Sometimes, there is no good way to get compensation or vindication.

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