is a tow company liable or responsible if i go to recover my vehicle from them and they cant produce vehicle, have lost it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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is a tow company liable or responsible if i go to recover my vehicle from them and they cant produce vehicle, have lost it?

my car got impounded about 4 weeks ago . no storage or labor leans or forfieture
stuff files, plenty of time left before i could legally lose it. went to tow yard
to remove my belongings from car today 3rd time there, jumping through hoops
getting doc’s sent from carson city and the tow company could not produce my
car. they have lost it, sold it, or destroyed it. i own it, and its been just
over a month since it got impounded. no paperwork has been filed by tow co to
take posession of my vehicle. they say they dont know where it is, and they say
that like its ok, or something.

Asked on September 3, 2016 under Business Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they are liable: if someone loses, damages or destroys, or steals (e.g. sells to another person) your property, they are liable for its value. You don't have to listen to them saying that this is "ok": you can file a lawsuit against them for the then-current value of your car (if you still owned it at the time) and/or for the economic value (not sentimental value) of any possessions in the car. If the amount at stake is less than the maximum for small claims court, suing in small claims, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal fees is the best option; if more than that, you should probably retain an attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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