Towing company damaged vehicle
I have what seems like an obvious question, but I wanted to check that I'm not missing anything. I got my pickup truck stuck in the mud on my driveway
at the top of a hill. After failing to get it out, I ended up about 10' below the driveway and parallel to it --- right on the verge of being able to make it back up, but not quite.
I gave up and called Amex's Roadside Assistance, who sent a local towing company to assist. Initial quote was $65 flat-rate, but after inspecting they decided the driveway was too muddy for their big truck and that they would need to come back with a lighter vehicle at $185/hr. Late afternoon, needed to get places, so agreed.
Towing company returned, and very inefficiently got the pickup almost back on the driveway. They stopped to confer on how to do the last bit, and unhooked the chains. Apparently they did not properly set the parking brake and left the pickup in neutral. As everyone watched, the truck started rolling driverless down the hill into a ravine.
It went about 200' then solidly hit an oak tree in the middle of the front bumper and immediately came to a stop. Would guess it was going about 30 MPH at that point. Truck mostly undamaged other than deep fold in the middle of the front bumper, broken radiator, lots of broken chrome. Clearly undrivable, although possibly repairable. Also still located halfway down a hill lodged against a tree.
Multiple witnesses: I, my girlfriend, a friendly neighbor, and the 3 workers, one of whom owns the truck. Unlikely to be much dispute about the events, although they might claim that they set the parking brake and it failed. Only possible big factor is that there is no contract
, waiver, or anything written involved yet, unless American Express did something on my behalf.
As it was getting to be evening, we left the truck there for the night. I'm meeting them tomorrow afternoon when they attempt to extract. It's an 92 Ford Ranger, Blue Book probably $2K. I'm not that worried about the truck in the short term, but want to end up with either a working vehicle or adequate compensation for loss and hassle.
How should I be approaching this?