Family claims tow company took advantage of them

Tow company takes car to lot after accident

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A family contacted 23 ABC after their son was in a car accident and said the tow company took advantage of them.

After Jeff Birks' son was in the accident, his car was towed, but not to the place he would have liked.

"They should have given me the option of having my car towed to my house," said Birks.

Instead, he says the car was towed to Affordable Towing's lot on Rosedale Highway.

"I asked the guy, how much do I owe you? He said 'You owe us $345 today,'" said Birks. "It would have been a lot less money if the car was towed to my house or my mechanic the night of the accident," said Birks.

The California Highway Patrol said it is common procedure for them to dispatch a tow company to the scene to clear the roadway after an accident.

"If the person is not transported and gone off to the hospital, let’s say it's a non-injury crash. The tow company should contact that individual and will ask them where they want their vehicle towed," said Robert Rodriguez of the California Highway Patrol.

However, Birks said he was not given that deal.

"When I went to Affordable Towing, I asked why wasn't I given that option, and he said 'That's not our job, all we are supposed to do is get the cars out of the roadway for the CHP,'" said Birks.

23 ABC contacted Affordable Towing and they said the family did not specify where they wanted the car to go the night of the accident, so that's why they brought it back to their yard.

"If you are involved in a crash, don't assume everything will be taken care of for you. Make sure you; yourself communicate with the tow company. Sometimes the tow company may have a new driver and that new driver may not know to communicate with the driver involved in the accident and he automatically takes it back to the tow yard," said Rodriguez.

The CHP regulates tow companies they use and says if you have a concern, contact their office at 661-864-4444.

"Bottom line, I should have been given the option to have it towed where I choose that night," said Birks.

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