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If you are recovering from a car accident, the last thing you may be thinking about is getting your car out of a tow lot. Unfortunately, delays can lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in storage fees. Who pays storage fees after a car accident?

Why Is My Car in a Storage Lot?

How did your car end up in storage in the first place? Suppose your car was unsafe to drive after the accident, or an ambulance took you to the hospital and the police needed to get your vehicle out of the road. In that case, the police may have requested a towing service to move your car to a storage lot per Arizona law.

The police may also tow your vehicle after an accident if:

  • You do not have proof of insurance
  • You don’t have a valid driver’s license or permit
  • You were drinking underage
  • The police arrested you at the scene of the accident
  • You have prior DUI convictions or your vehicle has an ignition interlock device

Additionally, vehicle repair services may charge storage fees if you decide not to repair your vehicle at the shop or if the vehicle is a total loss.

Do I Have To Pay the Storage Fees After a Car Accident?

The person responsible for paying storage fees varies depending on the circumstances of the car accident.

Police Towed Your Vehicle for a Reason Other Than the Accident

If you caused your car to be towed you may have to pay storage fees

If the police towed your vehicle due to something you did, rather than because of the accident, you will probably have to pay the storage costs yourself. There may also be other fees you must pay to get your vehicle released.

Other Driver Caused the Accident

If someone else caused the accident, they or their insurance company should pay the accident-related storage costs. However, if there is a dispute over who caused the accident, they may not accept responsibility immediately.

In this case, you may need to pay the fees yourself or work with your own insurance company to ensure the bill doesn’t continue to accumulate while the insurance companies are hashing out who caused the accident.

If you have collision coverage, it may cover the cost of storage fees. If the other party’s insurance accepts responsibility for your claim, it should reimburse you or your insurance company for the fees you paid.

You Caused the Accident

If you caused the accident, you or your insurance company will need to pay the storage fees. If you were only partially at fault, you are responsible for the amount of storage fees proportionate to your fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault, you must pay 20% of the fees and the other party must pay 80%.

Where Can I Get Help With Storage Fees After a Car Accident?

A car accident attorney at the Sargon Law Group can help you determine who pays storage fees after a car accident. Your injury attorney can also negotiate with the storage lot and the other party’s insurance company and help you prove the other party was at fault if there is a dispute. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.