In Las Vegas, a car can be towed if it’s parked unlawfully in private or public property; if the police request the tow or if the vehicle is involved in a road accident. The towing laws in Las Vegas allow for this, so the towing can happen with or without your consent.
However, if your vehicle is towed for a reason not mentioned above, and you believe that the towing is illegal, the state’s law allows you to file a complaint about the tow and have the courts determine whether your rights were infringed. However, before you even file a case, though, it is essential to establish whether your car was legally or illegally towed. A vehicle can be legally towed if it meets the following criteria:
- If it is parked on private property with a single-family house on it: the owner can tow the car if:
- It’s parked in an unapproved way on the property
- He/she notifies the police about when the vehicle was towed, where it was towed from and its destination
- If he/she uses a tow service under the Nevada Transportation Authority jurisdiction
- If it’s parked in a lot or garage, the facility owner can tow the vehicle in the same circumstances as mentioned above. However, if they are towing the car because of non-payment issues, he/she must wait until 24 hours after the stipulated payment period elapses.
- If it’s parked in a residential complex or apartment, the rules above will apply. The owner may also tow the car:
- If there’s a clear sign that restricts or prohibits parking in a certain manner or particular place and the sign has a sheriff’s office or police department office
- The parking is a threat to the safety, health or welfare of residents
- If the vehicle is unregistered (for non-residents) or a registration that has expired for 60+ days (for residents)
If your car is illegally towed
You should take note of everything – particularly if you’re in a “drop” scenario or there’s no sign. Collect witness information and take pictures. You should also keep receipts from the place where you parked your car. Once you have a record of these vital things, the next step is to request a towing “probable cause” hearing with the court. You will need to do this within two weeks of being towed. In most cases, you’ll be able to seek compensation for the unlawful tow and in some cases, an extra $1,000 or more in damages if the towing was done intentionally.
On top of the above reimbursement, the towing laws in Las Vegas allows you to recover for any property damages on your car if you can prove that the tow driver was negligent. But you should know that this might be a hard nut to crack because you’ll need to prove that the damage wasn’t there before the vehicle was towed. In which case, working with an experienced lawyer can help you build a case and determine liability. Do this if you think your car is towed in Las Vegas
Locate the vehicle
This can be easy or hard, depending on where you parked your car. For instance, if it was in a spot with a clear sign, then all you need to do is call the number on the poster, and they’ll inform you of where your car is. But if there’s no sign, you may want to confirm that the vehicle wasn’t stolen – check with the police department for recovered cars. If you are pretty sure that your car was towed, you should call the Las Vegas Police Department’s private tow line or the vehicle parking desk (you can find these numbers on their website).
Proof of ID
You’ll need documents to prove you are the owner of the vehicle – this includes ID car and DL, title, dealer’s report of sale and current registration as well as a release form if your car has a hold imposed on it by the authorities.
Bring enough money (in cash) to cover the cost
Seek legal help
If your car was towed unlawfully, don’t suffer in silence. The state has consumer protection for illegal towing. You can file an Affidavit of Complaint and submit it with the court. In addition to offering legal advice, a lawyer can help you navigate through the entire process. If your vehicle is damaged due to the tow driver’s negligence, an attorney will also help you determine liability so that you can recover your losses too.