Amp Damaged inside Car During Tow. What to do?
Need some Legal Advice or wondering if anyone has gone through similar...
Few days ago our band's station wagon broke down with a bunch of our gear in the back. Our only choice was to have it towed that way..
The flatbed had a VERY rough ride driving from the median back onto the highway bouncing like crazy over grass and bumps. Bounced so hard that when we were able to retrieve the gear the next day, my power tubes were shattered! The inside of the amp (late 70s V4) was full of broken glass, who knows what else may be broken inside.
Retube and general inspection repair is quoted at 272.00 from Main Drag in Brooklyn. Is there any way to file a claim with the tow company? Its weird because its not damage to the car, its to stuff that was inside the car. I don't know much about this sort of legal thing, its not even my car so I don't know about insurance coverage. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.
Why I don't just buy an indestructible 500 watt solid state amp that weighs 8 lbs, I don't know. But that's a whole other discussion!
You would probably have to make a claim with YOUR insurance company. If they will cover it, they will seek recourse from the tow company. My guess is, it's your responsibility to pack equipment securely. Doesn't cost anything to call!
Incidental damage may also be mentioned in the release you signed to have the tow driver pick up your vehicle. Check that paperwork to see if the tow company might be liable.
But, yes, start with your insurance company. If they don't cover it then you may be able to take the tow company to small claims court.
Thank you for your indulgence,
I can't imagine claiming insurance would be worth the deductable
It sounds like the claim would be more trouble to pursue than it is worth. They will claim that you did nothing to mitigate your damages.
I can't imagine how the tubes could be shattered in the way that you described and nothing else was damaged. I'd have the tech check the amp very carefully, there may be more costs beyond what you were quoted.
To hold the tow company liable I imagine you would have to prove they did something negligent in towing the car.
They didn't damage the car. If the contents were fragile, I would assume it would be your responsibility to remove the fragile contents containing glass before towing. They don't know what's in your car that's breakable.
I assume all the gear was properly secured and padded?
The towing company primary responsibility is to transport the vehicle safely. If you have something in the vehicle that may get damaged during transport, it's your responsibility to make sure it is secure.
i think your out of luck friend.. be happy thats all thats wrong imagine going there to pick your amp up and they said what amp there,s no bass amp here.
Here's a tale. On our way to a new gig about 30 years ago and the van blew a head gasket. Managed to bump start it and managed to get to the gig. Set up and sound checked and it sounded perfect. The stage looked perfect as well. 26" Double bass drums, all chrome kit and on a riser. Two double 100w Marshall stacks for bass and 2 Marshall 50w half stacks on flight cases for guitar. It didn't get any better than that.
played the gig to about 20 people who really enjoyed the band but the place was empty. Band played well though.
Loaded up the van and went to get our money. No cash only a cheque for £20. That would be about $60 back then. No matter what we did or said, they would not give us cash.
Back to the van and tried to start it and it wasn't having any of it. Cylinders were full of water. Luckily? one of our roadies had driven himself to the gig in his Reliant Regal van. 5th picture down, http://www.3wheelers.com/reliant.html the darker blue one.
So there are 6 of us plus guitars in this little, 3 wheeled van and the broken van with all our gear in it stayed at the gig.
The following day I arranged to have our broken van towed home by someone I knew, who owned a Land Rover and did recoveries. The next day as I was waiting for our poorly van to return home, I received a phone call from the police.
"Do you own this van only we've found it wrapped round a telegraph pole with the back doors open".
Dashed out to see what had happened and sure enough, there was the van crashed into a telegraph pole a load of our gear was missing, strangely enough, it had been taken out in the order that it was loaded and what was missing was enough to fill the back of a Land Rover. Even the disgusting drum carpet had been taken. It would have covered the gear nicely I recon.
I never saw the bloke that towed our van home again. Strange that. Got the van home and fixed it and tried to get the gear back together but it was never the same.
Is that the end of the story? not yet there's just a little bit more. Remember the cheque that we were paid with, you guessed it, it bounced. When back to the venue to confront the landlord and the place was all boarded up.
I think that if all you need is a new set of valves/tubes you're lucky.
Kevin, it will cost you more to pursue a case for recompense against the company. Get your amp fixed and put it down to a learning experience.
I agree with David that I too can't see how all four outputs could be that damaged from a bumpy ride. Tubes have survived being shot into space without damage and that's a much more bumpy ride.
I used to work for the largest towing company in the US and they paid out on stuff like this all the time. Too easily IMO.
The tow driver should have probably asked if there was anything breakable in the vehicle. If yes, then had you sign a damage waiver. If the driver did not have you sign a damage waiver, then you have a reasonable claim.
Really won't hurt to call them up and tell them you'd like to file a damage claim. 90% of the time if it's under $500 and there's even a small chance they're at fault they'll just pay it and it won't cost you a dime.
If however you signed any kind of damage waiver with the driver than you're probably SOL.
Before I owned the amp, it had been outfitted with 6550s. To do this you have to remove the clips that hold in the smaller 7027s. Therefore my 7027s were hanging unclipped (this was to be temporary) with the whole car bouncing on the flatbed I suspect the tubes fell out of the sockets, shattering against the base of the amp. One did survive. Of course a road case would have helped prevent this. Our band has no money ever, so we make due with less than ideal situations consistently that I'm sure many of you are familiar with. Our tour "van" is an old Mercedes station wagon with over 290,000 miles on it. It's complete lack of suspension certainly didn't help. Thanks for the advice, gonna just bite the bullet and get it fixed. In the meantime it's back lines and even more bizarre and terrible back lines.
Edit: You should also have the tech retention the output tube sockets.
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