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  • Writer's pictureMuammar Reed

Where Do Cars Go After an Accident? Understanding the Process in California

Car accidents can happen at any time, and when they do, understanding what happens to your vehicle after the collision is important. In California, there are specific laws and regulations that dictate the process. This article will guide you through the steps your car goes through after an accident in the state.

1) Where Will the Car Get Towed After an Accident?

After an accident, the location to which your car is towed depends on various factors, such as the severity of the collision and the condition of the vehicle. In many cases, it may be towed to one of the following places:

- Impound Lot: If the accident is severe and your car is not drivable or unsafe to drive, it might be towed to an impound lot for safety and storage.

- Repair Shop: If the damage is minor and your car can be safely driven, you may have the option to choose a repair shop for the necessary repairs.

- Your Property: If the accident is minor, and the car is drivable, it may be towed to your residence or a location of your choice.

2) What to Do When Your Car Gets Towed After an Accident

If your car gets towed after an accident, there are several important steps to follow:

- Contact the Towing Company: Find out where your car has been towed and get their contact information.

- Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company about the accident and provide them with the towing company's details.

- Retrieve Personal Items: If possible, retrieve personal belongings from your vehicle before it is towed away.

- Assess the Damage: After the accident, have a professional assess the damage to your vehicle, especially if it's taken to a repair shop.

3) How Much Does It Cost to Tow a Car?

The cost of towing your car after an accident in California varies. It depends on factors like the distance towed, the type of tow (flatbed or regular), and the towing company's pricing structure. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $150 or more for a local tow. However, costs can increase significantly for long-distance tows or special services.

4) Does Car Insurance Cover Towing and Storage Fees After an Accident?

Whether your car insurance covers towing and storage fees after an accident depends on your policy. Comprehensive insurance often includes towing and storage coverage, but you should check your policy to confirm.

In many cases, if the accident was not your fault, the at-fault driver's insurance may cover the towing and storage fees as part of your claim. If you are at fault, your own insurance policy, if you have the right coverage, may cover these costs.

5) Know Your Rights When Your Car Is Being Towed

When your car is being towed, it's essential to know your rights. In California, you have the right to:

- Retrieve personal belongings from your vehicle before it's towed.

- Receive an itemized invoice from the towing company, which should include a breakdown of the charges.

- Contest an unreasonable towing fee, though this process may require legal action.

- Request a copy of the tow truck driver's driver identification and other relevant information.


After a car accident in California, understanding where your car goes, what to do, and how much it costs for towing and storage is important for a smooth recovery process. If you're unsure about your rights and the coverage provided by your insurance policy, consider consulting with a legal professional to ensure that you are treated fairly and justly during the post-accident towing process.

This article is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is different and it is recommended that you consult a licensed attorney in your area if you have been injured or have a potential personal injury case.

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