Federal law provides many legal protections to moving companies that ordinary companies do not have. Some unscrupulous moving companies use these special laws to exploit unwary consumers. This is why the golden rule of hiring a moving company is to research their background thoroughly before hiring them.
If someone believes they are being scammed by a moving company, they can sue, but are severely limited. All moving companies are protected by a law called the Carmack Amendment, which limits recovery in a lawsuit to:
While this may seem hopeful, what it means is if a moving company holds possessions hostage and refuses to deliver them unless a person comes up with some exorbitant extra fees, the only thing to do is pay them and then sue later for that exact amount. Individual's can not sue them for fraud, negligence, deception, emotional distress, or any other similar legal action.
This also means that even if the company is grossly negligent and drives a person's possessions off a cliff on purpose, that person won't be able to sue for anything more then the value of the items. This is one reason why it is extremely important to make sure items are fully insured before shipping them.
If you are having problems with a moving company, you should consult an attorney immediately to see what rights and protections you have. While the law does make moving companies difficult to sue, they are still liable for the cost of all your things. Many moving companies may try to extort people they think are vulnerable, but will not want to go to the trouble of a lawsuit, so having an attorney on your side will greatly increase your chances of the company delivery your possessions promptly and unharmed.
Last Modified: 03-20-2017 01:08 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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