Can you sue your movers?

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Can you sue a mover for negligent damage above the .60/pound?

Movers moved items into storage unit. The next day I saw they turned tables over on top of iron benches; bookshleves on top of washer/dryer and protection. i already see a lot of damage. is there protection above the .60/pound? Can I sue?

Asked by Cindy on 9/24/2013 under category Moving Companies

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Jenna Farmer
Answered on 9/25/2013

Hi, thank you for visiting to find an answer to your important question. I’m very sorry to hear of your negative experience, but hopefully I can provide some information that will help you figure out what to do next.

Unfortunately, moving experiences don’t always go smoothly – between all the hauling, loading and unloading, sometimes items get damaged. The best way to protect yourself against any moving mishap is to get educated on the claims process.

Moving insurance

If you only opted for the basic insurance coverage offered by your company, the amount of damages you can recover is limited to the weight of the items, as suggested by the 60 cents per pound figure. For added protection, many people look into insurance from third-party providers for the move.

Deal with your movers directly

Above all else, you will want to have an honest conversation with your moving company – notify the company as soon as possible and inquire about specifics when it comes to handling complaints. After this, you must file a written complaint.

According to federal regulations, movers cannot "voluntarily pay a claim … unless and until a formal claim in writing for a specified or determinable amount of money shall have been filed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section 49CFR370.3 – Filing of Claims." This means calling the company and lodging a verbal complaint does not hold them liable for response or resolution of said complaint.

You can also file a claim with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the American Moving and Storage Association, and with the Better Business Bureau.

Get prepared

If all else fails, you may end up in small claims court. Though this isn’t an ideal end to any situation, it may be unavoidable. Be sure to have all documentation of the damages, like before and after photos, receipts for proof of value, etc.

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Moving Tips & Guides
Know Your Paperwork
Familiarizing yourself with the different pieces of paperwork you’ll need to have during your move will help keep you organized. Fill out all the appropriate forms as you go and make sure you keep copies.
What are Stair Carries?
Also known as a flight carry, a stair carry is when your movers have to bring your belongings up or down at least one flight of stairs. Since moving things up and down a flight of stairs requires a lot more time and labor, most moving companies will charge you an extra fee for stair carries. Any reputable moving company will tell you about these fees ahead of time, usually at the time of the estimate.
Always Get Insurance
The default compensation movers provide for damaged goods is 60 cents per pound per article – otherwise known as Released Value protection. It’s always a good idea to purchase extra insurance to ensure that your items are fully covered against damage. Full Value Protection holds the movers liable for replacing the broken or lost item with something similar, repairing the item or compensating you with its full cash value.

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