How to File in Small Claims Court Against a Moving Company – Part 2

Article posted by on October 21, 2017

Article posted by Jeff.Walker on July 01, 2013

By Shojin Volunteer Contributor

In going back over some of our older articles, I noticed that many of them were written for content, not for the reader experience.  Because of this, I have taken the time to go back over some of these articles, in some cases splitting them into several articles to help the reader weed through large swaths of information.  We hope this makes this information a little easier to “digest” and more useful to our visitors.

–       Jeff Walker, President,

Gathering Your Evidence

– Before you file a damage claim

Most of us might not know something is damaged until we get the boxes unpacked, yet the driver has insisted we sign the bill of lading that everything was delivered intact. So have you just screwed yourself by signing the bill indicating that nothing appeared broken?

Probably not. You typically have at least two months (maybe longer) to file a damage claim and this is always specified in the contract.

Let’s say that upon opening a box the movers packed you find your 1-year-old DVD player is smashed. You don’t have the original receipt, but you know you got the player at Best Buy.

You could visit their website and try to locate your DVD player and print out the current price. If you paid by credit card, you might be able to get a statement from your credit card company. You could even visit the store and ask for a new receipt. In this case, ask for a manager and explain why you need a new receipt — that you are filing a damage claim against your moving company.

Now, take photos of everything that was damaged. Most moving companies will require you to send photos of the broken items – unless they send out an insurance adjuster.

Get at least two sets of prints. One set goes to the moving company. The second set you save for your own records, or for when you file in Small Claims Court.

Once you have photos and an inventory of everything that was damaged, and receipts for everything, you are ready to file your damage claim. Here is what your inventory might look like:

Bunk bed $900 Frame split, support leg broken
Receipt from Bunk Bed R Us included
Sony DVD Player Model 1234 $300 DVD tray cracked off and missing. Parts rattle inside unit
Receipt from Best Buy included

Make a copy of everything before you send it to the moving company. Xerox the photos too. Send the damage claim via one of the USPS delivery tracking methods.

– Months later and the moving company has stopped taking your calls You’ve been keeping your logbook of every time you’ve called and/or written the moving company to ask about the status of your damage claim.

By now, you are convinced they recognize your phone number on their Caller ID and each time you call you make less and less progress.

Don’t threaten. Don’t tip your hand. It’s time to take them to court.

Next Week: Part 2: Small Claims Court

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