Should you move your car after a car accident in Missouri?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Auto Accident, Car Accidents

When you get into a car accident, the moments immediately following the collision can be disorienting and stressful. You are faced with a flurry of decisions, and one of the most pressing questions might be: Should I move my car?

In Missouri, the answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. What you do in the immediate aftermath of the crash can significantly impact any potential legal action you might take as a personal injury victim.

What Missouri law says about it

According to Missouri law, drivers must stop at the scene of the accident and exchange contact information, because leaving the scene is a crime. You must not move your vehicle until a law enforcement officer tells you to.

However, Missouri also has a “Steer It and Clear It” law that requires drivers to move their vehicles if they are in a location that may cause other drivers to have an accident. The responsibility to move your vehicle to a safer location after an accident only applies when the car is safe to drive, and there are no serious injuries. If anyone suffered injuries or fatalities or if moving the vehicles might cause further damage or injury, it is best to wait for the authorities to arrive.

What you should do

Assess the situation before moving your vehicle. Check for injuries, and if anyone needs emergency medical assistance, call 911. If your car is in a dangerous position and you can safely move it out of the roadway, then move it cautiously. Turn on your hazard lights to let other drivers on the road know of your intentions.

Remember to document the accident scene before moving your vehicle. You can use your cell phone to take photos and videos from various angles, capturing the positions of the cars, any visible damage, traffic signals and road conditions. Also, once law enforcement officers or paramedics arrive and offer medical attention, do not refuse it. Only a thorough medical examination can rule out underlying injuries you may have sustained because of the accident. Visual evidence and medical records connecting your injuries to the accident can be invaluable when making a personal injury claim.

Whatever happens, your top priority should be your health and safety and the safety of those around you.

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