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Should You Move Your Car After an Accident

Unsure if you should move your car after an accident? Trust Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien in Missouri to guide you. Get informed and make the right decision today.

We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in Missouri for over 40 years.

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Missouri Says, “Steer It and Clear It”

Having an accident can be distressing and disruptive. Many people are unsure of how to proceed following the accident. One question is whether the car should be moved from the scene.

The guide discusses the concept of Missouri’s “Steer It and Clear It,” as well as the appropriate circumstances for moving a car after an accident. It also outlines the steps to take when involved in a car accident. This article discusses an accident report and how a traffic accident attorney can assist with it.

For additional information, contact the firm of Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien. Let us assist you.

Traffic Regulations Sections 304.151 and 304.155

In the state of Missouri, there are specific traffic regulations governing the actions of drivers involved in car accidents. Two key sections of the Missouri Revised Statutes specify how drivers should handle their vehicles following an accident.

Section 304.151 explains how to handle a vehicle that is unsafe to operate after an accident. It states that the driver must take reasonable steps to move the vehicle off the roadway. This regulation aims to prevent traffic obstruction and ensure all road users’ safety.

Similarly, Section 304.155 emphasizes the importance of removing vehicles from the primary traveled way of the roadway. If they can be driven, they should be promptly and safely moved. This regulation encourages the concept of “Steer It and Clear It.” It promotes the efficient flow of traffic and minimizes congestion at accident scenes.

When You Should Move Your Car After an Accident in Missouri

The decision to move your car after an accident in Missouri depends on various factors. These can include the severity of the accident and the condition of the vehicles involved. Here are some scenarios when moving your car may be appropriate:

  1. Minor accidents with no injuries: As long as there are no serious injuries and the vehicles are still drivable, it is generally safe to move your car. You can move it to the shoulder or a safe location nearby to prevent traffic congestion.
  2. Accidents with minor injuries: If injuries are minor and vehicles are still driveable, prioritize the individuals’ well-being. First, ensure everyone’s safety and provide first-aid assistance if needed. Then, move the vehicles to the side of the road to avoid traffic disruption.
  3. Accidents blocking traffic: When an accident obstructs traffic, move the vehicles to reduce road congestion. However, prioritize safety. If moving the vehicles would endanger anyone, it is better to wait until emergency vehicles or the police arrive.
  4. Non-drivable vehicles: If the vehicles involved are not drivable due to significant damage or pose a safety hazard, don’t move them. In such cases, it is best to wait until the police arrive and assess the situation.

What to Do When Involved in an Accident

When involved in a car accident in Missouri, it’s crucial to follow steps to ensure safety and compliance with the law. Here is a general guideline on what to do immediately after an accident:

  1. Check for injuries: First and foremost, check yourself, your passengers, and the occupants of the other vehicle for injuries. Call 911 immediately to request medical assistance if anyone is injured.
  2. Move to safety: If it is safe, move your car to the side of the road or a nearby safe location.
  3. Exchange information: Exchange contact details and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident. Note their name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number. Provide the same information to them.
  4. Document the scene: If possible, take pictures of the crash scene. Include vehicle damage, license plates, and any relevant road conditions. These photos can be valuable when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.
  5. Contact the police: Even if the auto accident seems minor, it is crucial to contact the police so you can file a report. A police report is an official record of the incident, which is usually helpful for insurance claims or legal proceedings.
  6. Seek medical treatment: Even if you do not initially feel you’ve been injured, it is essential to seek medical treatment promptly. Some car accident injuries may not appear immediately. Documenting them is crucial for a personal injury claim.

In some situations, getting a car inspection after an accident may be beneficial. This can help assess property damages.

Filing an Accident Report

In Missouri, it is mandatory to file an accident report with the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR). This step should be taken within ten days if any of the following conditions are met:

  • The accident resulted in injury, death, or total property damage exceeding $500.

  • The accident involved an uninsured motorist.

  • A driver involved in the accident is unable to show proof of insurance.

You can obtain an accident report from a local law enforcement agency or the Missouri Department of Revenue website. If you fail to file a report, you could face fines or suspension of your driving privileges. Additionally, insurance claims and legal proceedings depend on accurate reporting.

Understanding the proper procedures can help you avoid missing a step. Discussing your circumstances with a skilled attorney at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien can help. Call us.

Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien is Here to Help With Your Car Accident Claim

The decision to move your car after an accident in Missouri depends on the circumstances, with safety being the top priority. Following the appropriate steps, such as filing an accident report and seeking a lawyer after a car accident, can help protect your rights. 

In addition to advising you on your next steps at the accident scene, you can expect the following services if you hire a car accident lawyer from Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien:

  1. Legal skill: Our car accident lawyers are well-versed in the intricacies of traffic laws and personal injury claims. We can assess the specific circumstances of your case and provide tailored guidance.
  2. Navigating insurance claims: Haggling with insurance companies can be challenging. We can negotiate on your behalf. We want to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
  3. Investigation and evidence gathering: We have the resources and experience to investigate the accident thoroughly. We can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and reconstruct the events to establish liability.
  4. Legal representation: The at-fault driver may dispute their responsibility. There may be other complex legal issues. We can represent your interests in negotiations or court.
  5. Maximizing compensation: The attorneys at our firm will work tirelessly to maximize your compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.

 Call Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien. Let us assist you.

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