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Should I move my car after a Missouri accident?

Moving your car after the accident | Missouri Car Accident Lawyer

The immediate aftermath of a Missouri car crash can be chaotic and confusing. When tensions are running high and your physical safety is in jeopardy, you might struggle to decide whether you should leave your automobile in place—perhaps in an intersection, on-ramp, or in the way of oncoming traffic—or move it to the side of the road, potentially compromising critical evidence in the process.

When to Move Your Vehicle After an MO Car Crash

Under most circumstances, and in most situations, Missouri law recommends that motorists take common-sense steps to avert further accidents and injuries after a crash.


Assess your condition, and check on your passengers. If you, a passenger, or the other motorist suffered injuries, try to avoid moving the injured person. Put on your car’s hazard lights, and immediately call 911. If you have emergency flares, reflectors, or lights, place them behind your vehicle to warn oncoming traffic of the obstruction.

Consider the Condition of the Car.

If nobody has been injured, evaluate the extent of damage to the vehicle.

Check Your Surroundings.

If you have not been injured, and your car is still operable, check your surroundings before deciding whether to move your vehicle. Since police might need to reconstruct the accident site to determine who caused the crash, you should avoid repositioning your car unless absolutely necessary.

“Steer It and Clear It.”

Missouri law recommends that motorists who have been involved in a minor crash “steer it and clear it” if their car’s position could cause another accident. Thus, if nobody has been injured and your car is still operable, move your car out of the way of traffic. The police, and your insurance company, will not penalize you for trying to keep other people safe.

When Not to Move Your Vehicle After an MO Car Crash

While you should always strive to protect yourself and others around you, moving your car could make it more difficult for investigators to determine who should be held liable for the collision.

Leave Your Car at the Accident Site

  • If the vehicle has been “totaled” or cannot operate properly
  • If you or others have been seriously injured
  • If the accident caused a significant amount of debris to scatter onto the roadway

When law enforcement arrives, they will need to reconstruct the scene to determine who caused the accident. Moving your automobile could make it more difficult for the police to do their job.

Always Call the Police After an Accident

Missouri law requires that accidents be immediately reported to law enforcement if they result in:

  • More than $500 in property damage
  • Injury
  • Death

However, even though Missouri law does not always mandate that motorists contact law enforcement, calling the police after an accident is almost always a good idea. Even if you do not believe that you or others have been seriously injured, the police can help you make a successful legal recovery.

How Police Help After the Crash

They can secure medical care.

The police are often the first to respond to any accident, regardless of how serious it is. If the officer believes that you or others require medical assistance, they can help call an ambulance or transport you to the nearest hospital.

They can preserve evidence.

The police can cordon off the accident area, giving investigators the time and space they need to thoroughly appraise the crash site.

They can collect information.

While you can speak to eyewitnesses and write your own after-accident report, the police are trained professionals who know how to create a record and potentially determine fault. Even if law enforcement is unable to figure out who caused the accident, you could still use their report in insurance negotiations or in court.

Have You Been Injured in a Missouri Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a Missouri car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 314.470.4928 to schedule a free consultation. We help car accident victims throughout the state of Missouri including Columbia, Springfield, Kansas City, St. Louis, Kirksville, and Cape Girardeau.

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