Do I Need to Move My Car After a Car Accident in Gainesville, FL?

Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of our everyday life in Gainesville, Florida. The sudden shock and disarray that follows a collision often leaves drivers unsure of what to do. Many wonder whether they need to move their car from the flow of traffic. 

However unsettling an accident may be, it is crucial to understand what to do in the aftermath. A Gainesville car accident attorney can help you understand your rights and recover compensation for your injuries.

Florida Drivers Must Use “Every Reasonable Measure” To Move Their Vehicle After a Crash

Florida Statute 316.061 requires drivers to stop at the scene of an accident. If the vehicles involved in the accident are operable and not seriously damaged, it is advisable to relocate them out of the roadway. 

State law requires that the driver make “every reasonable effort” to move their vehicle whenever possible. This is important to avoid blocking traffic flow or increasing the risk of other accidents and injuries. 

Moving a car to a safer location, such as the shoulder of the road, a nearby parking lot, or a side street, is the preferred course of action whenever it is safe. Drivers who fail to make reasonable efforts after an accident may be cited for a nonmoving traffic violation under the Florida Code.

Circumstances vary significantly after a crash. You should carefully consider whether moving your vehicle after an accident is advisable. In some situations, it is not. 

First, moving a car may not be practical if the accident is severe. Physical damage may prevent some vehicles from being driven without the assistance of a tow truck. Second, accident scenes with injuries or fatalities should not be disturbed until first responders arrive.  

Disturbing these vehicles may complicate the work of investigators and first responders. It can also jeopardize the safety and well-being of yourself and others. Last, it may be reasonable to wait to move your vehicle where leaking engine fuel or gasoline creates a fire risk.

Document the Car Accident Scene

Document the accident scene before moving vehicles. When the location is safe and emergency services have been called, use your phone to take photos of the accident. The best accident photos capture images of the vehicles involved from different angles. 

Photos should focus on property damage and each vehicle’s position to each other, as well as road conditions, traffic signals, skid marks, debris, and other elements. Documenting the accident scene with photos is essential for building an unbiased account of the collision. Crucial evidence cannot be recreated without eyewitness or video evidence once vehicles are moved.

Be Aware of Florida’s Post-Accident Laws

You must ensure you follow Florida’s post-accident laws after moving your vehicle. If first responders did not arrive at the scene to document the accident, Florida Statute 316.066 requires that you report the accident to the local police or Florida Highway Patrol. You are obligated to report any accident involving injury, death, or property damage of $500 or more. 

Have Questions? Consult an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Gainesville, Florida

Car accidents in Gainesville are all too common. It is natural to experience shock and confusion after a crash, but understanding the law can ease some emotions. Read more about PTSD after a car accident here.

Whether you should move your car depends on the severity of the accident and the safety risks posed to others. If you can move the vehicle, ensure you do so with “every reasonable effort” and take photos to document the scene beforehand.

Should you find yourself in a collision in Gainesville, FL, an experienced car accident attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact Our Gainesville Car Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville car accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258