Can you/should you move your vehicle after an accident? Use common sense and if feasible and safer, move and move others to a place of safety and move the vehicle to make the scene safer for other motorists. Although the law seems to prefer that the vehicles be left in their post-accident positions, it does allow you to use common sense.
- Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-117 provides that in traffic accidents involving no personal injury, the drivers or other persons with a valid drivers’ license, “may remove the vehicle from the immediate confines of the roadway into a safe refuge on the shoulder, emergency lane, or median or to a place otherwise removed from the roadway whenever such moving of a vehicle may be done safely and the vehicle is capable of being normally and safely driven, does not require towing, and may be operated under its own power in its customary manner without further damage or hazard to itself, to the traffic elements, or to the roadway.”
- If the vehicles are removed in conformity with the above quoted statutory language, the driver who has removed the vehicle from the roadway, “shall not be considered liable or at fault regarding the cause of the accident solely by reason of moving the vehicle.” T.C.A. § 55-10-117(d).
- If the vehicles cannot or should not be moved; nevertheless, take feasible actions to minimize danger to those involved and to other motorists.
- Immediately notify the authorities. Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-106 provides, “the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or property damage to an apparent extent of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) or more shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of such accident to the local police department.”
- If movement of the involved parties from the vehicles and from the roadway may be accomplished without further harm to those involved, do so.
- Evaluate the scene and visual impediments to other motorists and take appropriate precautions.
- Turn on all operable vehicle lights and flashers.
- Keep signaling devices in your vehicle such as reflective triangles, flares, and flashlights and utilize them.
- Send someone upstream in traffic and off of the roadway in order to flag/warn other motorists of obstructions in the roadway.
If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge