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You've been in an accident -- now what? Here's what to do.

A car has just struck your automobile at an intersection, and at the moment, you feel as though you are experiencing a living nightmare. You feel fearful and in pain. Then, when you discover that the accident was the result of the other driver's carelessness, that fear turns into anger.

Unfortunately, sometimes, a motorist's carelessness will cause an accident that results in life-disrupting injuries. Fortunately, though, if you end up hurt in a car crash caused by another person in Texas, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Here are some important steps to take following the accident to protect your best interests.

Seek medical help and police

After an accident happens, it is paramount that you remain at the crash scene and do not panic. Immediately following the crash, check yourself and your passengers as well as the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash to see who has suffered injuries. If any injuries require immediate attention, calling an ambulance right away is critical.

Next, it is wise to contact police, as a police officer can document your accident. The sooner you file a report with the authorities, the more accurate the record of the crash will likely be.

Start gathering information

While at the scene of the accident, if you are able, take pictures of any damage that your vehicle has sustained and of the accident scene itself. In addition, you may want to take notes about the details. 

You'll also need to gather information from the other driver involved in the crash. Important details to gather include the person's name, phone number and address, as well as his or her insurance provider name and policy number. 

In addition to speaking with the driver, you might want to also talk to any people at the scene who witnessed the accident. In your conversations, however, you should avoid admitting fault or discussing blame.

Your rights following an injury crash in Texas

If someone has harmed you in a car crash due to negligent driving, it is within your rights to file a personal injury claim against him or her. If you can establish his or her liability in civil court, a judge or jury will decide your claim for damages, or you may be able to reach a settlement. A claim fought successfully can lead to damages that will cover your medical costs, property damage, lost wages and other expenses tied to the collision.

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