What do I do after a car accident in Texas? Three tips.

These three main tips can help provide guidance after an accident.

Getting into an accident is a shocking event. It is important to act quickly and logically after the accident, even though this is likely one of the more emotionally turbulent situations of your life. One of the ways to help better ensure proper handling of the situation is preparation.

Lists that offer tips on best practices after an accident abound, but many are extremely long and unrealistic. Instead, keep these three main concepts in mind: safety, medical needs and evidence.

First step: Safety

Avoid further damage immediately following an accident by taking basic safety precautions. If the vehicle is in the middle of the roadway, attempt to steer it to the side of the road. Put on safety or hazard lights to increase visibility to oncoming traffic.

Second step: Medical Needs

Contact emergency services if anyone is injured. Immediately address all medical needs. Even injuries that seem relatively minor at the time warrant a call for help. The injured victim may be experiencing shock and not fully understand the extent of the injury.

Third Step: Evidence

Once the first two needs are addressed take the time to gather evidence. This will prove invaluable in the event the accident was the fault of another driver. Get the names of all parties involved, including both drivers and passengers. If you have a smartphone available, take a few quick photos of the scene. Take photos of damaged vehicles and the accident site. Copy down the license plate of all vehicles involved in the accident and the names and badge numbers of responding officers. If a police report is filed, get a copy.

Keep copies of all bills connected to the accident - everything from medical bills to vehicle repair costs. Document if work was missed due to injuries.

Can I hold the other driver liable for the crash?

It is common to have many questions after the initial shock of the accident subsides. One of these may be whether the other driver is responsible for the accident. If the other driver was negligent or reckless when operating his or her vehicle, you may consider moving forward with a personal injury claim. The rules that guide these claims can vary depending on the state the accident happened. In Texas, a victim of a car accident generally has two years from the date of the crash to file a claim against the other driver. This claim can result in a monetary award to cover the cost of vehicle repairs, lost wages and medical expenses already incurred and estimated into the future. Contact an attorney to discuss your options.