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Why you should never leave the scene of a car accident

Like most Texans, you drive both assertively and cautiously. With luck, you may never find yourself in the middle of a car accident. Given the law of probabilities, though, you may not be able to avoid a collision forever. Fortunately, with most accidents, the incident is a minor inconvenience. If you leave the scene of the wreck, though, you could be in for some significant legal consequences. 

Texas law requires motorists to stop their vehicles after an accident if it caused either injury or property damage. If the accident was not your fault, stopping and alerting authorities is not much of a problem. If you have been drinking, driving with a suspended license or fleeing the scene of a crime, you may think about continuing down the road after an accident. This idea, though, is not a good one. 

Your obligation to stop and render assistance 

In Texas, you must stop your car after an accident. If you are physically able to assist those with injuries, you must do so. The penalties for leaving the scene of an automobile accident are severe. If someone dies in the crash, failing to stop could lead to manslaughter charges. While you may have to face the music for your bad conduct, you make the predicament considerably worse by fleeing. 

Exceptions to the rule and personal injury claims 

As you may suspect, Texas law offers some wiggle room for motorists. In some limited situations, drivers do not have to stop after an accident. If any of the following are true, you may legally leave the crash scene: 

  •         You did not realize you were in an accident.
  •         You did not cause any injuries or property damage.
  •         Your life was in danger.
  •         You were not driving. 

As a diligent driver, you may never envision a situation wherein you would leave the scene of an automobile accident. You may, however, be the victim of a hit-and-run collision. In that case, you may be able to use another driver’s criminal activity to help bolster your personal injury claim

Car accidents can be both stressful and painful. You must keep your wits about you, though. If you wreck your vehicle, stopping and rendering aid is the best approach. On the other hand, if you sustained an injury or received property damage following a hit-and-run accident, you may be able to use the other driver’s conduct to your advantage. Either way, you must understand Texas law to protect yourself.

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