Article Updated: August 9, 2021

Strategic Informational v. Generic Checklists

The internet is littered with generic checklists of what to do when rear ended after a vehicle accident.  Most of these are copy-paste reiterations of common sense things to do, and not do. 

This is not one of those checklists.  This is a strategic checklist that if followed, will help protect the value of your case and injuries.

This checklist is thorough, but not complete.  By following the below steps, you put our legal team in the best position to help you and protect the value of your rear end accident case. 

To complete the checklist and realize the value of these preliminary steps, you need to call an attorney.  We have specific actions we take based on your performance of the below steps which helps us maximize the value of your claim.

I Got Rear Ended Now What?

Our legal team at Injury Advocates Group has handled hundreds of vehicle accident cases, and easily over a hundred rear end accident claims.  We have seen it all. 

More importantly, we meticulously mapped out the patterns we saw in how different post-accident conduct by the injured victim was used against him/her to reduce how much they deserved for their injuries.  That’s what this list is based on.

Don’t let the insurance company cheat you.  Follow the below steps right after your vehicle accident, then call us and we will take the evidentiary and procedural steps necessary to use this information to protect the value of your claim.

Without further delay, here is what to do when you get rear ended in an accident:

♦   Do not get out of your vehicle

   If possible, take a picture of the other vehicle, its license plate, and driver from inside your car

   Do not speak with the other driver until police or paramedics arrive

   Call 911

   Ask for an ambulance

   Get the police report or CAD/reference number from the police officer

   Get the other driver’s license, registration, and a photo of that driver

   Only exit your vehicle with paramedic assistance or instruction

   If you feel any pain, take the ambulance to the hospital

   Have your car towed to a body-shop 

What to Do in The Days After You Are Rear Ended

We appreciate that many clients call us several hours after they’ve been in an accident and it’s too late to follow the above steps.  Although that’s not ideal, you can still protect the value of your case by completing the below steps.  If you did follow the above steps, you should also complete these steps. 

HOWEVER, call us before completing these steps!

Once you retain us to help you, we will walk you through how to complete these steps in the most efficient and productive way possible, and explain to you how each of these steps helps protect and improve the value of your claim against the insurance company.

In the days after the accident, here is what you should do after being rear ended:

   Have an independent body shop do a full damage assessment of your vehicle (call us to discuss the difference between a standard assessment and a full assessment so you know what to ask for)

   Call your primary care provider (PCP) and book an appointment to see her/him within the next 48 hours.  If you do not have a PCP or your PCP cannot see you within 48 hours after the accident, you must call us immediately because failure to follow this step, or take specific remedial measures, can result in you getting up to 30% less for your settlement.

   Contact your employer and notify them of the accident.  There are very specific things you should say, and not say, during this phone call.  This call is usually documented by the employer and may end up in your HR file.  It is imperative that you speak with us before making this call so you do not create a paper record that the insurance company takes out of context.

Things to Never Do After a Rear End Accident?

Many generic informational legal websites and law firm pages outline things you should not do after a vehicle accident.  Almost all of them are wrong, and are based on a strategic misunderstanding of how to generate and maximize case value in a car accident case. 

Those websites operate on a lack of trusting the client, not prioritizing the client’s time over the attorneys’ time, and a policy of running from anything that requires extra effort.

In our experience, we have learned that many of the things these other lawyers and websites tell people not to do, people actually should do.  The challenge is those things should be done with careful planning and assistance from a skilled accident attorney, and done in a meticulous way that, if done wrong, can hurt your case. 

Most attorneys either are unfamiliar with how to convert these “danger” issues into value for your case, or they don’t want to invest the extra elbow grease to create that value because they see it as poor ROI due to the time it takes and the potentially marginal value it creates.

We take a substantially different approach.  If spending an extra one hour with our client can yield an extra 10-15% in case value, we will do that for you.  That is the Injury Advocates Group promise.  With that explanation, here is a list of things you should not do until you speak with our legal team.

   Negotiate with the other driver

   Negotiate with your insurance company

   Call your insurance company to report the accident

   Visit an emergency clinic instead of your PCP

   Make a writing of anything related to the accident

   Speak with friends and family about the accident

   Post on social media about the accident

Some of these things seem like absolute no-nos.  However, with careful planning, you can leave a proper trail of documentation about what happened to you that will help your case by doing these things.

What to Do When You Are Rear Ended in California

If you were rear ended in California, where Injury Advocates Group is located, you should follow the same steps outlined in the above three lists.  There are things you should do at the accident scene, in the immediate days following the accident, and in the weeks and months that follow.

If these steps are followed correctly, you will maximize your California rear end accident claim recovery.

For big metropolitan areas like California, it is more likely that your post rear end accident conduct will be recorded by someone, perhaps even the person who rear ended you.  Although your anger may be justified, do not yell, scream, or be aggressive with that other driver.  This can hurt your case, and we have seen this happen first hand.

Get 30 Minutes of FREE Help

We utilize our extensive experience litigating vehicle accident cases to help you get the best recovery possible.  We take your claim seriously, and treat you like family.

If you were rear ended in California, or any other state, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by calling us.

We are on standby 24/7 to help, and offer all new clients a 30 minute free consultation.  Call our toll-free number, submit a contact form below, or email us at

Article Author:  This law article was written by attorney Ray Benyamin, Esquire.  Mr. Benyamin received his Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and his license to practice law from the State Bar of California.  His law license number is 277263.  He has been practicing law for 10 years.  Mr. Benyamin is a registered member of the following legal organizations: Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association (ABA), and the American Association for Justice (AAJ).  Mr. Benyamin has personally helped his clients recover over $10,000,000 in vehicle accident insurance claims in the State of California.