Rear-ended on the Freeway in California? A Guide on What Steps to Take

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What to Do If You’re Rear-Ended by a Truck or Car on a California Freeway

Accidents on the freeway can be a harrowing experience, especially when it involves a large vehicle like a truck. Being rear-ended can cause significant damage to your vehicle and potentially severe injuries. If you find yourself in such a situation on a California freeway, it’s essential to know the steps to take to protect your rights and ensure your safety. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Ensure Safety First:
    • If possible, move your vehicle to the shoulder or a safe location away from traffic.
    • Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
    • If you’re unable to move your vehicle, stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until help arrives.
  2. Check for Injuries:
    • Assess yourself and any passengers for injuries. Even if they seem minor, it’s essential to seek medical attention as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  3. Call 911:
    • Report the accident and request medical assistance if needed. A police report can be invaluable when filing an insurance claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.
  4. Document the Scene:
    • Take photos of the damage to your vehicle, the truck or car that hit you, the accident scene, and any visible injuries.
    • If there are witnesses, get their contact information and statements.
  5. Exchange Information:
    • Obtain the driver’s name, contact details, driver’s license number, insurance information, and vehicle registration.
    • If the vehicle is a commercial truck, note the company name and any identifying numbers or logos.
  6. Avoid Admitting Fault:
    • Even if you think you might have contributed to the accident, avoid making statements that could be construed as admitting fault. Stick to the facts when speaking with the other driver or the police.
  7. Seek Medical Attention:
    • Visit a doctor or emergency room as soon as possible. This not only ensures your well-being but also provides medical documentation that can be crucial for any legal actions.
  8. Contact Your Insurance Company:
    • Report the accident to your insurance provider. They will guide you on the next steps for filing a claim.
  9. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney:
    • If you’ve been injured or suffered significant damages, it’s wise to consult with a personal injury attorney like the ones at Mitchell & Danoff Law Firm, especially one familiar with California laws. They can advise you on your rights, potential compensation, and guide you through the legal process.
  10. Keep Records:
  • Maintain a file with all accident-related documents, including medical bills, repair estimates, and any correspondence with insurance companies or attorneys.


Being rear-ended on a California freeway can be a traumatic experience, but knowing the right steps to take can make the aftermath more manageable. Protecting your rights and interests is crucial, especially when dealing with insurance companies or potential legal actions. Remember, when in doubt, consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney like the ones at Mitchell & Danoff Law Firm can provide free consultations and give invaluable guidance and peace of mind.