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What to Do If Someone Rear Ends You and Leaves

Nov 2, 2023

According to state vehicle crash data, 100,518 crashes occurred in 2021, of which 39,437 were rear-end collisions. If you’re ever involved in an accident, know that it is illegal to flee the scene of an accident. Anyone who leaves the scene may even face jail time.

If you were rear-ended, the law allows you to recover damages for your losses. Read on to learn what steps you can take to recover the compensation you deserve.

Heavy Car Accident Scene

Prioritize Your Safety and Report the Accident to Law Enforcement

Your safety comes before anything else. After the accident, pull over to the side of the road and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If you or anyone involved in the accident sustained injuries, call 911.

Once you have ensured your safety and others, you should report the accident to law enforcement. The accident report is a crucial piece of evidence. Make sure you do not leave the scene before getting the police report.

Gather Information at the Scene

If you feel unsafe getting out of the car, stay inside and wait for the police to arrive.

Regardless, during this time you should remain calm, take pictures of your injuries, and recall as many details about the crash as possible. If someone flees the scene, write down as much about them and their vehicle as possible.

Additionally, speak to witnesses and get their contact information so you can obtain their statements later to support your claim.

Contact Your Insurance Company

After taking care of everything at the scene, contact your insurance company and report the accident to them.

Most insurance policies have a clause that requires you to report your accident to them within a certain timeframe. But be cautious when speaking to your insurance company, and avoid giving them any recorded statements early. You may not know all of your injuries immediately after the accident. They might use your recorded statements to reduce your compensation by arguing that your injuries were not caused by the accident.

Some policies have a cooperation clause, so it’s wise to consult with a car accident attorney before providing any statement.

Seek Medical Care

It’s crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you don’t initially feel injured.

An accident can be stressful. You may not be able to think clearly because of the shock. Your adrenaline is pumping through your body. All these factors can make it difficult for you to realize the extent of the injuries.

Doctors can identify all of your injuries and provide the necessary treatment.

Seek Legal Guidance to Recover the Compensation You Deserve

Arizona is an at-fault state. It means whenever an accident occurs, you file your claim with the other driver’s insurance company to claim your damages.

If the other driver fled the scene, you need to file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance agency. Uninsured motorist protection covers your bodily injury expenses.

When you file your claim with your insurance company, their interests no longer align with yours. As stated previously, they would use every tactic to lowball your compensation because they are in business for profit.


An experienced car accident lawyer understands all their tactics. They can help you navigate the claim process to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.

Rear-End Collision of Two Sedans

Why Choose Wattel & York for Your Accident Case

Wattel & York is a personal injury law firm that has assisted numerous car accident victims in Arizona in obtaining the compensation they deserve.

Our car accident attorneys have years of experience handling hit-and-run cases. No matter where you are in the process, we can help you recover your damages. We can use our expertise to strengthen your claim and negotiate on your behalf to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Schedule a free consultation with us and discuss your case.


While dealing with a hit-and-run accident can be challenging, taking the correct steps can lead to a favorable outcome. However, don’t compromise your safety and well-being.

An experienced car accident attorney understands this legal process and can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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“Amazing people, they had my claim for about a week before they were able to get my truck totaled out. Otherwise I would have been stuck with a truck that had heavy front end damage if they hadn’t stepped in to help me. I tried to deal with my insurance company myself for over a month and that got me nowhere, all I got was a massive headache and a messed up truck. They are very professional and act quickly on your claim. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for help.”

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“I was in an accident and decided to call Wattel and York. After months of going to a Chiropractor, I finally felt better. When it came time for settlement, the insurance company was making an offer I wanted to accept, Mr. Wattel advised against it and felt the insurance company was shortchanging me. He recommended I file a lawsuit and that will get them to cave. Well, Dave filed suit, and sure enough, the insurance company increased their offer by $4,000! I am very satisfied with how my case was handled.”

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“Wattel & York were flat out outstanding with my personal injury case. They made the process painless and kept in constant communication throughout the entire time. Any questions I might’ve had were promptly answered and detail oriented. They gave me crucial advice that I would’ve otherwise not been aware of. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Put your trust in these guys, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Wattel & York.”

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“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

Cathy M.

“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

Robert G.

“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

Russ W.

“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

Trent B.

“Wattel & York has been great for me in the past few years. I was involved in a really bad accident while I was on Active Duty in Yuma, Arizona and they have been patient with me every step of the way through a very long process. I would recommend them to anyone thank you for all your help.”

Levy G.

“Appreciate David taking the time to speak with me. He was most kind. From the front line with the receptionist, to him, the firm was a class act all the way around.”

Claire B.

“Dave Wattel represented me and my son on a Personal Injury case from a motor vehicle accident back in 2009. Jake P. handled my deposition and Dave did the Quarterbacking. The insurance company hired NFL referee Ed Hochuli's firm to try and deny our claim. But Wattel & York made it look as easy as Tom Brady on the football field. The result was more than acceptable and my son and I were compensated for our injuries and rehabilitation. Dave Wattel cares about his clients. If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, Wattel & York will be on speed dial!!”

Vince C.

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