How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim in San Francisco
So you’ve been injured in San Francisco and don’t know what to do next. When the accident isn’t your fault, you’re still hurt, scared, stressed out, and facing a stack of expensive bills.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand that if you start a San Francisco personal injury claim, you want to win it. You don’t want your time or money to be wasted, especially while you’re still recovering from your injuries.
We’re here to help you get the best possible shot at a high-value outcome in your personal injury case. For more than 20 years, we’ve helped hundreds of San Francisco people through the recovery process after accidents involving bicycles, cars, motorcycles, rideshare vehicles, and much more.
Getting Expert Advice From an Experienced Attorney
It’s your right to handle a personal injury case on your own without an attorney. But we strongly advise against doing everything yourself, and we mean that out of genuine concern for San Francisco’s injured people.
When you’re already in pain and traumatized, managing your own insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit can be overwhelming. Insurance companies play games and pressure people to drop their claims. Some attorneys talk “legalese” which can be hard for the average person to understand.
Right now, you’re vulnerable and in need of someone to look out for your best interests. A simple mistake with your case could erase the compensation you deserve.
On this page, you’ll find tips for securing your mental, emotional, physical, and financial recovery after a personal injury accident in San Francisco. We’ll provide helpful resources and steps you can take to protect yourself during this challenging time.
Real Help for Real People
Below, you’ll find helpful information collected over more than two decades of active practice in San Francisco personal injury law. We’ll go over everything you need to know after an accident in San Francisco, where to find that information, and how to get it.
You’ll also find links to hospitals, specialists, therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, and more. We encourage you to seek medical and mental health treatment as soon as possible without delay. It’s good for your health and good for your legal case.
When getting back on your feet, back to work, and back to normal life are your top priorities, you have to take the time to heal. Finding the right experts will speed that process along as much as possible.
Your Guide to Personal Injury Topics
Click on any question below to jump to more detailed information on the topic.
- The Risks and Benefits of Simple Insurance Claim
- When You Need More
- What if I Was Given a Citation?
- How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
- What Do I Do Now?
- Collect Evidence from the Scene as Soon as Possible
- What to Do in the Days and Weeks after Your Traffic Accident in San Francisco?
- 17% of traffic accident victims are readmitted to the hospital after going home
- Police Department Contact Info and Locations
- Other City Government Resources
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The criteria for determining whether you have a viable personal injury case in San Francisco are fairly simple.
- You have to have been actually injured in an accident.
- That accident must have been caused (at least in part) by the recklessness, negligence, poor decision, or carelessness of another party. This is how you know the accident is not your fault. If it is your fault, you probably don’t have a winnable personal injury case.
- Either you or the responsible party must have insurance coverage to pay for your damages. (Insurance coverage isn’t required for you to have a “case,” but it IS required for you to receive any money for your case.)
How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case?
The basic criteria for determining whether you have a viable personal injury case in San Francisco are fairly simple.
- You must have been injured in an accident.
- That accident must have been caused at least in part by the recklessness, negligence, poor decision, or carelessness of another party. This is how you know the accident is not your fault. If it is your fault, you probably don’t have a winnable personal injury case.
- Either you or the responsible party must have insurance coverage to pay for your damages. Insurance coverage isn’t required to start a case, but it’s certainly required for you to receive any money for your case.
There are risks and benefits when it comes to personal injury cases. Most personal injury cases in San Francisco are settled out of court without the assistance of lawyers and involve insurance claims.
The insurance companies do harsh calculations to come up with what they deem an appropriate dollar amount for your injuries and losses. They then offer that sum as a lump settlement you can use to cover medical expenses, lost wages, or other costs associated with your accident.
But while this sounds great, keep in mind that it’s a ONE TIME payment and there are no do-overs. You can’t come back and add anything else later. When you get paid, the claim is closed.
Often, claims for relatively minor accidents and minor injuries – like cases involving whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries that require little or no medical treatment – can be settled in a matter of weeks without assistance from an injury lawyer. If your accident was minor, this may be a matter of a simple insurance claim.
If You Were Severely Injured, You Need a Lawyer
Seriously injured people must secure much higher compensation than those with minor injuries. If your injuries are extensive, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer in San Francisco to help.
This includes situations where you have a wrongful death case or have ended up in the emergency room, suffered broken bones, needed surgery, had severe head trauma, or if your doctors expect you to have long-lasting effects from your crash. More severity means more need for resources and more need for a lawyer.
If the Negotiations are Stalling, You Need a Lawyer
Serious injuries result in massive medical expenses, lost wages, emotional trauma, and personal property losses. Often the figure that an insurance adjuster thinks is fair isn’t enough to cover your total expenses. At this point, the conversation between you and the insurance company may stall or come to a halt.
If the insurance company you’re dealing with refuses to negotiate further, or if you don’t feel comfortable fighting on your own behalf, hire a San Francisco personal injury lawyer to research, present, and fight for your case.
Typically, this will result in a much better overall outcome for you. Your stress level will be lower and your net financial benefit will be higher.
If You Received a Citation, You Need a Lawyer
If you share some of the responsibility for the crash in which you were injured, the insurance company will likely discount the claim for your negligence and argue for a smaller settlement. However, you may still be able to get a portion of the financial support you deserve.
California is a comparative negligence state. That means each party involved in a traffic accident in San Francisco is assigned a percentage of the fault. That percentage is then used to calculate how much of the insurance settlement or financial award you’re entitled to.
Receiving a citation isn’t a deal-breaker, but a lawyer can help you establish that the other person shares a large proportion of the blame. As you can see, accurately and confidently representing your own liability becomes essential for getting the compensation you deserve.
If Time is Running Out, You Need a Lawyer
While you don’t have to file a personal injury lawsuit right away, there is a limited time-frame in which you must do so. Miss this deadline, and you miss your chance at compensation forever.
The statute of limitations on personal injury cases in California is two years from the date of injury. Or if you’re suing a governmental entity, like a city or state agency, then it’s only six months!
Familiarize what you can do immediately after you’re injured to help yourself through the recovery process. This helps prevent you from losing the precious time you need to make a successful claim.
If You Were Visiting San Francisco, You Need a (Local) Lawyer
If you were injured while visiting or on business in San Francisco, you might be wondering what to do after a car accident that was not your fault. Simply put: You need a local lawyer to get the best shot at compensation.
A good San Francisco Bay Area personal injury lawyer knows the steps to take after a car accident in San Francisco to win your car accident case. Someone from your home area won’t be familiar with San Francisco police, hospitals, courts, and legal rules. We have a lot of unique laws and ordinances around here!
They should also be well-versed in long-distance injury representation, which is commonly called a tourist accident lawyer. The right lawyer will prevent you from having to return to San Francisco unless your case proceeds to trial.
What to Do After An Accident That Was Not Your Fault
Call 911. Immediately after the accident, call 911 to report your injuries or anyone else’s. Usually, police will only come to the scene of a traffic accident in San Francisco and write a traffic collision report if you tell the 911 operator that there were injuries in the accident.
In San Francisco, your call will either be directed to the California Highway Patrol or the San Francisco Dispatch Center. You can call the San Francisco Dispatch Center directly at (415) 553-8090.
Get fast medical help. Seek a doctor’s care as soon as possible. Of course, if you’re completely incapacitated after your accident, you’ll likely have little to no input about what happens immediately.
For example, after you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in San Francisco your injuries are likely to be quite serious. Responding emergency medical technicians with years of experience will assess your situation and deliver the appropriate care.
However, if you do have the opportunity to choose your care after a crash, you will want the best possible EMTs, doctors, and specialists to take care of you. Pursue high-quality care and save all of your documentation.
Ambulance Services in San Francisco
If your injuries are serious enough, your ambulance may be legally required to take you to the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital because it is the top trauma hospital in San Francisco. However, if you suffered more modest injuries, you can tell the ambulance which hospital you prefer or is the primary emergency facility for your health insurance.
Transportation by ambulance can be costly but if another party caused your accident in San Francisco, they are likely 100% liable for that cost. We encourage you to take an ambulance to the emergency room if you are seriously injured!
If your injuries are minor, you can have a friend take you or contact Uber or Lyft to transport you. Do NOT use this option if you have serious injuries, because it will give the insurance adjuster fuel later to say that your injuries were not that serious.
Emergency Rooms in San Francisco
You can request which hospital you’re taken to in a non-life-threatening emergency, but keep in mind that some ambulance companies will only service certain hospitals. As long as you are headed to a highly-regarded hospital, you should be able to make a claim for the costs later.
Here are some of the most well-regarded emergency rooms in San Francisco.
- Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital: Located on Potrero Avenue, Zuckerberg Hospital, which is sometimes called San Francisco General or SFGH, is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. If you have serious injuries, you are almost certainly going to be taken here. This includes something like a semi-truck accident on the highway or a pedestrian accident in San Francisco where you have significant injuries.
- Kaiser Permanente Emergency Room: Located on Geary Boulevard, Kaiser Permanente’s ER is regularly rated as one of the best in San Francisco for its quality of care and access to medical resources. People with Kaiser insurance typically go here, depending on their level of trauma.
- St. Mary’s Medical Center : Located on Stanyan Street, St. Mary’s allows incoming patients to book their ER arrival time online to minimize waiting. St. Mary’s has an inpatient rehabilitation center that many patients are transferred to as a place to rehab from their major surgeries, as one of our clients in a serious San Francisco Uber accident case did.
- Saint Francis Memorial Hospital: Located on Bush Street, Saint Francis is part of the Dignity Health Network and also allows incoming patients to book an ER arrival time so they can wait in the comfort of their own home rather than an impersonal, overcrowded waiting room.
- UCSF Children’s Emergency Department: Located in UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital on Fourth Street in San Francisco, this is one of the few emergency rooms in California that specializes in the treatment of injured children. They have expert children’s specialists on staff and in the building at all hours of the day so you can get the best care possible whenever you need it. Although California Pacific Medical Center also has a dedicated pediatric ER in San Francisco, they don’t offer Level 1 trauma services, so you should head to Benioff if your child has suffered serious injuries.
How Do You Know if You Need a Doctor Right Now?
Many injured people wonder, “Do I still need to see a doctor even if my injuries don’t seem serious?” In a word, YES!
You may be tempted to put off going to the doctor in the hopes that your injuries aren’t as bad as they could be. Or you might be hoping you’ll just heal quickly without a doctor’s care.
But from a legal professional’s standpoint, one of the worst things you can do is put off going to the doctor when you’ve been hurt in San Francisco. Any delay in care could cause your claim to be rejected because your injuries didn’t seem serious enough for fast medical help.
Plus, seeking immediate medical attention as soon as you can is the best way to get an accurate and impartial assessment of your health. We had a client in a bicycle accident in San Francisco who thought he was fine, but two days later realized he had broken his wrist!
When in doubt, always see a doctor, even if it isn’t an emergency room visit. Urgent care centers can be a good option for less serious injuries because getting in to see your primary care doctor can take days.
San Francisco’s Top Urgent Care Centers
Urgent care can be a great option when you need a basic evaluation of your injuries. This not only helps you determine if you are injured after an accident, but it aids in documenting your injuries in the event you bring an accident claim.
For serious injuries like broken bones, major head trauma, possible internal injuries, or injuries requiring surgery, take an ambulance to a Level 1 trauma center instead of an urgent care center. When in doubt, call 911 and they can assess whether you need an emergency room visit.
Often, relatively minor injuries fly under the radar until people realize their symptoms aren’t going away or are getting worse. By getting fast medical treatment, you start the medical evidence collection chain that is essential to show insurance adjusters, judges or juries.
Here are some of the best urgent care centers in our area.
- Golden Gate Urgent Care: Golden Gate Urgent Care is highly-rated and they have multiple locations around the city including the Marina District, Mission District, West Portal and Upper Market. This is a good choice for your urgent care needs.
- Dignity Health GoHealth Urgent Care: Dignity Health has its own group of urgent care centers in San Francisco including the Castro, Cole Valley, Excelsior, Glen Park, Pacific Heights, Marina and North Beach. You can choose a location by closest or shortest wait time and check in online to set up your visit time, but they have limited hours.
Collect Evidence From the Scene ASAP
In addition to seeking medical attention to get your injuries stabilized and documented by a professional, you should begin collecting evidence. This includes photographs, videos, witness statements, responding police officers’ contact information, and other documentation.
Do this as you are able because you’ll need it for a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. Here are the types of evidence you should collect.
Proving the liability of the other parties involved in your accident is an important part of the financial recovery process. To do this, you’ll need to collect physical evidence from the scene of the accident.
This is one of the most important steps to take after a car accident. Either collect this evidence immediately or ask a trusted friend or relative to do so on your behalf. Never trust that an investigating police officer is going to collect all the evidence you need.
Collect physical evidence like:
- Photos from the scene
- Video from the scene taken on your cell phone
- Any other surveillance video you can find at any nearby San Francisco businesses
- Pictures of any and all vehicles involved
- Photos of any and all San Francisco street signs, traffic signs and signals, construction barriers, and other road items nearby
- Photos of any visible skid marks
- Photos or video of the other drivers involved and their license plate and vehicle
- Photos of your vehicle or bike, or scooter, or other vehicle
- Any pieces of the vehicles that may have broken or fallen off
Take special note of any traffic cameras or security camera you see that may have recorded your accident. You can retrieve traffic cam footage and San Francisco police officer bodycam footage if it pertains to your case.
However, private security camera footage may be a little more difficult to get your hands on. Always ask the business owner to hold on to footage as soon as you can. Some systems re-record over old video in as little as 24 hours, but having it could be key to your claim.
Documentation and Details
In addition to physical evidence and photographs you’ll want to gather additional details you’ll need to make a thorough case. These include:
- Eyewitness contact info, which makes getting statements later easier
- Eyewitness statements if you’re able, and preferably recorded
- The name, badge number, and precinct of any responding police officers
- A San Francisco traffic collision report number
- The name and contact info for any person involved in the accident
- A copy or cell phone photo of the other driver’s insurance and registration
- The contact information of the insurance companies covering any person or vehicle involved in the accident
- Medical documentation from your doctor’s visit
Never trust that an investigating police officer is going to collect all the evidence you need.
The types of things you should be gathering include:
- Photos from the scene
- Video from the scene (that which you may take on your cellphone and any other surveillance video you can find at any nearby San Francisco businesses)
- Pictures of any and all vehicles involved in your San Francisco traffic accident
- Photos of any and all San Francisco street signs, traffic signs and signals, construction barriers, etc. Photos of any visible skid marks
- Photos or video of the other drivers involved and their license plate and photos of your vehicle (car, bike, scooter, etc.) and any pieces that may have broken or fallen off
You’ll also want to take special note of any traffic cameras or security cameras you see that may have actually recorded your accident. You can retrieve traffic cam footage and any San Francisco police officer bodycam footage from the SFPD if it pertains to your case.
However, private security cam footage may be a little more difficult to get your hands on. Always ask the business owner to hold on to footage as soon as you can. Some systems re-record over old video in as little as 24 hours. Getting such footage may be key to how to win your personal injury claim.
In addition to actual physical evidence and photographs you’ll want to gather:
- Eye witness contact info (which makes getting statements later easier)
- Eye witness statements (if you’re able and preferably recorded)
- The name, badge number, and precinct of any responding SFPD police officers
- A San Francisco traffic collision report number
- The name and contact info for any person involved in the accident
- A copy (take a snap on your phone) of the other driver’s insurance and registration
- The contact information of the insurance companies covering any person or vehicle involved in the accident
- Medical documentation (once you’ve been seen by a doctor)
What to Do in the Days and Weeks After Your Accident
After your health has stabilized, you’ll be facing the ongoing fallout from your traffic accident. That means you’ll have to tend to your own physical, mental, and psychological recovery while also dealing with the bureaucracy of the personal injury financial compensation process.
You’ll need to assess whether you are truly in a position to know how to get the most money from a car accident settlement. For the most part, you’ll be dealing with insurance companies. However, an involved party or their insurance company may hire legal representation if they think their liability will put them at significant risk of losing a large sum of money.
What Should You Say to Insurance Companies?
You are probably thinking, “I was in a car accident that was not my fault, so I just need to tell the insurance adjuster my story.” Not so fast!
Don’t give them any more details than the basics. Your initial communication with the insurance company representing at-fault person should be nothing more than your name and contact information.
This is because insurance adjusters are trained to use your own words against you and you don’t want to make their job any easier. Even something as simple as describing the accident to them over the phone could hurt your case in the long run. Insurance companies are not your friends, but they will pretend to be so that you will settle your claim for much less than it’s worth.
Be certain that you don’t give anyone your social security number. They can use that to find out a wealth of information about you, which can ultimately limit the money you can get from a car accident insurance claim.
Eventually, you or your San Francisco personal injury attorney will have to submit a demand letter that details all of your injuries and expenses. This should always be in well-documented communication and shouldn’t happen over the phone or in a casual conversation.
An important part of getting the compensation you deserve is actually knowing what your injuries are worth. You should come to the negotiation process with a good understanding of your damages and how much you can potentially claim.
Resources to Help With Your Recovery
Recovery takes resources. Beyond your financial recovery, you have to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of services and resources you can use to start a full recovery after a San Francisco personal injury accident.
Allowing your body to heal is one of the most effective ways to get back on your feet as soon as possible after a traffic accident in San Francisco. But it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Even as victims recover, they have to go on living.
You may need to get out of the house for work and your mental health, but new disabilities from the accident make it difficult. You may need modifications to your daily routine or special equipment that makes things easier. That means you’ll need affordable transportation options.
Affordable Nonemergency Medical Transportation Services in San Francisco
Non-emergency travel can be an effective way for injured victims to travel to and from necessary doctor’s appointments if their injuries make it impossible to travel via public transportation or a personal vehicle. Some ambulance services in San Francisco even offer specialized non-emergency vehicles that can accommodate passengers with special needs.
- ProTransport: This award-winning ambulance service is located in Oakland and has been serving the greater San Francisco Bay Area since 2000.
- Westmed Ambulance: Westmed is a San Leandro-based ambulance service created in 1995 that services a variety of hospitals in San Francisco.
- Royal Ambulance, Inc.: Also based out of San Leandro, Royal Ambulance has a satellite location in San Jose too.
- Trust Medical Transportation: Trust Medical Transportation provides non-emergency medical transportation throughout Daly City via its fleet of well-equipped passenger vans.
- One Access Medical Transportation: Located in Newark, this nonemergency medical transportation company serves the entirety of San Francisco with a line of varied vehicles of many sizes.
- Bay City Medical Transportation: Serving the Greater Bay Area, Bay City Medical Transportation offers 24/7 service.
The Best Orthopedic Surgeons in San Francisco
Bone fractures are one of the most common types of injuries people suffer in serious bicycle, pedestrian, motorcycle, and car accidents in San Francisco. If you’ve been injured to the extent that you’re going to need surgery to reset bones, install plates or pins, or even replace the bone with natural or artificial materials, you want the best surgeon in San Francisco to handle your procedure.
While your insurance may dictate who you can see inside your network, when another party is at fault for your injuries, their insurance may pay for better service providers. So if your San Francisco personal injury attorney has confirmed that there is sufficient liability insurance coverage in your case, you may have the option of looking outside of your health insurance network. Consult with your injury lawyer about the details.
Here is a short list of options for top-notch orthopedic care.
- Dr. James Chen: Specializing in minimally-invasive surgical procedures, Dr. Chen is experienced in a wide array of techniques including joint replacement.
- Dr. Kenneth Akizuki: His claim to fame is that he’s the San Francisco Giants’ orthopedic doctor, but he’s also great with helping people seriously injured in San Francisco traffic accidents get back to normal.
- Dr. James Kelly: If you have a serious shoulder injury in San Francisco, Dr. Kelly is the guy to see. He handles shoulder, elbow, and hand injuries, primarily.
- UCSF Medical Center: UCSF’s orthopedic care program has been rated one of the best in the entire country. With multiple specialists available, UCSF can help victims get a primary visit quickly.
- Peninsula Orthopedic Association: For those of you who live in the southern part of San Francisco, you may want to consider this office in Daly City. Their highly-trained and well-respected orthopedic surgeons specialize in reconstructive surgery after traffic accidents in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.
The Best Reconstructive Surgeons in The San Francisco Bay
Simply repairing the physical damage to broken bones isn’t enough for victims of bike, motorcycle, car, and Uber accidents in San Francisco. It takes much more to fully recover from your trauma. Sometimes a complete recovery requires repairing cosmetic damage to restore your entire body image.
Plastic surgery is often necessary after a car accident that isn’t your fault. Legally, you are entitled to return to your pre-accident physical state as closely as you can. This means getting all “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment, including reconstructive surgery.
When you need reconstructive surgery after a traffic accident, you want the best San Francisco plastic surgeon you can find to handle your care. Below you’ll find some of the best reconstructive surgery experts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- San Francisco Center for Facial Plastic, Reconstructive & Laser Surgery: Led by Dr. Evan Ransom, the team at the San Francisco Center for Facial Plastic, Reconstructive & Laser Surgery can repair even the most devastating trauma with amazing results.
- Dr. Rex Moulton-Barrett: Dr. Moulton-Barrett is one of the most capable reconstructive surgeons in the Bay Area with offices in Alameda and Brentwood. In addition to traditional plastic surgery, Dr. Moulton-Barrett specializes in reconstructive procedures for the face, head, and neck.
- Dr. Barbara L. Persons: Dr. Persons has been helping people recover from traumatic car accidents in San Francisco and the Bay Area for over 25 years.
The Best San Francisco Physical Therapists
Putting your body back in order after a bad car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident in San Francisco may require an extensive recovery time. Even if you have surgical procedures to repair the physical trauma, you may need to undergo long-term physical therapy.
Physical therapy helps you reduce pain or live pain-free, regain your range of motion, and build up the strength necessary to complete everyday tasks. Having the best physical therapist in San Francisco on your side will help the process go much more smoothly.
- TherapydiaSF: This physical therapy center in San Francisco utilizes revolutionary therapies to achieve solid results in very little time. They have two convenient locations in San Francisco, on Maiden Lane and on Embarcadero.
- Golden Gate Physical Therapy: The specialists here have earned affiliations with nationally-renowned organizations like the American Physical Therapy Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and PacWest Athletics. They have multiple facilities throughout San Francisco and convenient hours of operation.
- Beacon Physical Therapy: Delivering advanced manual therapy with a focus on function, Beacon Physical Therapy designs a customized plan for every patient to get them where they want to be. Their Sansome Street facility is easily accessible by BART or MUNI.
Your Emotional Recovery
Taking care of your body is only half of the recovery process. The mental and emotional trauma of a serious traffic accident in San Francisco can leave scars that are no less real than those on your body. These intangible injuries can have the longest-lasting and most devastating impact on your life.
That’s why it’s essential that your recovery plan encompasses your total wellbeing and has a component designed to help you cope with the mental trauma you’ve suffered. Whether you choose emotional therapy, traditional psychological treatment, pharmacological options, or some combination of approaches, you want the best doctors, healers, and therapists on your side.
Below is a short list of some of the best practitioners in their respective fields.
The Best Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Therapists In San Francisco
- Well Clinic San Francisco: This clinic offers a variety of psychiatric and therapeutic treatment options and boasts a huge team of mental health experts who can help you recover as quickly as you are able.
- San Francisco Stress and Anxiety Center: Much of the emotional trauma that comes after a car accident in San Francisco stems from excessive amounts of stress and anxiety about your current situation and your uncertain future. Learning how to deal with that stress productively can greatly increase your quality of life and help you recover more quickly. San Francisco Stress and Anxiety Center offers multiple forms of therapy directly targeting harmful stress and anxiety.
- WellSpace San Francisco: WellSpace San Francisco offers counseling services for those who have recently undergone serious mental and emotional trauma. Their psychotherapeutic approach can successfully treat diagnosable conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Their experts pull from a variety of treatment options to create a treatment plan that’s tailored to specific individuals.
Other Emotional Health Resources
If you’re not looking specifically for treatment from licensed psychiatrists or therapists but still need some emotional support to get through this trying time in your life, there are many resources you can rely upon if you’ve recently been injured in an accident.
- MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving): This organization offers free advice and lists of additional resources to those who have lives interrupted by drunk drivers. These resources are wonderful for helping victims of pedestrian, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents in San Francisco.
- Depression And Bipolar Support Alliance: Depression is a very real mental side effect of a traumatic physical injury. A significant percentage of personal injury victims in San Francisco suffer from depression at some time during their recovery. Learn more about this affliction, how to recognize it, and how to treat it.
- PTSD Alliance: We most typically think of PTSD affecting combat veterans but any emotional trauma can trigger this crippling illness. Even a San Francisco motorcycle accident that most would deem minor can have debilitating mental effects on the victim. This website provides links to a variety of resources (including 24/7 hotlines, support groups, and clinical practitioners) to help you recognize, diagnose, treat, and cope with PTSD after your accident.
- San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets: This group is a local chapter of an organization that helps car accident victims in San Francisco turn frustration into advocacy. Created by the Walk San Francisco organization, it is this group’s goal to reduce the number of injurious and fatal car accidents in San Francisco through social action. Most of its members have personally survived the trauma of a traffic accident in San Francisco and can relate to the way new victims are feeling.
Government, Law Enforcement, and Other Clerical Resources
When you’re trying to manage your San Francisco personal injury claim yourself, you’ll need to collect an overwhelming amount of documentation from accident reports to video evidence. Below you’ll find a list of government and law enforcement resources you can use to collect evidence.
California DMV: The California Department of Motor Vehicles can help with accident reporting. Drivers are required by law to record reportable crashes with the DMV within 10 days if anybody has been killed in the accident or if property damages reached $1,000 or more. You can download the form from the link above but if you’d like to find your local DMV office, you can do so here.
San Francisco DMV Office
1377 Fell St. San Francisco, Ca
Daly City DMV Office
Daly City, Ca 1500 Sullivan Avenue
Oakland DMV Office
5300 Claremont Avenue Oakland, Ca
El Cerrito DMV Office
El Cerrito, Ca
6400 Manila Avenue
Corte Madera DMV Office
75 Tamal Vista Boulevard
Corte Madera, Ca
Oakland Coliseum DMV
501 85th Avenue
San Francisco Police Department: Whether you need to get a copy of your accident report, get in touch with an investigating officer, or file a request for traffic cam footage, you can do so at the local SFPD Police Department closest to the accident site. However, the SFPD has set up two telephone lines that are dedicated to traffic accidents in San Francisco.
SFPD Traffic Collision Report: 415-553-1286
You can call this line to report any traffic collision to the SFPD. This number should only be used in non-emergency situations.
SFPD Traffic Collision Investigation: 415-553-1245
You can call this number to check on the status of any ongoing traffic collision investigation. However, it may be difficult for a citizen to get the information you need without filing a formal request for information.
Here is a list of all the SFPD locations within the city.
766 Vallejo Street
1251 3rd Street
201 Williams Avenue
1125 Fillmore Street
1899 Waller Street
461 6th Avenue
1 Sgt. John V. Young Lane
2345 24th Avenue
301 Eddy Street
Other City Government Resources
San Francisco City Hall is located at 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place in San Francisco. The San Francisco City Hall website has a variety of resources you can use to find the specific office you need, as well as contact information for certain city officials.
The website for The City Attorney of San Francisco has a short but informative tutorial on how to file a claim against the City of San Francisco. It also has the claim form you’ll need.
What if You Need to File an Insurance Claim or Lawsuit Against the City of San Francisco?
In some cases, the City of San Francisco or one of the entities within the city government may bear some of the responsibility – and therefore some of the liability – for your injuries.
For example, if deteriorating road or sidewalk conditions contributed to your bicycle accident in San Francisco, you may be able to seek compensation for damages. If missing stop signs, broken traffic lights, or damaged traffic signs contributed to your San Francisco car accident, the city’s department of transportation could be on the hook for some of your medical expenses and lost wages.
If a poorly signed/maintained/policed crosswalk played a part in your pedestrian accident in San Francisco, you may be able to collect compensation from the city. In these types of situations, you can file a claim against the City of San Francisco.
The city has made it relatively easy to do so. They have a short tutorial right on the San Francisco City Attorney’s website describing how to do it. You fill out the form and mail or bring it to:
Controller’s Office, Claims Division
1390 Market Street, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
It’s as simple as that.
However, proving that claim could be a little more difficult. Also, be warned that there is a very short statute of limitations to file a claim against the City of San Francisco.
You have only six months from the date of the accident to file your claim! If you find the process overwhelming, it may be time to speak with a qualified car accident attorney in San Francisco.
Learn more about what the personal injury process is like working with Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers.
Additional Resources To Help Support Your Recovery
If you need temporary or permanent modifications to your home to deal with reduced mobility, decreased strength, or other accessibility issues after a car accident in San Francisco, there are hundreds of options available to you. Rely on these excellent accessibility product providers in San Francisco to help you through your recovery.
Lift And Accessibility Solutions: This company specializes in lifts but offers a wide variety of accessibility products including ramps, grab bars, stair climbers, and more. Visit their website to learn about all the accessibility products and services they offer.
Gamburd: This company prides itself on “making accessibility simple” by providing a wide array of products for every room of the home including the bath. With over 17 years in the business, they are industry leaders and can help you choose the accessibility products best suited for your home. Visit them online or call 888-902-2237 to speak directly with a real live person.
Transportation Services: As essential as outfitting your home with accessibility aids is, sometimes you just need to get out. Whether it’s to doctors’ appointments, social occasions, or just a night out on the town… getting around San Francisco after an accident can be difficult—especially if your transportation was wrecked in the crash.
Uber: Quicker and more cost-effective than a traditional cab company, Uber lets you take advantage of drivers who put their cars into service as transportation in their free time. Download the app or visit Uber.com to learn more.
Car Rentals: If you need a replacement automobile while yours is being repaired or while your personal injury lawsuit is still underway, here’s a list of car rental agencies in the Bay Area that can help you fill that temporary transportation need.
Carpool: Need a ride to work while your car is out of commission? Need a lift to the doctor or the nearest BART or MUNI station? Find a carpool buddy with one of these great organizations.
511 Carpool Match Service: This free service was created by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to decrease the number of automobiles on our city streets and highways while increasing access to transportation hubs throughout San Francisco. You can find carpool partners, download their handy app, and learn how to get around San Francisco easily on their website.
Casual Carpool: Casual Carpool was created in San Francisco in the 1970s and has spread across the country with sister programs in Washington D.C. and Houston, Texas. Find travel alternatives and learn how Casual Carpool works on the official website.
San Francisco Public Transportation: When all else fails, you can rely on public transportation. Fortunately, when you’ve been injured in a traffic accident in San Francisco, our city has one of the best, most developed public transportation networks in the country.
Food Delivery and Shopping Services: Sometimes, after you’ve been badly injured in an accident in San Francisco, it’s just too painful or too much of a hassle to get out of the house. That means you have to find new ways to get groceries, buy staples, and put food on the table. Thankfully, the Internet has revolutionized how we do everything, including shop for food. Use these online food providers to help keep your family fed while you’re busy recovering from an accident.
Friends And Family: Of course your friends and family will be eager to jump in and help whenever you need them. You should allow yourself to rely on them as much as you can. When it comes to food, they can help with the shopping, or deliver ready-made dishes.
Supermarket Delivery Services: Many larger supermarkets and some small corner stores have delivery services available that make shopping for food from home easy. Depending on which market you choose, you can call ahead or even order online. Keep in mind that even if your local market doesn’t make regular delivery services, the management may make certain exceptions if they know a valued customer struggling with injuries suffered in an accident. It doesn’t hurt to call and ask if they can put together an order so you or a family member can pick up provisions without having to walk all around the store.
Instacart: Instacart offers a fast grocery delivery service throughout most of San Francisco. Check their website to see if your zip code is in their network and sign up to get up to 14 days of delivery free with their Express package.
Good Eggs: Good Eggs delivers “absurdly fresh” groceries right to your door, specializing in natural and organic options that may be difficult to find elsewhere online. One of the benefits of using Good Eggs is that they offer free delivery on orders of $60 or more.
Amazon Fresh: Amazon Fresh is an arm of Amazon Prime that delivers food to the San Francisco Bay area as if it were like any other purchase you make from the online retailer. With Amazon Fresh, you get all the perks of shopping with Amazon (safety, reliability, and selection) without the drawbacks of some of the independent grocery delivery services you’ll find in San Francisco. Plus Amazon Fresh comes with a limited free trial.
Remember to keep all of your receipts for these services—delivery fees, but not the groceries themselves, are often valid accident-related expenses and can be included in your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Get The Help You Need!
Whatever you do, be sure to get the expert help you need to handle your San Francisco personal injury case. If the resources provided here were helpful enough that you can handle your own injury claim, we’re glad to hear it!
If you need a little more help, or you just don’t have the time, energy, or desire to be your own lawyer, reach out to our 5-star rated San Francisco car accident lawyer team to see if we are a good fit for you.
We Handle Your Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a personal injury, contact the law firm at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including many kinds of personal injuries. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.