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Home >> How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim in San Francisco

Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers

Home >> How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim in San Francisco

Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers

Home >> How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim in San Francisco

How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim in San Francisco

What to Do When You've Been Hurt in a San Francisco Accident That's Not Your Fault

So you've been in an accident in San Francisco and don't know what to do next. The accident wasn't your fault, but... You're hurt. You're scared. You're stressed out.

  • Do you need a San Francisco personal injury attorney?
  • Can you take on the hard job of getting just compensation for your injuries by yourself?
  • What steps do you have to take to ensure you're not left behind, ignored, or brushed off by insurance companies, lawyers, and the people responsible for the horrible situation you're in? 
  • How do you get the most money from an accident in San Francisco?

Expert Advice from a San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer

As a personal injury attorney in San Francisco for over 20 years, I've helped hundreds of people through the recovery process after accidents involving bicycles, cars, motorcycles, and rideshare vehicles in and around San Francisco.

I've also sent several hundreds more on their way to handle their San Francisco personal injury case by themselves.

I know when you need a lawyer and I also know when you can handle things yourself. I know what you need to do to represent yourself the best way possible if you choose to do so. I also know where to find the best care for your emotional, physical, and mental recovery after an accident in San Francisco.

And I'm going to share all of that information with you.

Real Help for Real People

This informative San Francisco personal injury resource page will walk you through all the steps you need to take, give you the resources you need, and remind you that your well-being is the most important part of your recovery process.

Below you'll find helpful information collected over 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. Because you can't help anyone else until you help yourself.

If 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 to help you do so will speed that process along as much as possible. 

Comprehensive guide to most everything you’ll need to win your personal injury claim in San Francisco.

#1. Do I Need a Lawyer?

need lawyer for personal injury in san francisco

No matter how serious your injuries are, you can go through the financial recovery process after a pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle, or car accident in San Francisco without hiring a lawyer. You are in charge of how to win your personal injury claim - with our without a lawyer.

It's not always the best option – especially if your injuries are serious. You'll almost always fare better (with a bigger settlement more quickly) with a lawyer on your side. If you choose not to hire a legal professional, there are resources you can use to pursue recovery yourself.

But, let's take a closer look at your particular accident to see if hiring a lawyer would be beneficial for you.

#2. How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case?

The criteria for a 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.)
attorney for personal injury case in san francisco

The Risks and Benefits of Simple Insurance Claims

san francisco injury lawyer for injury claims

Most personal injury cases in San Francisco are settled out of court without the assistance of lawyers.

These cases are generally presented to insurance companies as "insurance claims." Those companies do some harsh calculations to come up with what they deem an appropriate dollar amount fitting 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.

This is a ONE TIME payment. They don’t give you this lump sum and then “keep things open” in case you have more accident-related expenses in the future. Once you get paid, the claim is closed.

You can then either refute their claim and push for more money or accept their offer.

Often claims for relatively minor accidents and minor injuries (like whiplash or other soft-tissue injuries that required little or no medical treatment) can be settled in a matter of weeks without assistance from an injury lawyer.

Simple insurance claim cases are perhaps the quickest ways for victims of modest traffic accidents in San Francisco to get a payout. While that may work for many victims, sometimes seriously injured people need more to get the most money from a car accident or other personal injury case.

If your injuries are extensive, if you ended up in the emergency room or suffered broken bones, injury requiring surgery or severe head trauma, or if your doctors expect you to have long-lasting effects from your crash, a simple do-it-yourself insurance settlement may not be one of the right steps to take after a car accident or other traffic accident.

When You Need More

Generally, seriously injured victims of traffic accidents in San Francisco would benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney to represent them in an insurance claim. 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.

If the insurance company you're dealing with refuses to negotiate further, or if you or your personal representative aren't able to fight on your own behalf, hiring a personal injury attorney in San Francisco to research, present, and fight for your case will result in a better overall outcome for you. Your stress level will be lower and your net financial benefit will be higher.

 personal injury attorney in San Francisco

What if I Was Given a Citation? 

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 that each party involved in traffic accident in San Francisco is assigned a portion (a percentage) of the fault. That percentage is then used to calculate how much of the insurance settlement or financial award you're actually entitled to.

As you can see, accurately and confidently representing your own liability becomes essential for getting the compensation you deserve.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

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. The statute of limitations on personal injury cases in California is two years from the date of injury. Unless you are suing a governmental entity, like a City or State agency, then it’s only 6 months!

Before we get into the legal resources available to victims of car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents in San Francisco, let's look a little more closely at what you can do immediately after you're injured to help yourself through the recovery process.

What if You Were Just Visiting San Francisco or Here on Business When You Were Injured

If you were injured while visiting or on business in San Francisco you may be wondering what to do after a car accident that was not your fault.

Well, you will want to speak with an experience San Francisco Bay Area personal injury lawyer who knows the steps to take after a car accident in San Francisco to win your personal injury claim - not someone from your home area who is not familiar with San Francisco police, hospitals, courts and legal rules. You will need a Bay Area personal injury attorney with a local team of legal experts who knows exactly how to get the most money from a car accident that took place in San Francisco.

The injury law firm you select should also well-versed with long-distance injury representation (a tourist accident lawyer), so you never have to return to San Francisco, unless you case proceeds to trial.

#3. What to Do After An Accident That Was not Your Fault

What Do I Do Now?

Call 911

If you or anyone else has been injured in a traffic accident in San Francisco, or if anyone is in imminent danger of being injured, call 911 immediately. Note that the 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, that 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.

Attorney after traffic accident in San Francisco

Finding the Best Medical Help Immediately After Your Accident

If you're completely incapacitated after your accident, you'll likely have little to no input about what happens immediately after you've been injured in a motorcycle accident in San Francisco or other type of traffic accident. That's how it should be. 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 own care after a crash, you will want the best possible EMTs, doctors, and specialists to take care of you.

Ambulance Companies in San Francisco

San Francisco Ambulance Companies recommended by Personal Injury Lawyer

If your injuries are serious enough, your ambulance may be legally required to take you to San Francisco General Hospital, as it is the #1 trauma hospital in San Francisco. However, if you suffered more modest injuries, you can tell the ambulance which hospital you prefer and/or is the primary emergency facility for your health insurance.

Transportation by ambulance can be costly but if your accident in San Francisco was caused by another party, they are likely 100% liable for that cost.

We encourage you to take an ambulance to the emergency room if you are seriously injured!

But, if your injuries are minor, you can have a friend take you or even just get an Uber of Lyft to transport you.

Do NOT use this option if you may have serious injuries, because it will give the insurance adjuster fuel later to say that your injuries were not that serious.

The Best ER's in San Francisco

And when you've found the best transportation service, how do you decide where to go to get the best care? You have the option of requesting 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.

Below you'll find some of the best, most well-regarded emergency rooms in San Francisco.

  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

Located on Potrero Avenue, Zuckerberg (commonly referred to as SFGH) is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. So, if you have serious injuries, you are going to be taken here. Even if you have Kaiser insurance (or another insurance that prefers a different hospital) most ambulances will take you directly to San Francisco General if your injuries appear serious. Even if you are in a pedestrian accident in SF near another hospital, if you suffer major injuries, you will be taken to SFGH.

  • 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.

  • St. Mary's Medical Center  

Located on Stanyan Street, St. Mary's even allows incoming patients to book their ER arrival time online in order to minimize waiting. It should be noted that St. Mary's has a in-patient rehabilitation center that many SFGH and UCSF 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 4th Street in San Francisco, this is of the few emergency rooms in California that specializes in the treatment of injured children, UCSF's Children's Emergency Department has been trusted by hundreds of thousands of parents to deliver the best possible care when they're young one has been injured. 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 do NOT offer level 1 trauma services, so you should head to Benioff if your child has suffered serious injuries as the result of a traffic accident in the City.

But How Do You Know if you Even Need a Doctor? 

Another question you may have about what to do after a car accident not your fault is "do I still need to see a doctor even if I don't think I'm hurt badly enough?" The last thing you want to do is spend your own time (and money) visiting a doctor for nothing. 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 that they'll "take care of themselves" in a day or two.

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 involved in a traffic accident in San Francisco. Even if you're not injured, seeking 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 2 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, as sometimes getting in to see your primary care doctor can take days.

San Francisco’s Top Urgent Care Centers

If your injuries are not that serious, urgent care can be a great option for getting checked out. This not only helps you determine if you are ok after an accident, but it aids in documenting your injuries in the event you bring an accident claim.

  • 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.

  • 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. The good: You can sort location by closest or shortest wait time AND check in online to set up your visit time. The bad: They are only open until 8pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends. Hit their website to find the right location for you.

Remember, that for serious injuries like broken bones, major head trauma, possible internal injuries or injuries requiring surgery you should really take an ambulance to a level 1 trauma center and not mess around with Urgent Care!

It’s likely that the San Francisco Urgent Care doctors will just tell you the same thing if you show up at their doorstep.

That primary assessment is essential if you do need to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in San Francisco court. Especially if you were in a car accident that was not your fault - what to do first is get seen by a doctor!

And, unfortunately, you don't always know if your case will actually go that far until it does. Many times relatively minor injuries fly under the radar until victims of San Francisco traffic accidents realize their symptoms aren't going away or they get worse. This initial medical treatment begins the medical evidence collection chain that is so essential when proving your case to insurance adjusters, judges or juries.

Collect Evidence from the Scene as Soon as Possible

In addition to seeking medical attention in order to get your injuries stabilized and documented by a professional, you should begin collecting evidence—including photographs, video, witness statements, responding police officers' contact information, and other documentation—as soon as you are able.

This is what to do after a car accident that was not your fault, as this information will be essential in proving the other party's liability. This is critical if your personal injury case needs to be elevated into a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.

What Kind of Evidence Should You Collect?
Physical Evidence

Proving the liability of the other parties involved in your accident is an important part of the financial recovery process. Doing so relies on collecting solid information from the scene of the accident.

This is one of the most important steps to take after a car accident. You should either collect this evidence immediately (or as soon as you're able to do so) yourself or ask a trusted friend or relative to do so on your behalf. 

San Francisco Collect Evidence for personal injury claim

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 vehiclePhotos 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 camera 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 Traffic Accident in San Francisco

After your health has stabilized, you will have to deal with the ongoing fallout from your traffic accident. That means you'll have to tend to your own physical, emotional, 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 thinking "I was in a car accident that was not my fault, what to do is just tell the insurance adjuster my story." Actually, your initial communication with the insurance companies representing at-fault party should be nothing more than your name and contact information. 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 do NOT give the insurance adjuster for the other party your social security number, as they can use that to find out a wealth of information about you which is most certainly not how to get the most money 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 but that should always be in well-documented communication and never simply by word of mouth.

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 how much you're actually entitled to.

#4. Resources to Help with Your Recovery

There is a lot to know about what to do after a car accident that's not your fault. 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 make your transition back to life as usual easier after a San Francisco traffic accident.

Your Physical Recovery

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 from injuries caused by reckless drivers, careless maintenance personnel, and broken city infrastructure they have to go on living. That means they need to get out of the house.

But sometimes that means making modifications to the daily routine you enjoyed before you were injured in your accident.

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 travelling via public transportation or even private automobiles difficult or impossible. Some ambulance services in San Francisco even offer specialized non-emergency transportation vehicles that can accommodate passengers with special needs. Additionally, there are several non-emergency medical transportation services in the Greater Bay Area.

St. Joseph's Ambulance service is family owned and operated since 1956. They service a wide area in the heart of San Francisco, Marin County, and San Mateo. They come highly recommended.

This award-winning ambulance service is located in Oakland but services the greater San Francisco Bay Area since 2000.

Westmed is another San Leandro based ambulance service created in 1995 that services a variety of hospitals in San Francisco.

Based out of San Leandro, Royal Ambulance has a satellite location in San Jose as well.

Trust Medical Transportation

Trust Medical Transportation provides nonemergency medical transportation throughout Daly City via their fleet of well-equipped passenger vans.

One Access Medical Transportation

Located in Newark, this nonemergency medical transportation company services the entirety of San Francisco with a line of varied vehicles large and small.

Bay City Medical Transportation

Serving the Greater Bay Area, Bay City Medical Transportation offers 24/7 service.

The Best Orthopedic Surgeons in San Francisco

Best Orthopedic Surgeons in San Francisco recommended by Personal Injury Attorney

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 in order to reset bones, install plates and/or pins, or even replace bone with natural or artificial materials, you want the best surgeon in San Francisco handling 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 for the best orthopedic surgeon in San Francisco for your particular injury. You would want to consult with your injury lawyer to be sure they recommend that treating outside of your network is how to get the most money from your car accident or other type of traffic crash.

Here is a short list of options:

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 “SF Giants’ ortho” but he’s also great with helping people seriously injured in San Francisco traffic accidents get back to normal. Check out his details with Sutter Health here.

Dr. James Kelly

If you’ve got a serious shoulder injury in San Francisco, Dr. Kelly is the guy to see. He’s with the San Francisco shoulder, elbow & hand clinic. You can read more about him here.

UCSF Medical Center

UCSF's orthopedic care program was recently rated one of the best in the entire country. With multiple specialists available, UCSF can help victims get a primary visit quickly. Visit their website to learn more or call 415-476-1000.

Peninsula Orthopedic Association

For those of you who live in the southern part of San Francisco, you may want to consider these guys who are based in Daly City. The group of highly-trained and well-respected orthopedic surgeons specializes in reconstructive surgery after traffic accidents in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.

The Best Reconstructive Surgeons in the San Francisco Bay Area

best reconstructive surgeons in the san francisco bay area recommended by personal injury lawyer

Simply repairing the physical damage to broken bones isn't enough for victims of bike, motorcycle car and Uber accidents in San Francisco to fully recover from their trauma. Sometimes a complete recovery requires repairing cosmetic damage as well in order to restore your entire body image.

Although some would consider "plastic surgery" unnecessary, it is what to do after a car accident that is not 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 & Lase Surgery

Led by Dr. Evan Ransom, the team at the San Francisco Center for Facial Plastic, Reconstructive & Laser Surgery is able to 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

San Francisco physical therapists recommended by Personal Injury Attorney

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 to live pain free, regain the range of motion you enjoy prior to your crash, and build up the strength necessary to complete the simplest of everyday tasks.

Having the best physical therapist in San Francisco on your side will help the process go much more smoothly.


This relatively new 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 team of specialists at Golden Gate Physical Therapy has earned affiliations with nationally renowned organizations like the American Physical Therapy Association, National Strength and Condition Association, and PacWest Athletics through their commitment to practical, effective, treatment and rehabilitation. They have multiple facilities throughout San Francisco and convenient hours of operations.

Beacon Physical Therapy

Delivering advanced manual therapy with a focus on function, Beacon Physical Therapy designs a customized plan for every patient created 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. In fact, 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 all three 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 the anxiety that can cripple you.

WellSpace San Francisco

WellSpace San Francisco offers counseling services for those who have recently undergo 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 (including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Positive Psychology, and Somatic Therapy) to create a treatment plan that's tailored to specific individuals.

Other Emotional Health Resources 

If you're not looking specifically for treatment from a licensed psychiatrists or therapist but still feel you need some emotional support to get through this trying time in your life, there are a number of 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. However, some of those same resources are wonderful for helping victims of pedestrian, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents in San Francisco in which no alcohol was involved. Reach out online to begin your healing process. 

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance 

Depression is a very real mental side effect of a traumatic physical injury. In fact 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. 

Social Support 

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. While the designed for advocacy, 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. 

Learn more about the organization online.

#5. Government, Law Enforcement, and other Clerical Resources?

manage your personal injury claim with the personal injury attorney help in san francisco

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 do just that.


The California Department of Motor Vehicles can help with accident reporting. In fact, 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

Oakland, CA

San Francisco Police Department - Contact info and Locations 

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 which may be of use.

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. Want to file a request or discuss your traffic accident in person?

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 public citizen (such as yourself) 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.

Central District

766 Vallejo Street

Southern District

1251 3rd Street

Oakland DMV Office

201 Williams Avenue


Mission District

1125 Fillmore Street


Park District

1899 Waller Street


Richmond District

461 6th Avenue


Ingleside District

1 Sgt. John V. Young Lane


Taraval District

2345 24th Avenue


Tenderloin District

301 Eddy Street


Other City Government Resources 

The San Francisco City Hall 

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're in need of as well as contact information for certain city officials. 

City Attorney of San Francisco 

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.

(You can also download a claim form from the City Hall Website.)

#6. 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 actually 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 those cases you can actually file a claim against the City of San Francisco. And, actually, the city has made it relatively easy to do so. They have a short but sweet tutorial right on the San Francisco City Attorney's Website detailing exactly how to do that.

san francisco insurance claim for personal injury through attorney

Fill out a claim form


Submit the completed form to the Controller's Office

 You can mail or hand deliver the completed form 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! 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 San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyers.

#7. Additional Resources to Help Support Your Recovery

san francisco personal injury lawyer

Accessibility Resource Providers

If you need temporary or permanent modifications to your home in order to deal with reduce mobility, decreased strength, or other accessibility issues after a car accident in San Francisco, there are hundreds of options available to you—many you may have not even considered. 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.


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.

This list of transportation services in San Francisco will help you plot out the best way to get from Point A to Point B during your physical recovery. Note that transportation expenses that you incur as a result of your injuries are compensable (you can get reimbursed) in your personal injury claim. 


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 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.


Need a ride to work while your car is out of commission? Need a lift to the doctor or to the nearest BART or MUNI station? Find a carpool buddy with one of these great organizations.

San Francisco's 511 Carpool Match Service

This free service was created by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to decrease the amount 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. Here are some links to great recipes (that yield a lot) for multiple meals made easy.

Remember that they have their own lives as well. While they may be able to support you for a while, at some point you should look for another way to do so—even if just temporarily—in order to avoid burnout.

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 is laid up because of 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.

Your market doesn't offer delivery? There are a number of small third-party companies that provide food delivery in San Francisco as well.


Instacart offers 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 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 (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, that is awesome! 

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!

Now that you know how to win your car accident claim in San Francisco...

Get our "Ultimate Guide" (pdf version of this page) to help you through your San Francisco personal injury claim.

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