Hit by a Car in San Francisco? What to do...

Experienced San Francisco Personal Injury Attorneys Walk You Through the Aftermath of a Pedestrian Accident

Wondering what to do when you've been hit by a car in San Francisco? We can help. As personal injury attorneys in San Francisco we've helped hundreds of injured individuals recover after pedestrian accidents across The Bay Area over the last 20 years.

We know that when you've been hit by a car in San Francisco it can be hard figure out what to do next. The pain and fear make simply thinking straight difficult. But cool heads and calm actions (both at the crash site and in the days and weeks that follow you accident) will help you maximize any potential insurance settlement you might receive. Indeed, there are several things you can do to help build a successful insurance claim or personal injury case before you ever even speak with a San Francisco personal injury attorney.

Let's break things down step-by-step so you can take full advantage of our experience. Here's what to do when you've been hit by a car in San Francisco (and how it helps).

What to Do at the Accident Scene when You Are Hit by a Car in San Francisco

Get Help

Your first priority should always be your health. If you're wondering what to do when you've been hit by a car in San Francisco, you're first impulse should always be to call 911. Don't worry about the potential cost. If you're accident was caused by a reckless or distracted driver, their insurance will likely pay for your medical expenses. If they don't have insurance, your insurance might cover you or you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Take Photos and Videos

Photographic evidence is an excellent tool to prove negligence and assign fault in personal injury cases. Collecting that evidence on the day of the crash is best. It records the scene as-is capturing:

  • Weather conditions
  • Lighting
  • Your position
  • The vehicle's exact position
  • And any obstacles or road defects that may have contributed

Photos are great but don't forget the video. Video recordings give people a better feel for the situation and create a more impactful impression (important when you have to file a personal injury lawsuit).

Your photos and video should capture:

  • The accident scene
  • The car (and driver) involved—including license plate
  • Any posted signs or traffic signals
  • Any damaged personal property (including glasses, cellphone, tablets, and even clothing)
  • Your wounds and any visible proof of your injuries

Collect Contact Information

Use a pen, your camera, or even the notetaking app on your phone to get the name, phone number, and street address of any individual involved in the crash (including eyewitnesses!). This can prove vital when pursuing the legal options available to you after being hit by a car in San Francisco.

And don't rely on the police report to contain all of this information—they often don't have everything you will need to bring a personal injury claim!

Look for Security Cameras

Most businesses in San Francisco have security cameras or webcams that capture events in the street and on sidewalks outside. Look for (or ask about) cameras immediately after your accident. Unless something causes an employee to save a video file, they're often overwritten or erased on a regular basis. People now often have POV (point of view) cameras like Go-Pro's in their cars or on their bikes and motorcycles which help prove who is at fault for traffic accidents.

Document the Accident Completely

Written and pictorial documentation of an accident can help prove your case in court, convince insurance companies to pay, and help jog your memory days or weeks after your accident. Having this information together makes telling (and retelling) the story of your pedestrian accident in San Francisco that much easier.

Thankfully modern technology has made doing so simple.

Use Your Phone

The camera is there for photos and video but don't neglect note taking applications or even audio recorders (with which you can record conversations or mental notes to remind yourself).

Use Google Street View

Take screenshots in Street View and note your location, that of the car which hit you, and any other important details.

Use Apps and Websites

Many modern insurance companies allow you to open accident claims via your mobile device (or at least contact a representative). Opening a claim now can minimize the amount of time between your crash and when you get paid compensation.

Essentially what you're doing with all of this evidence is proving that you've done everything a pedestrian should (not any of the 5 things they shouldn't).  

What to Do AFTER You are Hit by a Car in San Francisco

Wondering what to do when you've been hit by a car in San Francisco but don't want to get legal help immediately? Don't worry, even if you've not yet hired a personal injury attorney who focuses on pedestrian accidents to fight for you, you can still be your own advocate. What should you be doing now to help secure the compensation you deserve?

Keep Records

Meticulous record-keeping may make the difference between a successful insurance claim and being left out in the cold. What sort of records should you keep?


Record every expense from ER and doctor bills to the cost of replacing the clothes you were wearing. Even something as simple as the cost of the Uber you took from the accident scene back to your apartment should be accounted for. Insurance claims should cover all these expenses so keep every receipt.

Trouble staying organized?  Create a spreadsheet so you can track your expenses at a glance. Get an accordion file to keep all your paperwork neat.

Medical Records

Collect copies of all medical records, doctor reports, and diagnostic testing/imaging you receive after being hit by a car in San Francisco. Having this documentation handy will help a pedestrian accident lawyer act quickly on your behalf.

Conversations and Interactions

Document your conversations with insurance company representatives, attorneys, and other interested parties. If you can easily record these interactions, do so (just make sure the other party knows they're being recorded). But, don't let them record the conversations or get your private information. If you can't, note down what time the conversation took place, who was there at the time, and what was talked about.

Find Witnesses

Having third-party testimony always makes proving your case easier but if you didn't get witness info at the scene you may still be able to find people who saw what happened the day of your accident.

Put a post on Next Door or other classified ad websites (like Craigslist). Ask anyone who may have seen the accident to contact you. Stick to the facts. Don't elaborate or even offer details beyond when and where the collision happened. (Anything you post on social media may be used against you.)

Always Make Copies!

Having all of this documentation is great but if it gets lost before you have to use it, it does you no good. Always make copies and back-up digital files, ensuring you have everything you need when you need it.

Contact a San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney

Still wondering what to do when you've been hit by a car in San Francisco? Contact Sally Morin Law today.

Why should you get a personal injury attorney now? Getting in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible can save you a lot of hassle and may increase the amount you're awarded. In fact, I recommend that anyone seriously injured because they are hit by a car in San Francisco at least get a free consultation so they understand their rights and obligations.

For instance, did you know under California law you only have two years to file a compensation claim for injuries caused by another person's neglect? EVEN LESS TIME if you were injured at the hands of a governmental entity like an employee of the City and County of San Francisco.

What can Sally Morin and her team of personal injury attorneys do for you?

Get your FREE online case evaluation now to see if we can help.