San Francisco Car Accident Lawyer
Do you need a car accident lawyer in San Francisco? Keep reading to learn about:
- Do You Need a San Francisco Car Accident Attorney?
- What Should You Do After a Car Accident in San Francisco?
- What Should You NOT Do After a Car Accident in San Francisco?
- What Can You Expect from Your San Francisco Car Accident Lawyer?
- 5 Important Facts about Recovering from a San Francisco Car Accident
- Vision Zero SF Seeks to Eliminate Car Accidents in San Francisco
- Most-Dangerous Streets and Intersections in San Francisco According to Vision Zero SF
- More Data on San Francisco Car Accidents
- FAQs: How Do San Francisco Car Accident Lawyers Help?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, hiring an experienced lawyer through CarAccidentSource.com is the best thing you can do to protect your legal rights. You may be entitled to financial compensation, but in order to collect this compensation, you need to take some important steps—and you also need to avoid some costly mistakes. An experienced San Francisco car accident lawyer can help every step of the way.
Were You Injured in a Car Accident in San Francisco?
Suffering injuries in a car accident can be more costly than many people realize. Not only can medical treatment be incredibly expensive, but taking time to recover can also mean missing time from work. Accident victims can suffer non-financial costs as well (i.e. pain and suffering), and hiring a San Francisco car accident attorney is essential to recovering the full compensation you deserve.
You were injured in a car accident in San Francisco. What should you do? As soon as possible, you should:
DO: Report Your Car Accident
Under California law, most car accidents need to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and many need to be reported to the police as well. You will also need to report your accident to your insurance company. Not only is this almost certainly required under your policy (which means you could lose your coverage if you don’t report your accident), but it is also necessary for recovering certain forms of financial compensation.
DO: Seek Medical Attention for Your Injuries
In order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, you first need to seek medical attention. See a doctor (San Francisco car accident lawyers can provide referrals if you don’t know where to go), and make sure you understand your doctor’s treatment recommendations.
DO: Contact a Lawyer
While you can try to handle your insurance claim yourself, it isn’t worth it. An attorney can seek maximum compensation for your injuries, and your attorney can negotiate for a settlement on your behalf. Even taking contingency fees into account, an attorney can still help you recover more than you would be able to recover on your own.
Also, filing an insurance claim might not be your only option. You could have other claims as well, and you may need to file these claims in order to fully recover your losses.
As we mentioned above, there are some costly mistakes you need to avoid after being injured in a car accident. Some of these mistakes include:
DO NOT: Assume Your Injuries Aren’t Serious
Car accidents can cause several different types of traumatic injuries. If you are experiencing any symptoms, you should see a doctor promptly. Some injuries can get worse over time or linger for years, and you will need to be able to convince the insurance companies that you are doing everything you can to recover as quickly as possible.
DO NOT: Rely on Your Insurance Company’s Advice
When you have a car accident insurance claim in San Francisco, you need to rely on the advice of an attorney, not your insurance company. Your insurance company will be trying to pay as little as possible, and it will not tell you want you need to know in order to protect your legal rights.
DO NOT: Try to Handle Your Claim on Your Own
Due to the many challenges involved in recovering your losses after a car accident, you should not try to handle your situation on your own. San Francisco car accident attorneys are available to help, and it costs nothing out-of-pocket to get experienced legal representation.
So, now that you know you need an attorney, what can you expect when you hire a legal practitioner to represent you?
- You can expect a free consultation.
- You can expect not to pay anything unless you win.
- You can expect personalized advice focused on helping you recover maximum compensation.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash in San Francisco, there is a lot you need to know. Here are five important facts about what to expect as you move forward.
Fact #1: It Is Up to You to Protect Your Legal Rights
While the insurance companies say they are there to help, the reality is that it is up to you to protect your legal rights. While you need to file a claim with your insurance company, you also need to avoid sharing too much information about your San Francisco car accident when you file. If you trust your insurance company to simply pay what it owes after a serious accident, the odds are that you will receive nowhere near the full compensation you deserve.
Fact #2: San Francisco Car Accidents Often Result in Substantial Losses
Why is it that you cannot rely on the insurance companies to simply pay what they owe after a car crash in San Francisco. Part of the reason is that it isn’t exactly their responsibility.
While the insurance companies must process claims in good faith, this does not mean that they have to calculate accident victims’ losses. Rather, it is claimants’ responsibility to prove how much they are entitled to recover. From financial costs (i.e. medical bills and lost wages) to non-financial costs (i.e. emotional trauma and loss of enjoyment of life), accident victims’ losses can be substantial, and accident victims need to make sure they seek the full compensation they deserve.
Fact #3: You Only Get One Chance to Settle Your San Francisco Car Accident Claim
What happens if you accept what the insurance company gives you and settle your San Francisco car accident claim? The answer is simple: You lose your right to go back and ask for more. Once you accept a settlement, your claim is over—even if you accepted a settlement before you knew how much you were entitled to recover.
Fact #4: A San Francisco Law Firm Will Handle Your Case at No Out-of-Pocket Cost
Instead of relying on the insurance companies, you need to rely on a lawyer who has your best interests in mind. A San Francisco law firm will handle your case on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you will not incur any out-of-pocket costs. If your lawyer helps you obtain a settlement or wins a verdict in court, then your legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of your award.
Fact #5: Car Accident Lawyers in San Francisco are Available 24/7
When you have an accident claim, you don’t have time to wait. Fortunately, car accident lawyers in San Francisco are available 24/7. You can get a free consultation any time through CarAccidentSource.com. You have nothing to lose by speaking with an experienced attorney; and, if you have a claim, hiring an attorney is the best (and only) way to make sure you receive the full compensation to which you are entitled under California law.
Vision Zero SF is a policy that the City of San Francisco has adopted in an effort to reduce the number of serious and fatal car accidents on the city’s streets. While San Francisco adopted Vision Zero SF in 2014, the San Francisco Department of Public Health reports that the city experienced annual increases in crashes involving severe injuries through 2019, and that the decline in accidents that began in 2020 was, “likely attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place public health order.”
In other words, San Francisco’s efforts to curtail car accidents in the city are far from complete. But, Vision Zero SF is still in place, and city leaders are still pursuing the policy by analyzing car accident data in order to understand how, where, and when accidents happen. The city has also published a High Injury Network Map that shows the intersections and streets with the highest numbers of car accident-related injuries and fatalities.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the most dangerous streets are located in downtown San Francisco—in and around Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, the Financial District, Chinatown, and Tenderloin. But, many of the city’s most dangerous intersections are located farther south. Some examples of San Francisco’s most dangerous streets according to Vision Zero SF include:
- The Embarcadero
- Market Street
- Geary Boulevard
- Van Ness Avenue
- Lombard Street
- Columbus Avenue
- 19th Avenue
- Sunset Boulevard
- California Street
- Mission Street
These are just examples. Altogether, Vision Zero SF’s High Injury Network Map identifies dozens of streets that have above-average risk levels for injury-involved car accidents. Regardless of where your accident happened, you should speak with a San Francisco car accident lawyer about your legal rights.
Some examples of the most dangerous intersections in San Francisco according to Vision Zero SF include:
- 2nd Street and Bryant Street
- 4th Street and King Street
- 7th Avenue and Irving Street
- Alemany Boulevard and Niagara Boulevard
- Alemany Boulevard and San Juan Avenue
- Bright Street and Randolph Street
- Laguna Honda Boulevard and Plaza Street
- Locust Street and Jackson Street
- Middle Point Road and West Point Road
- Santos Street and Sunnydale Avenue
Here, too, these are just examples. Additionally, Vision Zero SF specifically identifies these as being high-risk intersections for car accidents involving pedestrians. However, these intersections (among many others) can be dangerous for motorists as well; and, in general, intersection accidents are among the most common of all types of accidents in major cities like San Francisco.
In addition to Vision Zero SF, the Metropolitical Transportation Commission (MTC) publishes data on San Francisco car accidents as well. The MTC’s statistics shed additional light on the importance of hiring a San Francisco car accident attorney to report your accident and seek just compensation on your behalf.
Here are some of the most notable statistics from the MTC:
- “Fatalities from crashes has ticked upwards since 2010, reversing much of the decline seen during the Great Recession.” The MTC reports that this, “mark[s] the first period of sustained growth in road fatalities since the late 1970s.”
- Specifically, the MTC reports that car accidents have increased by 43% since 2020.
- While San Francisco has the lowest per capital car accident fatality rate in the Bay Area, “per mile driven, San Francisco rank[s] near the top of the . . . list for having the most dangerous roads in the region.”
- Nationally the San Francisco Bay Area ranks sixth among major metropolitan areas for the highest number of car accident fatalities.
- On average, every day one or two people die in car accidents in the San Francisco Bay Area. Far more suffer serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident in San Francisco?
There are many reasons to hire a lawyer after a car accident in San Francisco—especially if you were injured. A lawyer will be able to determine what claims you can file, make sure you file your claims on time, help you avoid costly mistakes, and seek maximum compensation for your accident-related losses.
Will a San Francisco Car Accident Lawyer Be Able to Help Me Obtain a Settlement?
In many cases, San Francisco car accident attorneys can help their clients obtain insurance settlements. Whether your attorney can help you obtain a settlement will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you have a valid claim and the insurance company won’t settle, you will need a lawyer who is capable of taking your case to court.
Are San Francisco Car Accident Attorneys Expensive?
It costs nothing out-of-pocket to hire an attorney for your car accident case. If you receive just compensation, your legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of your award. If an attorney takes your case, this means the attorney believes he or she can help you collect more than you could collect on your own—even taking your legal fees into account.
Can I Sue After a Car Accident in San Francisco?
It is possible to sue after a car accident in San Francisco—if you can prove that someone else (or a company) is responsible for the crash. If the evidence shows that a driver’s or company’s negligence is to blame for what happened, then you can (and should) hire a San Francisco car accident lawyer to file a claim on your behalf. Even if your lawyer files suit, your claim may still result in a settlement; in fact, most successful car accident lawsuits are resolved through out-of-court settlements.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue in San Francisco?
Under California’s personal injury statute of limitations, you have up to two years to sue after a car accident in San Francisco. With that said, you should hire a lawyer in San Francisco to start working on your claim as soon as possible. Your lawyer will need to gather evidence quickly before it disappears, and you will also need to rely on your lawyer’s advice to avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your lawsuit.
Is It Worth Suing After a Car Accident in San Francisco?
If you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a car accident that was someone else’s (or a company’s) fault, it will most likely be worth suing to recover your losses. Serious and fatal car accidents can lead to substantial long-term costs—including both financial costs (i.e. medical bills and lost income) and non-financial losses (i.e. emotional trauma, scarring, and pain and suffering). But, to have any chance of success, you will need to put an experienced San Francisco car accident attorney on your side.
Can I Settle My Car Accident Claim in San Francisco Without a Lawyer?
Technically, you can settle your car accident claim in San Francisco without a lawyer. But, is this the best idea? Absolutely not. The insurance companies will handle your claim differently if you aren’t represented—because they will know that you lack the information you need to seek the full compensation you rightfully deserve. This includes information about the cause of the accident and information about how much you are entitled to recover.
How Do I File a Claim with the City of San Francisco?
If you were injured in a car accident with a vehicle owned by the City of San Francisco, you will need to hire a lawyer to file a claim against the city under California’s Tort Claims Act (Sections 905 and 915 of the California Government Code). The Tort Claims Act establishes special procedures and timelines for pursuing claims against government entities, so it will be important for you to hire a San Francisco car accident attorney who has specific experience handling these types of claims.