Accidents at Intersections in San Francisco

Do I Have a Case?

San Francisco is one of the busiest cities in not just California, but the country. With thousands of vehicles and thousands more pedestrians making their way through the city on foot, accidents are bound to happen, mostly in one of San Francisco’s many intersections. These areas are extremely crowded, which can often lead to many different types of accidents.

For victims of intersection accidents, these injuries often result in extensive medical treatment and other damages that have long-term implications that last the rest of their lives. When this happens to you or a loved one, you need to know what your legal options are and what support is available to you.

San Francisco Intersection Accident Victims Can Count on MJQ Law

Facing any type of accident on your own is extremely difficult, but when you’ve been injured as a pedestrian at a San Francisco intersection, you need the experience and support of a legal team that knows how to approach these accidents.

At The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, our team of experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers can provide you with the legal guidance you need. Not only that, but you can count on our team to be there to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to learn more.

How Common Are Car Accidents in San Francisco?

Like any major city, San Francisco has its fair share of car accidents. The California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records Management System (SWITRS) tracks all different types of vehicle accidents and compiles the data for the public. According to their data, there has been an average of:

  • 3,572 car accidents in San Francisco over the last five years

Obviously, this data underscores the frequency of car accidents in the city. While not every car accident occurs at an intersection, they often involve multiple vehicles at multiple points of impact. Thus, it’s important to understand how these accidents happen and what you can do to reduce their risk.

How Do Accidents At Intersections Happen in San Francisco?

Accidents at intersections in San Francisco are not just common, but they are caused by a wide range of different factors. Generally, intersections are extremely crowded. With such activity in tight spaces, it creates conditions and factors that lead to these accidents. Here is a closer look at some of the factors that cause accidents at intersections in San Francisco:

  • Distracted driving – Drivers who are distracted by their phone, passengers, or other factors may not pay attention to traffic signals, resulting in accidents.
  • Running red lights – Drivers who try to beat the red light, or who are unaware of the signal, can collide with other vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Speeding – Speeding through intersections can be dangerous, as drivers may not have enough time to react to other vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Driving under the influence – Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol usually have impaired judgment and reaction times, which can lead to accidents.
  • Poor visibility – Intersections that have poor lighting or are obscured by obstacles can make it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Failure to yield – Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to other vehicles or pedestrians can cause accidents.
  • Road conditions – Potholes, uneven surfaces, or slippery roads can cause vehicles to lose control and collide with other vehicles or pedestrians.

To reduce the risk of accidents at intersections, you should always make an effort to obey traffic laws, pay attention to your surroundings, and simply be careful when approaching intersections. Another major issue with intersection accidents is dealing with pedestrians. Thus, when you’re behind the wheel at an intersection, you not only have to account for your actions but for the actions of the pedestrians as well.

Types of Intersection Accidents in San Francisco

One of the most unique aspects of a San Francisco intersection accident is the fact that it can involve multiple factors that lead to many different types of accidents. Not only are they dangerous for drivers, but are especially dangerous for pedestrians attempting to use the intersection. Moreover, they often involve multiple vehicles colliding together at multiple points of impact. Some of the most common types of intersection accidents include:

  • Rear-end collisions – These occur when one vehicle hits the back of another vehicle stopped at an intersection or when a vehicle is slowing down or stopping to make a turn.
  • T-bone collisions – These occur when a vehicle hits another vehicle in the side, forming the shape of a “T.” This type of accident is often caused by drivers running red lights or failing to yield to oncoming traffic.
  • Head-on collisions – These are among the most serious types of accidents and occur when two vehicles collide head-on at an intersection. This type of accident is often caused by drivers who are distracted, impaired, or driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
  • Sideswipe collisions – These occur when two vehicles traveling in the same direction collide at an intersection, typically when one vehicle is attempting to change lanes.
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents – These occur when drivers fail to yield to pedestrians or cyclists at crosswalks and intersections, causing serious injuries or fatalities.

Whenever an accident happens, your first priority should be your health and safety. Once you’re able to get to a safe place and check you and your passengers for any injuries, you can begin to focus on your next steps.

Who Is Responsible For a San Francisco Intersection Accident?

When you do find yourself involved in an intersection accident in San Francisco, one of the first questions you’ll likely have is who is responsible. Like any accident in California, determining who is responsible for an intersection accident depends on negligence. Negligence has four elements:

  • The driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicle in a safe and reasonable way.
  • The driver breached that duty by not driving in a safe and reasonable way.
  • The breach of duty directly caused the accident and injuries in question.
  • The accident caused injuries and damages.

Common injuries and other damages in intersection accidents

After an accident at one of San Francisco’s intersections, you will likely be looking at any number of injuries and other damages. Among the more common injuries in these accidents include:

  • Whiplash and neck injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Property damage to your vehicle


In an intersection accident, negligence can be attributed to multiple people from the other driver to pedestrians, or even governmental entities responsible for maintaining the traffic lights. By working with our team of experienced car accident lawyers, we can help you narrow down the liable parties and pursue a claim to help in your recovery.

Filing A Claim For Damages After a San Francisco Intersection Accident

If you’ve been in an accident at an intersection, at a minimum you’re probably dealing with at least minor injuries and damage to your vehicle. That said, California law offers accident victims the opportunity to recover some of the costs associated with these injuries and damages by filing an injury claim against the person who is at fault. With these claims, you can potentially recover the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages, in some cases

Like any claim, what you’re ultimately able to obtain depends on the circumstances around your accident and how you approach the claims process. That’s why it’s important to work with our team of experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers. We can guide you through the claims process and make sure you’re able to get the compensation you deserve.

Contact MJQ Law Today For a Free Case Evaluation

Being in a car accident in San Francisco is almost always stressful. Not only do you have to deal with injuries, but trying to deal with an insurance company as you try to recover from your injuries can quickly become overwhelming. Don’t let that happen to you. Working with our team of experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers at The Law Office of Matthew J. Quinlan can take the burden of the claims process off your shoulders.

We can help you navigate the claims process from start to finish, making sure you’re able to focus on your recovery while getting the compensation you’re owed. Contact us today for a free consultation.