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San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

We handle a lot of pedestrian accident, injury cases and have become experts in these cases.  It is one of the most common types of cases we handle in our office.

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MJQ Law represents the victims of pedestrian accidents in San Francisco and across the Bay Area. Our skilled San Francisco pedestrian accident lawyers take action immediately to secure financial compensation from any careless driver who causes a crash.

We fight to earn victims the support they need to make a full recovery and get back on their feet. We also help families who have lost a loved one in a tragic pedestrian collision seek wrongful death support to protect their futures.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation pedestrian accident case consultation. This is a no-risk way to find out what your case may be worth. It’s vital information that you’ll need as car insurance companies look for ways to deny you the compensation you’ll need to rebuild your health and your life.

 Exactly what we do for our clients in a short, animated video:

Pedestrian Accident Dangers in the Bay Area

San Francisco is a place that encourages people to walk to work, to tour amazing sites, and to visit local shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, it’s also a city of narrow, fast-moving streets and hills that obstruct sight lines for motorists.

Local drivers don’t seem to take this into consideration when they approach busy intersections like San Bruno Avenue and Woolsey Street. Distracted drivers at these intersections can turn in front of those on foot and barely miss them. They can also miss a light turning from green to red and race through a crosswalk, giving defenseless pedestrians little chance of avoiding a devastating collision.

California’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) documented 546 pedestrian accidents involving injury in San Francisco in 2020. That number remained steady into 2021 with 554 accidents recorded. The fatalities that resulted from those accidents also showed no signs of decline. In both years, San Francisco saw 15 tragic pedestrian deaths.

Pedestrians can feel completely alone and abandoned after getting hit. They may face enormous hospital bills and find an at-fault driver’s car insurance company less than helpful. That’s why it’s critical to speak with a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Lawyer. It’s your chance to learn about your rights and options before an insurance adjuster tries to devalue your claim or tell you there’s no basis for a claim at all.

What Should I Do After a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident

When those on foot take a strike from a car or truck, they can suffer serious injuries and also be left at risk of absorbing other impacts and injuries. That’s why it’s so important for pedestrian victims to move out of harm’s way if they have the strength to do so. They should get to a sidewalk or median if possible.

Once they are secure, victims should call 911 immediately if they can. There are no guarantee others will be calling for help. In the case of a pedestrian accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, there may be no one else calling 911 unless someone witnessed the accident.

Once help is on the way, San Francisco pedestrians can begin the process of securing evidence on the scene to make sure the fault of the driver isn’t in doubt. If victims are feeling strong enough, they should try to collect these details:

Give San Francisco Police a full account of what happened. Alert them if you saw the responsible driver acting carelessly or recklessly. Officers will create a collision report that will serve as evidence in your favor for your injury claim.

Get checked out by paramedics no matter how minor your pedestrian accident injuries seem. Go to the hospital if necessary. If you have to leave, ask someone with you or a witness to gather a few details for you at the accident site.

Get photos. Show the lane where you were hit. Show crosswalk markings and traffic lights. Take pictures of your injuries and the damage caused to the vehicle, such as shattered windows, dents, or broken mirrors.

Get witness contact information. Talk to witnesses to find out what they saw. Find out how your San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Lawyer can contact them for testimony.

Keep evidence. Don’t wash your clothes or throw them out. They will serve as evidence of the frightening ordeal you experienced. Keep any damaged personal items, such as satchels and handbags.

See your doctor in the days that follow. Get any new pain that arises the day after your accident fully investigated. X-rays can spot hairline fractures that you didn’t realize you had. Follow your doctor’s recommendations and see specialists. Complete any physical training recommended.

Call a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Attorney. Insurance companies don’t automatically provide you with what you’ll need to recover from a pedestrian accident. They want to downplay your injury and try to get you to accept blame for a careless driver’s mistake. Skilled San Francisco personal injury lawyers push back on these unfair tactics. They make sure the reckless driver can’t escape blame by investigating your case and providing strong evidence. They also help you examine any settlement offers to see that they cover every cost you have. If not, they help you reject a pedestrian accident settlement offer and demand more.

What are common injuries you see in pedestrian accidents?

A majority of our clients that have been involved in pedestrian vehicle accidents have suffered serious and often times life-changing injuries, as well as accrued steep financial liabilities.  This comes as no surprise as pedestrians are extremely vulnerable due to having absolutely no protection against cars. The human body is just no match for a 2-ton car.  The most common injuries that we encounter are:

  • Fractures (legs/arms/hips/ribs)
  • Brain injuries (concussions/swelling/bleeding)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Torn ligaments (ACL/MCL/Shoulder)

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a pedestrian vehicle accident you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.  The insurance company can use any gaps in treatment (even if you had a legitimate reason) to decrease the value of your claim.  Often times, you will not immediately be able to tell the extent of your injuries.  It is not until after the initial shock and adrenaline wear off that your body begins to feel pain.  If after receiving treatment from an emergency room, and your symptoms persist or worsen, you should return for follow up treatment, as this is usually a sign of something more serious.

Compensation Available For San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Victims

Your Bay Area pedestrian accident lawyer also works up a complete list of every hardship you’ve faced since your accident. This list is submitted to the insurance company with your injury claim. It’s a critical step because the insurance company won’t be offering compensation for anything that gets left off the list.

Your lawyer totals all of your current damages and any damages you are expected to suffer in the future. Your lawyer will add up your costs and other factors you may not have realized could add to the pedestrian accident injury settlement check you receive:

  • Medical expenses now and those anticipated in the future. This can include lifelong support when a pedestrian accident victim suffers a permanent disability.
  • Support for physical pain endured by a pedestrian accident victim.
  • Support for the emotional anguish endured by a pedestrian accident victim.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. Those suffering traumatic injuries may not be able to return to their normal lives for quite a while. They may not be able to walk and get around on their own. They may have to give up certain hobbies and activities.
  • Replacements of paychecks and benefits lost at the victim’s place of work.
  • Travel costs. If your pedestrian injuries are serious, they may leave you unable to drive and in a wheelchair. Getting to doctor’s appointments and appointments with far-away specialists may end up being very costly.

Can I Earn Pedestrian Accident Compensation If I Was Struck by a Hit-And-Run Driver?

Sadly, San Francisco pedestrian collision victims aren’t always allowed to focus on healing and getting back on their feet. Sometimes concerns over the cost of expensive medical treatment and physical therapy will cause patients to worry.

Unfortunately, pedestrian victims face even more anxiety after they’ve been struck by a thoughtless hit-and-run driver. Hit-and-run drivers continue to be a big problem in the Bay Area. TIMS documented 178 pedestrian accidents with injuries that involved felony hit-and-run charges in San Francisco in 2021. Those tragic accidents led to at least 12 pedestrian fatalities across the year.

The good news is that San Francisco pedestrians can earn injury compensation even when a hit-and-run driver escapes justice. The victim or the victim’s family may file a claim with the victim’s own car accident policy. The claim would be filed on the victim’s uninsured motorist coverage. If the pedestrian victim didn’t have insurance, it’s possible the victim is covered by a family member’s policy.

When hit-and-run drivers are caught, they will likely be facing criminal charges. This will not delay the victim’s right to file a claim with the suspect’s car insurance provider. The civil claim is filed separately, and an injury claim settlement can be reached even if a criminal trial hasn’t been decided.

No matter whose policy the claim is filed under, it’s safe to assume that any insurance company, even your own, will be trying to limit the support you receive. Having a San Francisco pedestrian accident lawyer watching out for your interests is the best way to ensure you get the funds you need to cover every recovery bill and hardship.

Does your law firm specialize in pedestrian accident cases?

Yes, we handle a lot of pedestrian accident, injury cases and have become experts in these cases.  It is one of the most common types of cases we handle in our office.  We have seen it all, but here are three pedestrian accident cases we recently resolved for our clients.

$175,000 settlement: our client, K.T., was crossing Market Street in a crosswalk, when a delivery truck turned right and struck her. She was jogging when she was struck.  There was a dispute about whether K.T. still had the “green walk sign” and if she was legally crossing the street at the time she was hit.  The collision caused her to suffer a broken right arm, which required surgery.  Due to her broken arm, K.T. was not able to work as a physical therapist for 3 months and incurred substantial wage loss.  

$50,000 settlement (policy limits): our client, D.A., was walking to a bus stop at night after work in Benecia when he was hit by a car while crossing at a 4-way stop sign.  There was no crosswalk at the intersection, although he was wearing a reflector vest and had a thermos with a flashing light on it.  The collision caused him to suffer a torn labrum in his hip, although it was not diagnosed for over 6 months.  Complicating matters further, D.A had a fall due to sudden cramping in his hip 7 months after the initial accident and tore his meniscus in his knee.  We attributed both the torn labrum in his hip and the torn meniscus in his knee to his pedestrian accident.  We were required to file a lawsuit, but after depositions we persuaded the insurance company for the driver to offer their policy limits.

$145,000 settlement: our client, H.F., was walking to work in Daly City when she slipped in hydraulic fluid that was left in a crosswalk after a street-sweeper crossed in front of her.  H.F. thought the liquid was water from the street-sweeper.  The fall caused her to tear her meniscus in her knee and she required surgery.  We filed a lawsuit and determined that the street-sweeper had a hydraulic leak. H.F. claimed that knee still gave her trouble in daily life, however the Defendant hired a private investigator to film her and captured her running up and down stairs and otherwise looking spry and nimble. Despite this, we still were able to secure a favorable settlement.

What are some common issues you see with pedestrian accidents?

In California, regardless if a crosswalk is marked or unmarked, all intersections of streets wider than 25 feet are considered legal crosswalks, unless there are signs that specifically state that pedestrian crossing is not allowed.  Drivers and bicyclist must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks by stopping behind the crosswalk line (CVC 21950).  Often times, impatient drivers and bicyclist, not wanting to wait for pedestrians to cross, will increase their speed in an effort to beat pedestrians through the crosswalk.  This not only creates a dangerous situation for pedestrians, but also is illegal as drivers are required to reduce the speed of their vehicle while approaching a pedestrian within a crosswalk.

Jaywalking is often cited as a main factor that leads to pedestrian collision injuries.  It places the fault on the pedestrian as opposed to the driver. Jaywalking refers to any kind of illegal street crossing performed by a pedestrian.  Jaywalking consists of the following types of crossings:

  • Walking against a pedestrian walk signal
  • Walking outside of the designated crosswalk
  • Crossing a street where there is no crosswalk

If you were injured while jaywalking, you should know that this is not the end of your personal injury case.  We have helped many pedestrians who were jaywalking limit their responsibility in accidents by investigating the conduct of the driver i.e., was the driver speeding, when did they first notice the pedestrian, and how long did they have to avoid the accident.  CA law states that even though a pedestrian crosses outside of a crosswalk, a driver still has the duty to exercise due care for the safety of that pedestrian (CVC 21954).

Why do Pedestrian Collisions Happen?
According to WalkSF, speeding is the leading cause of serious injury and death in pedestrian collisions.  They found that 90% of pedestrians are killed when hit by a vehicle traveling 55mph.  At 40 mph, 50% are killed and at 25 mph, 10%. Rounding out the top five causes, include:

  • Running red lights
  • Failure to yield at crosswalks
  • Making unsafe turns
  • Running stop signs

Location and time of day also factor into the likelihood of being involved in a pedestrian accident.  Pedestrians entering into an intersection are most vulnerable to inattentive or intoxicated drivers who don’t see traffic signals or stop signs until it is too late.  Pedestrians traveling during peak commute times, either in the morning or after work, are also at a higher risk of being involved in an accident.

What is the Vision Zero Initiative I have heard about?

On average, about 30 people die and another 200 are severely injured on the streets of San Francisco every year due to traffic accidents.  Many of these people are pedestrians.  In an effort to reduce and eventually eliminate traffic deaths in San Francisco, the City has adopted Vision Zero, which aims to reduce deaths on San Francisco streets to ZERO by 2024.  This is an ambitious effort indeed, but it’s a great goal and something everyone must strive for if we are ever to see the goal realized. Here are the latest stats on Vision Zero.

I was hurt as a pedestrian, but I wasn’t hit by a vehicle.  Can you help me?

Yes.  There is a common understanding that when someone is in a “pedestrian accident” they mean that they were hit by a car, but not all pedestrian accidents involve being hit by a car.  Many pedestrian accidents we see involve people on foot that fall into holes, are hit by objects, or slip and fell.  We handle all these types of cases, in addition to more traditional pedestrian vs. car cases.  That said, these other types of pedestrian accidents can be challenging because there is not always an obvious pocket from which to recover, as is the case with auto insurance.  We are experts at finding these pockets of money to recover from in pedestrian accidents and clients are often referred to us by other lawyers due to our reputation for handling these less common types of pedestrian accidents.

Other Frequently Asked Questions After a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident…

Can I earn pedestrian accident injury compensation if I wasn’t in a crosswalk when I was hit?

Yes. San Francisco drivers must watch for pedestrians and slow down for them in all locations, not just crosswalks. Pedestrians struck while crossing outside of a crosswalk can still seek injury compensation.

Can my family earn financial support after losing a loved one to a San Francisco pedestrian accident?

Yes. Families must file a wrongful death claim over a fatal pedestrian accident. The claim would seek money to pay for a burial and to cover leftover medical bills. The care and financial support the victim could no longer provide would also earn support.

How long do I have to file a pedestrian accident injury claim in California?

Two years. There is a two-year statute of limitations on filing a pedestrian accident injury claim. Victims shouldn’t wait though. Act quickly while evidence is still fresh and witnesses are still easily located.

Contact a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian collision caused by a negligent driver, don’t trust your recovery to an insurance company. Allow The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan to deal with the most frustrating parts of injury claims and insurance hassles so you can focus on getting better.

Contact our offices for a free case consultation that comes with no obligation to you or your family. Let us work to get the most out of your San Francisco pedestrian accident settlement. We want to ensure you have the money to pay for the best medical care available so that you’re back on your feet as soon as possible.

And if you decide to hire us to maximize the compensation you receive, you won’t have to worry about payment right now. MJQ Law doesn’t get paid unless we win your case for you. Then we are paid out of the settlement money you receive.

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    Did You Know?

    In 2014, there were 17 pedestrian fatalities in San Francisco. (SFPD)
    Every day, at least 3 people are hit by cars while walking in San Francisco. (WalkSF)
    6% of San Francisco’s streets account for 60% of all severe and fatal injuries to pedestrians. (WalkSF)
    Most dangerous neighborhoods for walking in San Francisco include: Tenderloin, Chinatown, and SoMa. (WalkSF)
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