Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Most Often Occur in San Francisco?


Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Most Often Occur in San Francisco?

While San Francisco leadership continues to improve pedestrian safety through measures such as traffic calming, improved signage, enhanced crosswalks, and infrastructure upgrades through the Vision Zero SF campaign, many pedestrians suffer serious and fatal injuries each year.

If this happened to you or a loved one, discuss your legal options with a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. You have rights, and your attorney can help you take action.

When Are San Francisco Pedestrians Most at Risk for Injury Accidents?

Pedestrian versus motor vehicle accidents are more likely to occur in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic and high vehicle density. In urban areas such as San Francisco, this combination is more common than in more rural areas. 

Some general areas that might endanger pedestrians include: 

  • Crosswalks: Intersections with crosswalks are frequent sites for pedestrian accidents since this is where pedestrians are most likely to cross streets. 
  • Busy Streets: Any street with heavy traffic, especially in urban areas, poses a higher risk for pedestrian accidents.
  • Retail and Commercial Areas: Areas with shops, restaurants, and businesses tend to have more pedestrians, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  • School Zones: School zones are a common location for pedestrian accidents, especially during pick-up and drop-off times. Many schools have strict procedures in place to reduce the risk of young pedestrians suffering injuries.
  • Residential Areas: While less common, accidents still happen in residential neighborhoods, particularly where there are busy intersections or speeding vehicles.
  • Nighttime: Pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur at night due to reduced visibility. 
  • Transit Stops: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) stops, including Muni bus stops and Metro train stations, often have a high volume of pedestrian traffic and an increased risk of accidents.

In general, areas where pedestrians and vehicles interact tend to have higher rates of accidents. While officials can take steps to make these areas safer, it is difficult to eliminate all risks for pedestrian accident injuries. 

What Are the Most Dangerous Areas of San Francisco for Pedestrians?

San Francisco, like other cities, has intersections that are more dangerous for pedestrians due to heavy traffic, complex road design, inadequate infrastructure, or high volumes of pedestrians and vehicles.

Some of these areas include:

  • Market Street and Van Ness Avenue: Due to its central location, this intersection has heavy traffic coming from multiple directions, which must interact with a large volume of pedestrians.
  • Market Street and Fifth Street: This is another busy intersection in the heart of downtown San Francisco, known for its high pedestrian traffic and frequent vehicle congestion.
  • Market Street and Sixth Street: Similar to Market and 5th, this intersection often has heavy pedestrian traffic and is challenging for both pedestrians and drivers to navigate safely.
  • Mission Street and 16th Street: Located in the Mission District, this intersection has heavy pedestrian activity, including commuters, shoppers, and residents, along with vehicle traffic.
  • Geary Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue: This intersection, situated in the Western Addition neighborhood, is a major thoroughfare with significant traffic flow and pedestrian activity.
  • Lombard Street and Van Ness Avenue: Lombard Street, famous for its steep incline and winding turns, intersects with Van Ness Avenue, creating a challenging environment for both pedestrians and drivers.

While these intersections have seen more of these collisions than others, pedestrian injury accidents can occur anywhere. Drivers must always watch for pedestrians and drive carefully in areas where their paths might cross. 

How Common Are Pedestrian Accident Injuries in San Francisco?

According to data provided by the City and County of San Francisco, pedestrians are among the most at-risk users of San Francisco’s roads. In one recent year, pedestrians accounted for more than half of all roadway fatalities in the city. 

Of the 20 fatalities that year, 19 were the result of a motor vehicle crash. The other occurred in a collision with a light rail train. 

Unfortunately, pedestrian injuries and wrongful deaths still occur regularly in San Francisco. Victims and their families can pursue compensation to pay for medical care, lost income, and other expenses and losses. Working with a San Francisco pedestrian accident attorney makes this process easier and more efficient.

Who Is Liable for a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident?

In many cases, the driver of the vehicle is liable for a pedestrian accident. This is because drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicles. This duty includes obeying traffic laws, maintaining attention and awareness of those around them, and yielding to pedestrians when required, such as at crosswalks.

The most important step you can take to get justice after a pedestrian accident is to hire a personal injury lawyer who handles pedestrian accidents. They will provide guidance on your case, help you understand your legal rights, and advocate on your behalf. As a part of building your case, they will establish that the driver is liable for your accident and injuries. 

A pedestrian accident law firm will take steps that could include: 

Collect Evidence

Your attorney will begin working as soon as possible to collect evidence. This includes an accident scene survey, documents, and eyewitness statements. 

Document Medical Treatment

Your lawyer, with your approval, will obtain records of all medical treatment you receive for your injuries. This includes hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, diagnostic tests, and prescriptions. This documentation will help establish the extent and nature of your injuries.

Obtain the Police Accident Report

When law enforcement responds to an accident, they complete an accident report. This report will contain valuable information regarding the circumstances of the accident, witness statements, and any citations issued to the driver.

Review Traffic Laws

Your lawyer will look at all applicable local traffic laws and regulations, especially those related to pedestrian right-of-way, crosswalks, and traffic signals. If the driver violated any of these laws, it will likely strengthen your case.

Seek Surveillance Footage

If the accident occurred in an area monitored by surveillance cameras, such as at intersections or near businesses, your attorney will attempt to obtain any relevant footage.

Preserve Physical Evidence

If there are any physical objects relevant to the accident, your attorney will preserve them as potential evidence.

By following these steps and building a compelling case with strong evidence, your lawyer will increase the likelihood of establishing the driver’s liability for your pedestrian accident injuries and recovering fair compensation.

Never Handle a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident on Your Own. Here’s Why

Doctor checking on injured arm of a man after a pedestrian accident

Insurance companies make handling your compensation claim and recovering the money you deserve on your own can difficult or impossible for several reasons, including:

Complex Legal Process

Personal injury claims involve navigating a complex process, documenting what occurred, and compelling the insurance carrier to pay you fairly. Without legal experience, it can be difficult to understand your rights, assess the full extent of your damages, and effectively negotiate with insurance companies.

Emotional Stress

Dealing with healing from a pedestrian accident, especially one with serious injuries, is emotionally taxing. Handling a pedestrian accident insurance claim while coping with physical pain, trauma, and stress can be overwhelming. Those with catastrophic injuries may still be undergoing treatment and rehabilitation throughout this period, too. 

Limited Knowledge of Laws and Procedures

Most individuals lack knowledge of personal injury laws and insurance claim procedures. Insurance companies have teams of adjusters and lawyers who are experienced in handling claims and may use this advantage to minimize payouts or deny claims altogether.

A lawyer will know about these tactics and fight against them.

Risk of Undervaluing Your Claim

Without a thorough understanding of the full value of your claim, you may inadvertently accept a settlement offer that is far less than you deserve. Insurance companies may try to settle quickly using lowball offers before you have a chance to hire a personal injury attorney or recognize the full extent of your expenses and losses. 

Difficulty in Gathering Evidence

Collecting evidence—medical records, police reports, witness statements, and documentation of damages—requires time, effort, and resources. Missing or incomplete evidence will make it more difficult to present a compelling case and recover the compensation you deserve from the insurance carrier.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Negotiating with insurance adjusters is challenging. They have training to navigate these negotiations and protect the interests of their employer, the insurance company. Without legal representation, you could struggle to assert your rights and negotiate a fair settlement.

Potential for Legal Pitfalls

Making statements or providing information to insurance companies without fully understanding the legal implications could harm your case. Insurance adjusters could use your statements against you to dispute liability or reduce compensation. They will try to induce these statements by asking pointed questions you may not realize could be used against you. 

Our attorneys recommend never agreeing to a recorded statement from the insurance company. When you hire a lawyer to manage your claim, they will ensure the adjuster gets the necessary information about your case. 

Statute of Limitations

There are strict deadlines, known as statutes of limitations, for filing personal injury lawsuits. This might be necessary if the insurance company will not make a fair offer. Failure to meet these deadlines will result in the forfeiture of your right to pursue compensation.

Seeking guidance from a qualified pedestrian accident attorney could significantly improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation. Your attorney can navigate the claims process much more effectively. 

A San Francisco pedestrian accident attorney can advocate on your behalf, protect your rights, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.

What Steps Will a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Take to Handle My Case?

The steps that an auto accident lawyer could take to manage your San Francisco pedestrian collision case include:

A gavel placed on the law book in court

Initial Consultation

Your first conversation with your attorney will be to gather details about the accident, your injuries, and other relevant information.

You should have details about the incident, such as where it occurred in San Francisco and who was involved. This helps them understand the specifics of your case and determine if you have a viable claim.


Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision. This may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, obtaining police reports, and reviewing any available surveillance footage.

Medical Documentation

Your attorney will work to gather documentation of your injuries, including medical records, diagnostic tests, treatment plans, and healthcare expenses. This establishes the extent of your injuries and if there are ongoing care needs or disabilities.

Damage Assessment

Your attorney will assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost income from all sources, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any future care or rehabilitation needs. This ensures that you pursue fair compensation for all losses resulting from your San Francisco accident.

Negotiation With the Insurance Carrier

Your attorney will handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. They will advocate for your rights and work to secure a fair settlement that adequately covers your injuries and damages.

Litigation Preparation

When necessary, your attorney will prepare your case for litigation. This involves drafting legal documents, preparing evidence, and representing you in court proceedings.

Court Representation

If your case proceeds to trial, your attorney will represent you in court. You can count on them to present evidence, examine witnesses, and argue your case before a judge and/or jury.

Legal Guidance

Throughout the process, your attorney will provide legal guidance and advice, keeping you informed of your rights and options.

By trusting an experienced attorney with your San Francisco pedestrian accident case, you will benefit from their legal experience, advocacy skills, and dedication. This gives you the best chance to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. 

Talk to Our Team About Your San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Wilshire Law Firm provides free consultations for those hurt in San Francisco pedestrian accidents. Learn about your rights, legal options, and how our billion-dollar team will approach your case. Get justice, get paid.

Call (213) 712-4459 or contact us online today for your free, confidential consultation.

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By submitting this form, you agree to receive telephone calls and text messages at anytime, which include hours outside of business hours (8:00 a.m. PST - 9:00 p.m. PST). This is so that we may reach you as soon as possible in order to consult on your potential case.