How Do I File a Claim Against the City of San Francisco?


San Francisco’s city government employs thousands of people, and chances are you run into a city worker nearly every day.

Like other people, city employees can be negligent and end up harming innocent members of the public.

Unfortunately, filing a claim against the city of San Francisco is not easy.

Like everything else involving this city, the bureaucratic maze can defeat even the most committed. In this article, we’ll explain how to simplify filing a claim against the city of San Francisco.

Step 1: Collect Important Information about Your Accident

Let’s say you are hit by a city vehicle. You will need certain information to make a claim. Be sure to collect the following:

  • License and vehicle number of the city vehicle, if any was involved
  • Location of the accident or incident
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Names of witnesses to the accident, including their home address and phone number
  • Estimates of your property damage or other loss

You should also take pictures of your damaged property. If your car was hit, walk around all sides and take photographs with your smartphone.

Step 2: Download the Claim Form and Instructions

You can visit this website to get both the claim form and the instructions. Instructions are available in many languages other than English, though the claim form is in English. You have six months from the date of the accident to submit this form.

You can use the fillable PDF and type your information directly into the form. Save the document once you are finished.

Important Note: the City does not accept claims for the following:

  • Housing Authority
  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • San Francisco Community College District

Step 3: Submit Your Form

You should make a copy of your form for your own records. You can then either mail the form or hand deliver it to Controller’s Office, Claims Division, 1390 Market Street, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102.

If you mail it, then use certified mail, return receipt requested so you will have proof it has been received.

Step 4: Speak with an Attorney

Everything so far has sounded pretty easy, right? You fill out a form, submit it, and get paid reimbursed for your losses. Who knew it could be this easy?

Not so fast! Once notified of your claim, the city will probably investigate, though it could drag its heels. And there is no guaranteeing that the city will agree to pay you compensation once the investigation is complete. Instead, the city might deny that they were responsible for the accident or that your injuries are as serious as you claim.

If this happens, you need a lawyer to represent you. An attorney can fully document the accident and make a compelling argument that the city of San Francisco bears responsibility.

For help filing a claim against the city of San Francisco, contact The Wakeford Law Firm today. Our lawyers have gone toe-to-toe with the city government on many occasions, and we know how to get compensation for our clients. To schedule a free consultation, please call 415-569-7495 or contact us online.

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