Berkeley Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Berkeley California. First, I’d like to thank you for visiting my website and my Berkeley page. Secondly, I want to say upfront that I am pleased to be handling large, personal injury cases in the city and in Alameda County. Berkeley has long been known as a center of education and fairness in California from the 1870s. This belief in knowledge is something I love about the law. Making sure that clients not only receive the compensation they deserve but also demand justice when negligence causes them harm is at the heart of my practice.

Berkeley’s Story

Berkeley is a city of spirit and the arts. Its genetic code has at its core diversity and freedom of speech. It is and always has been a city where fairness is prized.

Berkeley lies on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, bordering Oakland and Emeryville to the south. The Berkeley campus was the first to be established in the UC system. Berkeley’s population in 2015 was estimated at 120,971 up from 116,768 in 2013.

Accidents in Berkeley

A statistical analysis of the types of accidents commonly seen in Berkeley shows:

Types of Colisions in 2015
Associated Violations

In addition, most accidents occur during daylight hours on weekdays.

Dangerous Intersection in Berkeley

One intersection that is particularly dangerous is at Gilman Street’s western end. This street runs through an area where eight lanes enter and exit Interstate 80. In addition, the Bay Trail, west of the intersection, is often populated with pedestrians and bicyclists.

Handling Cases in Berkeley

Population increases come with downsides such as higher numbers of significant car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents. While I handle many different types of personal injury cases, my emphasis is on large, complex cases. However, no matter how large an incident is, it can cause significant suffering for those involved. If you are unsure about your case, give us a call. We can review the circumstances and direct you to a competent local lawyer if it is not something we handle.

More About Me

I come from the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. People in Brooklyn are known to tell it like it is and fight for what they believe. I grew up there, moving to California after I served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. I attended the University of California at Davis and graduated with honors. The law beckoned, and I graduated from McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific. Shortly afterward, I established my own personal injury law firm.

This was the beginning of a career that has spanned 35 years. I’ve been privileged to get to know some amazing clients, helping them move on after an accident.

I was married in 1978 and am the proud father of a son. I have a grandson too. I work hard but do get some time to relax. I enjoy hiking, and the area around Tahoe offers excellent hiking trails. Snorkeling is also a favorite pastime. If I cannot get away, I take time to listen to music, usually rock or blues. Or, I just settle in with a good book.

I believe that clients are so much more than a case filled with details. My staff and I get to know them and their families. We empathize with the pain they feel as well as the sense that their lives are upended. That is why we are there for them 24/7. We are available to answer their questions and explain where we are in the case.

In personal injury cases, many decisions need to be made. For example, clients may be offered a lump sum to settle the case. Sometimes, the offer is legitimate, but often, the offer made by a defendant’s attorney or an insurance company is too low. At this point, negotiation may be fruitful. However, at other times, it is necessary to file a lawsuit against the negligent party.

Injuries Are Not Always Obvious

While many injuries are clearly seen from the moment the accident happens, others take time to manifest themselves. Treatment may not be successful or may take longer than expected. While going through extended treatment is hard enough, the expense can be overwhelming. If the case is settled before the extent of an injury and the length and success of treatment are known, the settlement amount may fall far short.

That is why I often advise clients to wait to settle on an offer or proceed to court. The sad fact is, once an offer is accepted, the client signs a waiver saying that no further litigation in the case is possible. There are times when you can move forward quickly and times when it is better to have the entire picture in front of you. The key is knowing the difference.

The Types of Personal Injury Cases I Take

Personal injury is an umbrella term that encompasses many different types. They are:

The one thing all personal injury cases have in common is that someone was negligent, and someone else was injured. There are basic tenets. First, negligence must be proven. It is not enough to say someone is negligent. It is necessary to prove that negligence happened and resulted in injury, and the injury caused financial loss.

Watch the YouTube video for more on my holistic approach to personal injury law.

Television and Books

I want my clients to understand the legal principles I use to win their cases. To do that, I’ve written several books and had a long-standing cable television show called “Ask the Lawyer” that ran for ten years.

My books are available on Amazon. One, the California Motorcycle Accident Handbook will tell you what happens after a motorcycle accident and what needs to be done. It answers questions such as “what happens if I was struck by a hit-and-run driver,” or “how will I support myself and my family if I am unable to work.”

The second book, The Ultimate California Auto Accident Handbook: Personal Injury Attorney’s Guide to Obtaining a Fair Recovery is also available on Amazon. As the name suggests, this guide talks about what you need to know if you are in an auto accident in California, including “what time limits exist on filing a lawsuit” and “how to recover for past and future earnings loss” among many others.

Berkeley, Frequently Asked Questions

Over time, some questions have been repeatedly asked by clients. I’d like to answer a few of them as they pertain to Berkeley:

Q: Could You Recommend a Mechanic in Berkeley If My Car Is Damaged in an Accident?

A: According to Yelp reviews, a few mechanics have excellent ratings. They are:

M & M Garage
West Berkeley
1505 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702
Phone number (510) 527-8410

Berkeley Auto Care
2600 Telegraph Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
b/t Parker St & Carleton St
Phone number (510) 540-0690

Q: Where Can I Find a Good Rental Car Agency in Berkeley?

A: My staff report excellent reviews for the following car rental agency in Berkeley:

Enterprise Rent-a-Car
1706 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702
b/t Francisco St & Virginia St
West Berkeley
Get Directions
Phone number (510) 526-3900
Business website:

Berkeley Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a car accident and personal injury attorney in Berkeley. I know the toll accidents take on our lives. My investigative team and I use every tool at our disposal to examine the accident from the negligence that caused it to the damages that result. You are welcome to call me at (510) 631-0200 (800) 404-5400. I offer a free case evaluation. I will answer your questions and offer free, friendly advice.

If you would like to check out client reviews, please go to Yelp or Google. You can also find additional information at Avvo, an attorney ranking site where I hold a top rating in different categories of personal injury and a client’s choice award.

I belong to the California branch of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This forum identifies top-ranking trial attorneys who have won multiple cases with verdicts or settlements of more than $1 million.

I'm also a member of the nation’s Top One Percent, a National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

Many potential clients are interested in visiting my verdicts and settlements page. Here, you’ll learn about the cases I’ve handled, settlements that were reached and the verdicts that were handed down.

My website will provide you with information on personal injury cases of all kinds. As the founder of, I feel you will enjoy visiting and learning about personal injury. We have had many visitors since the website began, and the number of both return and new viewers continues to grow.

Image attribution: sarangib on Pixabay

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Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [cha 2.22.19]

Client Reviews
Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed! Alex & Dinah M.
Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation. Beverly
Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything. Annie T.
Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime. Jeremy M.
I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone. Shannon D.
Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury. David M.