Fort Bragg Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer (707) 564-1900

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Fort Bragg. I want to thank you for visiting my Fort Bragg page and my website. I appreciate having the opportunity to tell you about myself and personal injury law. Many of us think that accidents only happen to the other guy, and it comes as a shock when it happens to you or a loved one. Choosing the right attorney is vitally important. It can mean that you will be properly compensated and not have to face those expenses alone.

Glass Beach
Glass Beach photo courtesy of Gustavo Gerdel.
Fort Bragg, California

Fort Bragg lies along the California coast, north of Mendocino, with spectacular views of the Pacific. Its long history and local attractions such as Glass Beach and MacKerricher State Park with its boardwalk and tidal pools makes Fort Bragg an idyllic place to vacation or live.

Local residents know that Route 1, Highway 121 and Highway 20, used to get to Route 101, are all dangerous roads. Between the twisting and turning roads, narrow or negligible shoulders and larger vehicles that frequently cross the centerline while navigating around curves, accidents are common.

My Background

I was originally from Brooklyn, New York, and moved to California after I finished my U.S. Air Force tour in Vietnam. Following my college days at UC Davis, where I graduated summa cum laude, I went to McGeorge School of Law, where I obtained my law degree. In 1982, I started my practice as a California trial attorney. You may have seen me as a participant on the cable TV show, “Ask a Lawyer,” where I appeared over a 10-year period. I’ve also authored several books to help people understand personal injury and personal injury law. You can read The Ultimate California Auto Accident Handbook and California Motorcycle Accident Handbook online free at Amazon, or download them inexpensively if you prefer.

What Constitutes a Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury law covers a wide range of accident injuries. The common element necessary for a personal injury case to proceed are that an individual or another entity was negligent. This means a duty was owed to the victim such as driving safely and the duty was breeched, resulting in injury, and this had financial consequences for the victim.

Negligence can extend beyond individuals to city, county, state or federal governments, companies, employers of the negligent person in some cases and homeowners. For a complete list, check out my practice areas page. Some of the areas of personal injury are listed below.

What Do I Look for in a Personal Injury Attorney?

Receiving compensation for an accident injury is important, since an injured person should not bear the brunt of the financial damages alone. However, there are ways you can check to see if a personal injury attorney is right for you.

First of all, experience and success count. Good financial resources and a high number of positive verdicts and settlements means an attorney will be able to see a contingency case through. Because smaller firms might not have the financial resources to conduct investigations needed to mount a good defense, such as performing an accident reconstruction of the incident or hiring experts, this could adversely impact whether an injured person wins or not.

Second, lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases are professionals who keep up with changes in the law and are experienced in dealing with insurance companies. In addition, a prospective client should check that the lawyer has extensive trial experience. Not all personal injury lawyers do. In the event your case has to go to trial, you want someone who will do that rather than advising you to accept an inadequate settlement.

Check a lawyers’ association with other attorneys, awards and honors. This will demonstrate that the lawyer is respected among his or her peers and considered highly rated. As someone who has practiced since 1982 in the field of personal injury law, I hope these suggestions help you make a good decision to get the damages you need and deserve.

Historical marker in Fort Bragg
Historical marker in Fort Bragg.
Frequently Asked Questions

Can you recommend an auto repair shop in Fort Bragg?

Yelp shows high ratings for the following auto repair shops:

The Shop
105 N. Main St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Phone: (707) 964-0770

Gordon’s Auto Service, Inc.
524 N. Main St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Phone: (707) 964-7095

I need a rental car. Can you recommend a rental agency in Fort Bragg?

Yelp shows the following vehicle rental agency in the Fort Bragg area:

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
200 E. Chestnut St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Phone: (707) 964-4300

Picture of Edward A. Smith
Fort Bragg Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fort Bragg personal injury lawyer. No one wants to become the victim of an accident, especially when it is caused by another’s negligence. Accidents can change lives and cause great emotional and physical damage. Feel free to phone us at (707) 564-1900. I offer friendly advice and can answer your questions. I work hard for my clients so that they can receive the maximum compensation for their accident injuries. I promise to do the same for you. Although I generally take on larger cases, if I believe your case has merit, I will be happy to recommend a local attorney who I believe will do a great job for you.

If you wish, you can take a look at my reviews on Yelp, Avvo and Google.

The Million Dollar Advocates Forum allows membership for the top 1 percent of lawyers nationwide who have won settlements and verdicts of $1 million or more. I am honored to be a member of this group representing California. Further information can be found on my Verdicts and Settlements page.

Come see my website at to find out more. Some of the more commonly asked questions with my answers can be found on my link to Resources.

Photos:,_California)#/media/File:Glass_Beach_Fort_Bragg.jpg Photo courtesy of Gustavo Gerdel (Public Domain)

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.