Fortuna Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer

Fortuna Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer

Fortuna is a charming town located near the coast along Highway 101 as it runs through Humboldt County. Its location creates business opportunities for local residents. Fishing is a popular sport with the town’s nearness to the Eel River with its steelhead, shad and winter salmon. The population of 12,191 makes Fortuna large enough to have all the amenities you could need while being small enough to get to know your neighbors. In this type of rural area, most people don’t think about being injured and facing high medical bills and other expenses. However, accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. As a Fortuna personal injury lawyer, I hope you will keep this in mind if you need advice or legal help.

History of Fortuna

Fortuna was a small unincorporated town originally called Slide and was nicknamed “The Friendly City.” The name was because landslides occurred in the area of the bowling alley. The name was changed about one year later to Springville after the Springville Mill was constructed. Springville was a town that was owned by the mill, and everyone who lived there was employed there. The problem was that California already had a town named Springville.

Request for a Final Name Change

Residents in Springville during 1884 petitioned the state legislature to change the town’s name to Fortuna. The post office and town were officially renamed on July 3, 1888. The name Fortuna was apparently an excellent choice due to the location of the city near the Pacific Ocean, Eel River Valley and towering redwood forests. Agriculture, fish, berries, and fruits were plentiful, but the lumber business gave rise to the growth of Fortuna. Prosperity followed and increased with the railroad depot, which linked the town to Eureka and San Francisco.

Accidents in and Around Fortuna

U.S. Route 101 services Fortuna and provides easy travel to San Francisco, a little over 200 miles away. It is the gateway to the redwood forests. With all the beauty this area offers to visitors and residents alike, accidents still happen. In 2015, the last year for which full data is available, Fortuna had 27 accidents within the city limits. Additional crashes occurred on the nearby highway. Of the 27 accidents:

Most of the accidents happened in the afternoon hours and early evening.

Reasons Accidents Happen in Fortuna

The highest number of accidents (22.2 percent) in Fortuna happened because a driver failed to give another motor vehicle operator the right of way. Speed was a factor in 14.8 percent of crashes. Following too closely, failing to give a pedestrian the right of way and driving on the wrong side of the road occurred 11 percent of the time. Failing to obey traffic signals was responsible for accidents approximately 7 percent of the time. Other reasons for a Fortuna traffic accident are:

  • Distracted driving: Driving distracted where a driver’s focus is not on the road ahead of them has become a significant cause of traffic accidents.
  • Impaired driving: Driving while impaired by alcohol and drugs, both illicit and prescription, are the cause of many deaths each year.
  • Fatigued driving: Drivers who are too tired to drive should not do it. Today’s schedules are demanding, and many people drive when they cannot keep their eyes open. This is true of both car and truck drivers. The latter often have grueling schedules, and keeping up with them means getting inadequate sleep.
  • Aggressive driving: Driving while exhibiting signs of anger can lead to car accidents. Sometimes the anger becomes excessive and is classified as road rage. This is an illegal act.

Watch the video below to learn how to choose a personal injury lawyer:

Personal Injury Cases

A Fortuna personal injury attorney is one who helps clients who have suffered physical, emotional and psychological injuries. These injuries occur due to someone else’s negligence. This includes both accidental and intentional acts. Some areas our firm handles are:

  • Car accidents: This category includes a broad variety of car accidents. By investigating the crash, a Fortuna car accident lawyer can build a strong case to recover damages.
  • Motorcycle accidents: Accidents between a motorcycle and a motor vehicle often result in catastrophic injuries to the biker. Because of the nature of the injuries, a motorcycle accident lawyer can use their skills to obtain the compensation the injured party deserves.
  • Catastrophic injuries: Catastrophic injuries bring serious injury to a person and usually are valued at over $1 million.  
  • Bicycle crashes: Catastrophic injuries are common in bicycle accidents due to the cyclist’s lack of protective barriers.
  • Truck accidents: When a passenger vehicle is in a collision with a big truck, the occupants of the smaller vehicle will experience a significant injury. A truck accident lawyer will be able to obtain compensation for damages. He or she will also help the family by filing a lawsuit against the negligent party.
  • Defective product liability: All types of products from auto parts to furniture have the potential to be faulty. A products liability lawyer can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer to claim damages.
  • Pedestrian accidents: Just as with cyclists, a pedestrian lacks protection. The degree of injury is usually a factor of speed. A pedestrian accident lawyer can help by filing a claim against the other party and bringing the case to civil court.
  • Boating accidents: California has many beautiful waterways and beaches. Unfortunately, boating can be dangerous. It is essential to have the help of a personal injury lawyer when this type of accident happens.
  • Dog bites: California has many instances of dog bites. Since the law clearly allows an injured party to make a case against a negligent owner, many cases go to court. A dog bite lawyer can help recover the cost of injuries attributable to a dog bite.
  • Traumatic brain injury: Brain injuries can have devastating consequences for an injured person. The cost of treatment is high, and the hospital and rehabilitation center stays can be long. A traumatic brain injury lawyer can help.
  • Wrongful death cases: When a negligent party causes the death of a loved one, the family not only grieves but also suffers financial loss. A wrongful death lawyer can help them get back on their feet financially.
  • Defective medical devices: Today, many devices are implanted surgically. Sometimes,  the recipient suffers an injury if the device is defective. Your Fortuna defective medical device lawyer will help the injured party recover the compensation they deserve.
  • Government negligence: The government is responsible for ensuring road safety. If the government entity reneged on their duty, a Fortuna personal injury attorney could take the case to court.
My Story

I was born in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. New Yorkers like to get things done and don’t try to disguise the way they feel. I think this is an admirable trait and one which I apply to my law practice. I believe clients want to know exactly where they stand. I was born into a blue-collar family who worked hard and never had reason to go to a lawyer. I entered the U.S. Airborne service during the Vietnam era. After my time was up, I came back to the states and headed west. I used my G.I. bill to go to college at the University of California at Davis. I graduated with honors and entered McGeorge Law School, graduating in 1982. After this, I decided to turn my attention solely to personal injury law. This gave me time to concentrate on the injuries a client suffers and use my skill to help them recover damages. I’ve become a member of the following groups:

My Personal History

My wife and I were married in 1978. We had a wonderful son, Brant. We now have a grandson, Mason. I have a busy life, but I have not forgotten to enjoy leisure activities such as hiking and snorkeling. Sometimes, I just sit down with a good book, relax and listen to music.

I have the good fortune of having great clients, many of whom have become friends. I like to get to know my clients, and while this is part of my job as I see it, it is also a social activity I enjoy very much. Both my staff and I make every effort to make the process less stressful for clients. This helps by augmenting the healing process. We protect their rights and help bring a sense of justice to the ordeal.

Media and Books

I was on a popular cable show for many years called Ask the Lawyer. This helped residents get answers to some of their questions. For many people, the legal process can be daunting and having some insight into what is going on helps. This was also the reason why I wrote two books that are available on Amazon. You can download them for Kindle for free. The books are:

Determining the Cause of a Motor Vehicle Crash

Most accidents happen because of driver error. However, the law demands that responsibility for an accident be proven. While police reports help determine fault, it is essential for someone injured in a crash to pursue his or her own investigation. On many occasions, injured individuals are struggling to heal, and taking on one more obligation would be too much. That is where an injury lawyer comes in. He or she has experience with all types of accidents and their causes and will apply investigative techniques to determine the cause. Once this is done, the lawyer will build a case against the negligent party. If negotiations fail, the lawyer will file a civil lawsuit against them.

Learn more about our holistic approach to personal injury law in the following video:

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

During my years of practice as a personal injury lawyer, clients often have questions such as:

Q: Who are some recommended mechanics in Fortuna?

A: Some of the highest rated mechanics on Yelp are:

Busted Knuckle Auto Repair

800 S Fortuna Blvd

Fortuna, CA 95540

Phone: (707) 725-8006

Rocha’s Automotive Repair

1550 Alamar Way

Fortuna, CA 95540

Phone: (707) 725-8777

Hummel Tire and Wheel

260 S Fortuna Blvd

Fortuna, CA 95540

Phone: (707) 725-4120

Q. What are some rental car agencies in the area

A. Some of the most highly rated car rental agencies are:

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

110 5th St

Eureka, CA 95501

Phone: (707) 443-3366

Enterprise Rent-a-Car

350 I St

Arcata, CA 95521

Phone: (707) 826-9090

Fortuna Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fortuna personal injury lawyer. When an accident happens, your world can be shattered. Turn to me for free and friendly advice. Call me at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400. You can also reach out to me online by using the contact form on my website

Learn more about my practice on the following pages:

Photo Attribution: StockSnap

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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.