Novato Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
Hi, I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer serving Novato, California, and surrounding areas and I am happy you decided to visit my Novato page.Novato: A City of Neighbors
Novato is a mid-sized city of roughly 54,194 people as of 2013, an increase of 2,294 since 2010. A comfortable distance of 30 miles to San Francisco and a moderate climate have drawn many people to the region. With population increases, the highways become more congested, particularly close to main interstates. This leads to more accidents.Major Roadways Near Novato
After leaving Sausalito, US Route 101 passes through Novato and continues on to Petaluma. This 9-mile stretch of 101 goes from eight lanes to four and is called the Novato Narrows by area residents. It continues to make the list of one of the area’s most congested roadways. One study found that riders spent an average of more than 800 hours a year traveling at speeds of approximately 35 mph between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Efforts are underway to increase the number of lanes since congested roadways lead to increased accidents.Types of Accidents
Let’s look at the types of accidents and violations associated with them in Novato:
- Rear-end collisions: This type of crash occurs most frequently in Novato, happening approximately 56 percent of the time.
- Side-swipe collisions: This type happens less frequently at a density of about 9 percent.
- While 2 percent of accidents are associated with fatalities, an equal number result in severe injuries.
- Visible injuries are found in 22 percent of accidents.
- Approximately 73 percent result in complaints of painful non-visible injury.
- Violations associated with all accidents can be broken down into:
- Accidents related to unsafe speeds happen about 56 percent of the time.
- Drivers making an unsafe lane change cause approximately 17 percent of accidents.
- Improper turns account for 12 percent of accidents.
- Using a bicycle or motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is involved in about 7 percent of accidents in Novato.
- The majority of accidents occur during daylight hours on main roads, including SR 101. A greater number of accidents happen on roadways with street lights than on those without street lights by 19 percent to 17 percent.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, one of the five boroughs in NYC. In Brooklyn, people tell you what they think, and I continue to talk to clients plainly and honestly.
I served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, and when I returned to the states, I used the G.I. Bill to attend college at UC Davis in California, where I graduated summa cum laude. I got married in 1978 and had a wonderful son, and I am now a grandfather.
After I graduated from college, I decided I wanted to become a lawyer and entered the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. I graduated in 1982, passed the bar and opened my own practice. Besides belonging to the state bar in California, I also belong to the:
- Consumer Attorneys of California
- Sacramento County Bar Association
- American Trial Lawyers Association
- Capital City Trial Lawyers Association
Over the years, I built a practice that concentrates on wrongful death and personal injury cases. Such cases include car accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall, motorcycle accidents as well as dog bites and collisions with livestock. I also handle cases involving watercraft.
Defective devices are a critical issue today, ranging from defective auto parts to medical implants. Hip implants and metal-on-metal implants, in particular, cause significant pain and might require surgical intervention. Companies have an obligation to customers to make sure products are made without design flaws or manufacturing errors. When that happens, despite careful planning, the companies are expected to tell consumers quickly and offer to compensate them.Author of Two Books
I’ve written two books that answer questions Novato residents might have.
- The Ultimate Auto Accident Handbook: Personal Injury Attorney’s Guide to Obtaining a Fair Recovery, found on Amazon, will help you understand the way accident cases are handled. It answers questions that are common such as how do you select a personal injury attorney, how do you recover lost wages after the accident and in the future and what sort of mistakes a lawyer can make when he or she is evaluating your case.
- The California Motorcycle Accident Handbook. It is also available on Amazon. Like the previous book, it answers many of the questions that my clients have asked over the years. Besides specific answers to common questions, I tell readers what it is that a personal injury attorney should do such as getting to know your client. A lawyer needs to know the sort of work a client does, how they do it and the physical effort the work entails. Having answers to these questions lets the attorney tell a judge or jury why the accident prevents the client from working.
A highly rated cable television show hosted by Joanne Engle ran for many years, and I was frequently on the show. Ask a Lawyer helped educate the public on the law, specifically in personal injury cases.How Do You Choose a Novato Personal Injury Attorney?
One of the most frequent questions I hear from clients is how to choose the right personal injury attorney. That is not difficult if you follow a few quick steps:
Step 1: Make sure the attorney you are thinking of retaining does only personal injury. This is important since many cases can be complex. In addition, specialization ensures that your lawyer will know how to maximize your compensation.
Step 2: Ask how many cases the Novato auto accident attorney you are considering has taken to trial. There is a vast difference between those lawyers who limit what they do for a client, such as settling the case and those who are willing to argue the merits of the case in front of a judge and jury. Sometimes, insurers offer settlements that are embarrassingly low. Accepting what is offered can mean the client will not be able to pay for medical treatment or overcome the hardship of lost wages.
Step 3: Since personal injury cases are taken on contingency, make sure the lawyer you are thinking of hiring has a war chest big enough to pay for experts and other expenses until you win. Not being able to afford case expenses could result in ineffective representation.
Step 5: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If a Novata car accident lawyer does not answer the questions, make note of it, and check out another lawyer.
The video below provides more information on how to really choose the right personal injury lawyer.Novato FAQs:
Over the years, some questions stand out as those most clients ask. Let me answer a few often asked in Novato:
Q: I need a good auto repair shop. Could you recommend one?
A: Yes. According to Yelp, two auto repair shops have 5-star ratings:
Novato Auto Service
7000 Redwood Blvd
Novato, CA 94945
Steve’s Auto Care
879 Sweetser Ave
Novato, CA 94945
Q: Where can I find a good rental car agency in Novato?
A: Favorable reviews were found on Yelp for the following rental car company in Novato:
7401 Redwood Blvd
Novato, CA 94945
I’m Ed Smith, a Novato personal injury lawyer. Accidents happen in the blink of the eye. Suddenly mired in a web of doctor visits, stays in the hospital and forced to stay home from work, you carry a burden no one should face alone. That is where I come in. Not only will I deal with the legal aspects of your case, but I will also speak to the insurance company on your behalf, answering the many questions insurance adjusters pose to clients.
I will work to demand a just settlement, and if that is not forthcoming, we will take the case to court. You have the right to be compensated for your medical bills and lost wages, both now and in the future. You may be facing considerable pain, and that should also be compensated. If you can no longer work at your chosen career, vocational help can steer you in a new direction, the cost of which should be borne by the negligent party in your case. In addition, if you cannot work at all, we will fight to make sure you will have the financial compensation you need to move forward in your life.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum in California. This membership is reserved for those attorneys who have case settlements or verdicts of more than $1 million.
I'm also a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
If you like, take a look at my case Verdicts and Settlements page. Here you’ll find information about previous cases I have resolved.
Please continue to explore my website, www.autoaccidents.com to learn more about my practice and additional legal issues.
Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [cha 3.29.19]