Novato, California, Motor Vehicle Accident and Personal Injury Attorney

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Hi, I’m Ed Smith, and I’m 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 m.p.h. between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Efforts are under way 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 collision 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:
  1. Accidents related to unsafe speeds happen about 56 percent of the time.
  2. Drivers making an unsafe lane change cause approximately 17 percent of accidents.
  3. Improper turns account for 12 percent of accidents.
  4. 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 doing daylight hours on main roads, including SR 101. A greater number of accidents occur on roadways with street lights than on those without street lights by 19 percent to 17 percent.
Now, a Little More About Me

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.
Ask A Lawyer

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 Personal Injury Lawyer?

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 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 an attorney does not answer the questions, make note of it, and check out another lawyer.

Novato, California, Frequently Asked Questions

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
(415) 892-1501

Steve’s Auto Care
879 Sweetser Ave
Novato, CA 94945
(415) 899-1115

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:

Enterprise Rent-a-Car
7401 Redwood Blvd
Novato, CA 94945
(415) 898-3500

Edward A. Smith
Novato, California, Personal Injury Lawyer

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 legal aspects of your case, 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.

Call me anytime for free, friendly advice. In Novato, call me at (415) 521-2515. Elsewhere, call my toll-free number (800) 404-5400.

You are welcome to look at client reviews on Avvo, Yelp and Google Plus.

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.

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.

Picture attribution:

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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!
    Sincerely, 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. ★★★★★