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Chanfrau & Chanfrau

A Car Accident Attorney Can Help Victims Seek Compensation

A car accident, even a minor one, can leave you shaken and wondering what to do next. You may be facing extensive physical injury and property damage, or worse.

The car accident attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfraucan help you handle the aftermath and pursue the compensation you need to recover.

If you were in an accident, you may be wondering if you really need an attorney...

A Car Accident Attorney Can:

Defend against Lowball Settlements

Often, insurance companies will offer settlements that are much lower than you actually deserve. We can review your offer and negotiate on your behalf, ensuring you receive the level of compensation you need.

Provide Aggressive Representation

If you were seriously injured, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the accident. We can deal with all aspects of your case and represent you in court to achieve larger damages.

Ensure You Will Be Treated Fairly

Car accident lawsuits are complex and require an advanced understanding of Florida's laws. By going it alone, you run the risk of receiving a low settlement which does not cover the extent of your suffering. 

Car Accidents Can Have Devastating Consequences

What to Do after a Car Accident

If you have been in a car accident caused by another party's negligence, your immediate actions can have a significant influence on your physical and financial recovery. The attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau have provided instructions so that you will know what to do after a car accident in order to protect your rights and collect the compensation you are owed.

Follow These Simple Steps

Being in a car accident is frightening, and everyone involved will probably feel shaken and anxious. However, it is important to remain calm and carefully follow a few important steps:

  • If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road and shut off the engine. This will help to avoid congestion and being hit by another car, avoiding further injuries. For instances in which moving to the shoulder is not possible, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to the situation. Only exit your vehicle once the safety of the surrounding area has been assessed. 
  • Check for injuries to yourself and your passengers. Take photos of your injuries and make notes of your wounds so you can relay accurate information to a physician or other medical professional.
  • Call for help, which ensures an ambulance and the police arrive on the scene. You will need to obtain an official report of the incident, which can be provided by the officer that arrives to investigate the wreck. An ambulance can transport victims to an emergency care facility if necessary, and paramedics can provide immediate assistance to everyone involved in the accident.
  • Exchange insurance information with other drivers involved. It is critical to ask the other driver the name of their insurance carrier, their agent's name and phone number, and their policy number. You should also get the full name and phone number of the other driver. Take down that same information for all witnesses. The make and model of all cars involved as well as license plate numbers and the location of the accident will come in handy when making a claim, and helps corroborate the information in the police report. It is also a good idea to get the name and badge number of the officer investigating the scene, as the testimony of the officer may be needed for claim purposes.
  • Call an attorney.

If anyone representing the other parties involved in the accident reach out to you, tell them that their inquiries will be handled by your attorney.

Following an accident, do not admit fault, apologize, or say that you are not injured. Many injuries surface in the days after an accident, and stating you have no injuries on the scene may preclude you from seeking compensation for your injuries later. It is better to state that you are unsure if you are hurt and allow a medical professional to make that determination.

The legal team at Chanfrau and Chanfrau will fight for full and fair compensation for your losses, including lost wages, reimbursement for medical expenses, the costs of future health care needs and therapy, and your pain and suffering. We offer a free initial consultation and work with you to develop a strategy that can help you rebuild your life after an accident.

DeLand Car Accidents

As a growing residential area, tourist destination, and college town, DeLand is developing busier streets. In recent years, car accidents have claimed many victims because of distracted, negligent, and drunk driving. If you have been injured in an accident in DeLand, our team can secure reparations.

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Port Orange Car Accidents

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Port Orange, FL, a dedicated car accident attorney can represent you and seek maximum compensation for your losses. We can establish third-party negligence and pursue restitution above and beyond your insurance limit.

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Palm Coast Car Accidents

Although published data shows the frequency of car accidents in the county has dropped in recent years, fatalities continue to rise. If you have been hurt in the Palm Coast area, trust our attorneys to handle your case so that you and your family can focus on healing and recovery.

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Flagler Beach Car Accidents

Dangerous roadways in Flagler Beach and Flagler County include A1A, State Road 100, and U.S. 1. Whether car crashes occur due to simple inattention or more reckless acts, such as drivers abusing alcohol, our attorneys can stand by your side when you need it most. 

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Bunnell Car Accidents

As the county seat, Bunnell sees its fair share of traffic. Catastrophic injuries and even fatalities too often affect residents or drivers simply passing through. Allow our team to take on the legal burden so that you and your family can focus on returning to a sense of normalcy.

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The Most Common Causes of Car Crashes

In cases involving auto accidents, it is important to establish fault by showing that an involved party acted negligently. Fault can usually be determined in accidents involving some common factors:

Speeding

Year after year, speeding continues to be one of the most common causes of car accidents. As speed increases, so do the distances needed to brake effectively. A speeding motorist also has less time to react to an incident in front of him or her. 

Inattentiveness

Operating a motor vehicle is inherently risky. The momentum of a two-ton car traveling at high speeds is tremendous, and can easily cause injury or death when it impacts another vehicle. For this reason, drivers have an obligation to be attentive, alert, and aware at all times.

Auto Accidents Attorney

An auto accidents attorney can help you recover compensation for injuries, lost wages, and medical bills. Our attorneys have been handling these cases for over 20 years and have developed a successful strategy. We love helping clients recover and resume their lives as close to normal as possible.

Use of Controlled Substance

Every day in America, almost 30 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. There are strict laws in place regarding the use of drugs and alcohol while driving because intoxication due to alcohol or drugs can severely impair a person's motor skills and cognitive functions. 

Failure to Yield

All drivers must do everything possible to avoid a crash. Florida law does not specify when a driver has the right-of-way. Instead, the law describes who must yield the right-of-way in various situations. For example, after a complete stop at a stop sign, you must yield the right-of-way to all other traffic and pedestrians.

Failure to Signal

Just as it is important to yield the right of way to fellow motorists, it is also important to alert fellow motorists of your intended actions by using turn signals. Doing so allows other drivers to react in a safe manner.

Texting or Using a Cell Phone

Texting while driving poses a grave risk to other motorists, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, distracted driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,300 deaths could be attributed to distracted driving in 2012 alone. 

A woman using a cellphone while driving a car
Motorists have an obligation to be attentive, alert, and aware at all times.

Road Rage

Road rage refers to aggressive driving behaviors where an angry motorist attempts to intentionally injure another driver because of a traffic dispute. An aggressive driver will often react negatively and use his or her vehicle to retaliate by making sudden, threatening maneuvers. Consequently, road rage can seriously endanger everyone on the road. 

Tailgating

When a driver behind you paces his vehicle too close to yours, they are engaging in the risky behavior known as tailgating. This may be because:

  1. the driver is impatient and wants to go faster
  2. the driver has road rage
  3. the driver overestimates their driving ability
  4. the driver is trying to draft or slipstream behind your car

Regardless of the reason, tailgating is a form of aggressive driving that can cause accidents for which the tailgating driver would be responsible.

Rubbernecking

Rubbernecking is when a driver looks at an accident or another event along the side of the road, or in another lane of traffic. The driver removes their sight from the road in front of them, making rubbernecking a form of distracted driving. Most of us have been in traffic due to rubbernecking as drivers slow down to gaze at a wrecked car or emergency responders on the side of the road. Unfortunately, rubbernecking is more than an annoyance that causes a delay in getting to our destination. Distracted drivers can cause accidents, including rear ending or losing control of a vehicle.

Driver Fatigue

Driving when fatigued or sleepy increases the chances of an auto accident for a few reasons:

  1. It reduces the driver's attention and focus on the road
  2. It reduces the driver's reaction times
  3. It compromises the driver's ability to make good decisions

Any of us can fall victim to drowsy driving if we have had insufficient sleep. That said, commercial truck drivers who must record log hours behind the wheel and shift workers are at higher risk of crashing their cars due to driver fatigue.

Night Driving

Night driving can be hazardous in part because fatigue undermines our ability to focus. Additionally, though, night vision can play a factor, whereby the driver cannot see as well in low-lighting conditions. Drivers should get regular eye exams to detect night vision problems, which typically arise and worsen with age.

Drivers have an obligation to be attentive, alert, and aware at all times.

Teenage Drivers

Vehicular accidents are the number one cause of death among teens nationwide, according to Center of Disease Control statistics. Teens are more likely to speed and not recognize hazards or respond to them properly due to their minimal driving experience. Texting while driving and driving while impaired are also risky behaviors that teens engage in, putting them at greater risk for a car crash.

Poor Car Maintenance

Car owners have a duty to keep their cars in good working condition. When they fail to do so, their vehicle may break down and cause a crash. Vehicles should be inspected regularly, including brake pads and tires. Any repairs you need should also be done by a professional, rather than by an amateur who may not recognize or accurately correct mechanical issues.

Inclement Weather

Wind, rain, snow, and other types of precipitation make for hazardous road conditions. Drivers need to take care to reduce their speed, give themselves plenty of room between cars, drive defensively, and allow extra time to get to their destination in bad weather. Not taking these precautions can mean an accident for which you may be at fault.

Understanding Different Types of Car Accidents

Many people think of car accidents as being largely the same. However, drivers should understand that there are many different types of car accidents. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, we frequently work with auto accident victims to help them understand the unique factors associated with different types of collisions. If you or someone you love has been involved in an auto accident, our lawyers can help you understand how different types of car accidents uniquely impact victims. 

No Two Accidents Are the Same

There are a multitude of conditions that can lead to a car accident. However, for legal purposes, most traffic accidents will be defined under one of three categories: single-vehicle, multiple-vehicle, and collisions involving commercial vehicles.

Single-Vehicle Accidents

In a single-vehicle accident, there is just one party involved (although he or she may have passengers). Examples of single-vehicle accidents include motorists hitting stationary objects (such as light poles) or veering off of the road. Although motorists in such accidents are typically considered at fault, it may be possible to apply partial or complete fault on mechanical failure or municipal negligence (such as inadequate signage or poor road conditions).

Multiple-Vehicle Accidents

As the term implies, multi-vehicle collisions involve two or more motorists. Typically, multi-vehicle accidents consist of two motorists in a head-on, rear-end, or side-impact crash. Common examples include collisions involving illegal left turns, motorists crossing through red lights, and motorists who fail to stop in time. Our primary concern in cases involving multi-vehicle collisions involves assessing liability. By determining fault — which can be quite complicated in these cases — we are able to help ensure motorists are justly compensated for losses.

Commercial Vehicle Collisions

Collisions between cars and commercial trucks can often be devastating, as the weight differential between the two is usually significant. In all cases involving commercial collisions, our team will work to assess whether professional negligence has occurred. If you or someone you love has been involved in a commercial accident, a personal injury attorney from Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help your family recover.

Illustration of two cars involved in an accident
Our primary concern in cases involving multi-vehicle collisions involves assessing liability. 

Other Considerations

In addition to these types of accidents, there are also car accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and even trains. Each type of accident is different, and determining which party is at fault can be incredibly complex. If you are considering pursuing compensation after an auto accident, we encourage you to seek legal counsel as soon as possible from one of our attorneys.

Rear-End Accidents

Rear-end accidents are very common. These accidents take place when one car collides with the rear of the car in front of it. Rear-end accidents often occur at intersections, traffic signals, and other places where traffic is slowed. Common causes of rear-end accidents include:

  • Distracted driving – This includes texting, talking on the phone, and adjusting the radio
  • Tailgating – The act of following a vehicle too closely, which does not allow enough room to stop
  • Excessive speeding
  • Driving while intoxicated

Head-On Accidents

Head-on collisions are very serious and can lead to catastrophic injuries such as loss of limb, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and death. The causes are varied:

  • Distracted Driving – In the age of the smartphone, it is sadly not uncommon for a driver to be texting or using an app while driving. Even dialing a phone number, talking on the phone, programming the GPS, or adjusting the radio can distract a driver enough to lead to a serious head-on collision.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – Although the general public has been made aware of the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol, these accidents happen frequently. Alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to comprehend road situations and slows down his or her reaction time.
  • Poor Road Conditions – Debris, potholes, poor lighting, broken guardrails, faded divider lines, and faulty traffic signals can all lead to head-on collisions.

Side Impact Collisions (T-Bone Accidents)

Also known as “T-Bone Accidents,” side impact collisions are highly dangerous. These accidents often occur when a driver with a green light passes through an intersection and is broadsided in the intersection by another motorist running a red light. Traffic light failures can confuse drivers and lead to these accidents, as well. Generally, liability in these accidents hinges on who had the right of way. No matter the cause, T-bone accidents are extremely dangerous and often lead to catastrophic injury and death. 

Tire Blowout Accidents

Tires can be damaged by road debris, potholes, and tire defects. That said, most blowouts are avoidable with proper precautionary care such as checking for signs of wear and tear, as well as monitoring tire pressure. Common causes of tire blowout accidents include:

  • Underinflated Tires – Underinflated tires can burst or struggle to handle the road properly.
  • Lack of Maintenance – The manufacturer’s mileage recommendations indicate when tires should be replaced. Drivers should make a habit of inspecting their tires for punctures, leaks, and damage.
  • Manufacturing Defects – When tires are designed poorly or manufactured with substandard materials, they could be defective or incapable of handling the road. 
  • Overloading – A car overloaded with cargo or passengers can put too much pressure on the tires.

Rollover Accidents

Typically involving just one vehicle, rollover accidents occur when a car loses control and ends up rolling over. Although these accidents usually involve a single vehicle, fault can depend on the driver’s attentiveness to the conditions of the road, the way the vehicle was manufactured, and other factors. SUVs are most prone to rollover accidents because they have a high center of gravity. 

Helping Victims of DUI Accidents

Accidents involving DUI (driving under the influence) can have a life-changing impact on victims. Our experienced attorneys can establish negligence and secure the full compensation you deserve so you can begin healing. If you or someone you love was involved in a motor vehicle accident as a result of a drunk driver's recklessness, we encourage you to consult with a DUI accident lawyer from our law firm. Our team has a wealth of experience handling these types of cases and can advise you of your rights and recommend a course of action. 

Conducting an Investigation and Establishing Negligence

All motorists have a responsibility towards other drivers on the road. It is important to remember that driving is a privilege, not a right, and there is a strict standard of behavior and duty which motorists are expected to follow. This includes obeying all traffic laws, driving in a generally safe and reasonable manner, driving for the conditions, and driving only when sober and cognizant of one's surroundings. If a motorist drives while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can greatly impair his or her ability to react to external hazards or maintain control over the vehicle. If it can be shown that an accident involved an individual who was driving under the influence, negligence can easily be established.

We pride ourselves on being large enough to serve you professionally, yet small enough to know you personally. We are here to help.

The team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau have extensive experience investigating motor vehicle accidents, and can leverage this experience to establish liability in your case. Working with accident reconstruction experts, forensics experts, local law enforcement officials, and witnesses, our team can accurately reconstruct the accident to determine the cause. If a motorist was driving under the influence of alcohol, then he or she can be held liable for damages. Rest assured, we will work diligently to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that the negligent party is held responsible for their actions.

Centers for Disease Control. "Vital Signs: Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Adults - United States, 2010." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 4, 2011.

Filing a Claim for Damages

Once negligence has been established, our team will work to determine the full extent of your losses. As a victim, you are entitled to damages, which are monies awarded for financial, physical, and mental loss stemming from an accident. Though no two cases are the same, you may be able to recover damages for:

Pain and Suffering

Not all damages are awarded for strictly quantitative losses. If you were severely injured or a loved one suffered a wrongful death as a result of a DUI accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. We will do everything that we can to help you recover for qualitative losses as well as financial loss.

Medical Expenses

Any related medical expenses stemming from your accident should be reimbursed by the defendant or his or her insurance company. This can include previous medical expenses and expenses for future related care.

Rehabilitation

If your injury or your loved one's injury will require extensive and ongoing rehabilitation, then these medical costs should be covered as well. If this describes your situation, you can trust that we will commit ourselves to maximizing your recovery so that you can focus on what's most important – healing.

Time Off of Work

In some cases, your injuries may be so severe that you miss work. Whether you are out for a week, a month, or are permanently unable to work, we will work to recover damages that are sufficient to cover a loss of wages or loss of earning capacity. If you are permanently unable to work, these damages should cover a lifetime of lost wages.

Recover the Compensation You Deserve

Being involved in an auto accident can leave you feeling helpless. Fortunately, our experienced team is here to provide counsel and representation. We have the knowledge, expertise, and experience necessary to help determine fault in your accident and pursue appropriate damages.

Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Left to right: William M. Chanfrau Jr., Kelly Chanfrau, and W.M. Chanfrau, Sr.

Chanfrau & Chanfrau has been serving Floridians in Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas since 1976. With three attorneys and two locations, we can help you after an accident or injury. We are proud of our many achievements, including inclusion in:

  • America's Top 100 Attorneys
  • The National Trial Attorneys' Top 100 List
  • Florida Trend's Florida Legal Elite

For more information about our legal services, contact our firm online or call (386) 258-7313 today.

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Daytona Beach Office

701 N Peninsula Dr
Daytona Beach, FL 32118

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (386) 258-7313

Palm Coast Office

145 Airport Rd
Ste A
Palm Coast, FL 32164

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (386) 439-7760