Chanfrau & Chanfrau

A Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Hold Negligent Property Owners Responsible

Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions. When they fail to do so, serious and sometimes fatal injuries can result.

If you or a family member has been a victim of a property owner's negligence, a slip and fall lawyer from Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help you recover compensation for your injuries.

So what should I do if I have suffered a slip and fall?

Tips for Accident Victims

Seek Medical Attention

The first thing you should do after an accident is get medical care. This step can not only protect your health, but ensure you receive proper compensation.

Notify the Property Owner

As soon as possible, contact the property owner or manager and inform them of your injury. Make sure to keep careful documentation of any communication.

Gather Evidence

If you can, take photos of any obvious hazards that may have caused your accident and get the contact information of any witnesses to your injury.

Contact an Attorney

If you suffered a significant injury, you should discuss it with an attorney before speaking with the insurance representatives or signing any settlements.

Choose the Right Attorney

W.M. Chanfrau, Sr. explains how important it is to retain a lawyer that you trust and feel comfortable with in order to achieve the desired results. He explains that his firm is small enough to get to know clients on a personal level.

Some of the Most Common Causes of Slip and Falls Include:

Surface Conditions

Uneven surfaces, slick floors, loose floorboards, potholes, and other surface condition issues can all make a property hazardous.

Environmental Conditions

Poor lighting, unsecured cords, and debris can also increase the chances of a slip and fall.

Ladders and Stairs

Improper safety features and unsafe use of stairs and ladders can lead to serious falls and injuries.

Why Does It Matter What Caused My Accident?

When a slip or fall causes a serious injury, it is important to investigate the cause of the accident and determine whether negligence was to blame. Our attorneys can assess every aspect of your case to identify the contributing factors and determine the best way to proceed.

There are two main courses of action after a slip and fall accident...

Your Legal Options

Insurance Claim

If you were injured on someone else's property, you have the option to file a claim with their insurance company. However, it is important to carefully consider any settlement offers, as insurance providers rarely have your best interests at heart. Our team can negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you receive a fair amount of compensation.

Filing a Lawsuit

If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, a lawsuit can help you receive the level of compensation you deserve. Our slip and fall attorneys can fully investigate your case and present a strong argument in court that demonstrates the true extent of your losses.

The Importance of Hiring an Attorney

Liability Law Is Complex

With a simple car accident or other minor accident, it is often relatively clear who is at fault. With premises liability, it is often more complex and it can be extremely difficult to prove liability, making an attorney's help essential.

Proving Losses Is Difficult

Once you demonstrate who is at fault for your injuries, you also have to prove you truly suffered losses. Our team can obtain and organize all the documentation showing the extent of your losses, both tangible and nontangible, and then tie them to your accident.

You Need to Focus on Recovery

After a severe injury, your focus should be on recovering and rebuilding. Our team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can handle all aspects of your case to relieve you of the burden of pursuing a claim against the responsible parties.

About Premises Liability

According to the law, property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe for all visitors, employees, and customers. If someone suffers an injury on property that has not been properly maintained, a premises liability claim against the owner or occupant can be filed. Our premises liability attorneys have handled a number of these types of personal injury cases, resulting from a variety of causes.

Scene of a slip and fall accident
Unsafe property conditions can cause life-long injury and even death. 

Proving Negligence

When establishing fault in trip and fall cases, the term "reasonable" plays an important role. A property owner or their agent should respond to potential dangers in a reasonably prudent manner to maintain a safe environment on their property. If they fail to do so, they can be found negligent and therefore are liable for injuries and damages connected to their negligence.
 

When determining whether a property owner responded reasonably to an existing hazard, consider:

  1. Was the danger, like a wet floor or broken step, on the property long enough that the owner or their agent could have cleaned up, removed, or eliminated it?
  2. Could the danger have been reduced through reasonable preventative measures, such as placing signage near the hazard or restricting access to the area?
  3. Is there a safety check policy at the property, and if so, what was the log or record before the accident?
  4. Did poor lighting factor into the trip and fall?
  5. Is it reasonable that the hazard existed at all, such as a slippery uncovered walkway following precipitation? Was the existence of the hazard at the time of the accident still justified? In other words, the creation of the hazard might be justified, but not its existence some time later.

Our lawyers will work with you to determine whether any of these factors played into the accident. 

Proving You Didn't Contribute to the Accident

To avoid paying out claims, property owners and their insurance agents will often argue that the victims are partially or entirely to blame for their fall. If you are deemed entirely responsible, you will receive no compensation for your injuries. If you are found partially responsible, this is called comparative negligence. The percentage of your claim will then be reduced by the percentage you were found to be at-fault.

When determining whether a slip and fall victim might bear some or all the responsibility for their injuries, the courts will consider:

  1. Was the victim texting, talking, or engaged in another activity that took their attention away from the hazard? If so, when would a person reasonably have noticed the hazard?
  2. Did the victim ignore signs or other safety measures around the hazard?
  3. Was the victim allowed by law, or have a legitimate reason, to be in the location where the accident happened?

If your answer to any of these questions is "yes," the court may have grounds to assign at least some of the blame to you. 

Tougher restrictions apply to any trip and fall accidents on government property

The Importance of Location

Where a slip and fall accident occurs also contributes significantly to the final decision on a lawsuit. Some of the most common sites of accidents include: 

At a Place of Business

Trip and falls at places of business are among the most common claims, especially at highly-trafficked areas like restaurants and malls. A key concern is whether the claim should be filed against the property owner or the business owner. If these two parties are one and the same, the question is moot, but more often than not business owners rent their space from another party. If your fall was due to a structural issue with the building, such as a water pipe leak, then likely your claim will be against the property owner. If you slipped due to a negligent action on the part of the store owner and their employees, such as not cleaning up a spill, then your claim will likely be directed at the store owner.

On Private Property

Slip and fall accidents at a home or other residential real estate often involve tripping on rugs, which may be due to improper grip on the bottom of the material, or on carpets that are frayed or have holes. Another common place for a spill are the stairs, often due to uneven stairs, inadequate handrails, or an object on the stairs. Homeowners also have a duty to keep walkways clear following snow or ice and may be liable for related accidents.

On Government Property

Common slip and fall cases on government property include falls:

  • On public right-of-ways, like the sidewalk
  • At government buildings like the DMV 
  • On subways, public buses, and other mass transit systems

However, it is important to keep in mind that tougher restrictions apply to any trip and fall accidents on government property. For example, you can only file after notifying the responsible government agency in writing of your injuries. The statue of limitations is usually shorter compared to private claims, with some time limits as short as 30 days following the accident. The federal government also places a cap on damages.

The Importance of an Experienced Attorney

To ensure you secure the maximum damages you are owed, it is advised to work with an experienced slip and fall attorney. Insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of victims deserving of compensation. They have a host of tactics to delay pay-outs, reduce the amount owed, or try and avoid paying a claim altogether.

An experienced attorney can go after insurance companies and beat them at their own game. Additionally, a slip and fall attorney will collect evidence to make the strongest case possible, including medical records and property records. With an experienced attorney at your side, you can receive maximum damages for past, current, and future suffering relating to:

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost wages from time off work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship

Our slip and fall attorneys are strong advocates for all of our clients. We work diligently to ensure that victims of negligent property owners or occupants receive reasonable and fair compensation for their losses. Damages may include current and future medical bills and lost wages. Other compensation can be awarded for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and overall diminished quality of life.

Contact Our Attorneys

Unsafe property conditions can cause lifelong injury and even death. If you or a loved one have been a victim of negligence by a property owner or occupant, call our Daytona Beach office at (866) 610-0653, our Palm Coast office at (386) 439-7760, or reach out online today to schedule a free consultation. 

Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Our attorneys

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

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Palm Coast Office

145 Airport Rd
Ste A
Palm Coast, FL 32164

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