Are you concerned about what will this mean to you and your family.

What’s going to happen if you can’t pay the bills?

If you can’t work, will you lose your job?

If you need answers to these questions, why not pick up the phone and contact me.

My name is Mike Ranzenhofer, and I’m a Buffalo Injury Lawyer. And for more than 22 years, I’ve been assisting the residents of Buffalo and Western, New York after they’ve been seriously injured in an accident.

If you’ve been involved in an accident, and have been injured by the negligence of someone else or even a business, there are two thing you really should do.

One, document exactly what happened.  Note the date and time, the names and addresses of all parties’ involved.

And secondly, as soon as you are able, please contact an Injury Attorney in Buffalo….before the Insurance Company representing the other party begins the process of aggressively defending the individual or business that caused the injury to your or a family member.

If you think about it, it kind of makes sense. If the person or business has professionals representing them (their insurance company)….shouldn’t you?

And when it’s time to contact an attorney, I’d like to be the one you call. Here’s why…..

For years, my sole focus has been helping accident victims secure the maximum benefits they are entitled to in order to protect them, and their families.

And I am very good at what I do.

These are the promises I will make to you:

  • Promptly return calls
  • Communicate in easy to understand language
  • Protect the legal rights of your and your family while accommodating your needs during this stressful time
  • Keep you abreast of the progress I am making on your behalf
  • Provide the personal attention to detail that Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC has been noted for since 1955

While you’re here, why don’t you look over to the right where you’ll see a search box. Go ahead and type in a question you have. I have hundreds of detailed answers on this website and it’s likely I can help you a little right now.

If I don’t have your answer here, or you just want to get answers from an experienced attorney on the phone, please call me at 716-631-9999 or 800-729-4571 for a FREE consultation.

I’ll answer your questions, probably ask you a few as well, and then you’ll have a better idea of what your real options are.

Injury & Accident Areas I Can Help With


Nearly all Buffalo personal injury lawsuits are based upon a claim that someone was “negligent” and, as a result, the person bringing the lawsuit was injured. While most people have an idea of what the term negligence means when applying it to their daily lives, there is a specific meaning that applies in personal injury cases.

In a personal injury case, a person is considered to have been negligent if his or her actions fell below what would be expected of a reasonably prudent person under the same circumstances. The specific negligent act could be anything, with common examples being poor driving or failing to keep a walkway clear of snow and ice.

When attempting to prove legal negligence, however, it is not enough just to prove that the party’s actions fell below those of a reasonably prudent person. It also must be proven that the party being sued had an obligation to act responsibly, did not fulfill that duty and, as a result, an injury occurred.

If the person being sued acted in a negligent manner but his or her negligence was not a cause of the other person’s injury, the injured party is not entitled to compensation from that person. For example, if a person is responsible for cleaning the floor and generally does a poor job, but the injured person slipped on something that had been dropped on the floor only moments before the fall, the person responsible for cleaning the floor may not be responsible for the injury because being more diligent in cleaning the floor would not have prevented the injury.

If you have suffered a personal injury, we can help you. Call us at 716-631-9999.


While an experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer may be able to successfully recover damages when a dog that has never bitten before causes an injury by biting someone, the fact that the dog has not bitten before does make the case more difficult.

This is because for a dog owner in New York State to be held liable for injuries caused by his or her dog, it must be proven that the owner knew, or should have known, that the dog had “vicious propensities.” While it is not necessary that the dog be shown to have previously bitten someone to prove vicious propensities, a history of biting constitutes proof of vicious propensities that is nearly impossible for the owner to refute.

Even if the dog has no known history of biting, there are other actions by a dog that may be indicative of vicious propensities. These include a history of growling, lunging at people, and snapping or baring its teeth. While these or other behaviors may not provide clear-cut proof of vicious propensities, a jury may consider them when determining whether a dog owner should have known that the dog was likely to attack someone.

When considering whether a dog had vicious propensities, however, New York State law makes no distinction among breeds of dogs. So certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls or Doberman Pinschers, may not automatically be considered to have vicious propensities. Instead, the actions of the individual dog must be evaluated.

If you have been bitten by a dog and need legal help, we would be happy to answer your questions. Please feel free to call my office at 716-631-9999.


The length of time a person has to sue following a Buffalo personal injury accident is referred to as the statute of limitations. The length of the statute of limitations varies depending on the manner in which the injury occurred and, in some cases, who caused the injury.

Most personal injury cases involve a claim that the negligence of someone else caused the injury, such as bad driving causing a car accident or failure to remove ice from a sidewalk causing someone to fall. For these type of cases, the statute of limitations is almost always three years in New York State. This is helpful to injured parties because the extent of injury is not always immediately apparent following an accident. It also allows parties time to attempt settling the case without going to court.

Other types of injury cases, however, may have a different statute of limitations. For example, if a person is making a medical malpractice claim, the statute of limitations is two years and six months. The statute of limitations may also be greatly reduced if the party who is accused of causing the injury is the state, a municipality (such as a city or town) or a subdivision thereof.

This generally includes injuries caused by government employees in the course of their duties or by government agencies. Under such circumstances, the statute of limitations for any type of personal injury case is only one year and ninety days.

Following an injury, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can determine the proper statute of limitations for your case. Call us at 716-631-9999.


When someone suffers a personal injury in a Buffalo motor vehicle accident, New York State has special requirements that must be met before that person can sue. One of these requirements is that the person not only have suffered an injury, but that the injury meets the standard to be considered a “serious injury” under New York State law. To be considered a serious injury, the injury must fit into one of the following categories:

  1. death;
  2. dismemberment;
  3. significant disfigurement;
  4. a fracture;
  5. loss of a fetus;
  6. permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system;
  7. permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
  8. significant limitation of use of a body function or system;
  9. a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents an injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute that person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

While some of these categories, such as a fracture or death, are easy to prove when they occur, the categories that use terms such as a “significant limitation” or “permanent consequential limitation” are much more open to interpretation. This is why it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows the law surrounding these definitions when suing your case.

If you have been injured in a car accident, we can help you. Call us at (716) 332-7106.


In most Buffalo car accident lawsuits, the parties have automobile insurance.  This auto insurance usually pays the initial medical expenses and lost wages.  An auto insurance company is also, in most cases, the source of any financial compensation obtained through a personal injury lawsuit.

For those cases where no other auto insurance is available, New York State created the Motor Vehicle Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) in 1958.  The purpose of MVAIC is to provide No Fault (medical expense and lost wage) coverage and bodily injury coverage to New York State residents injured in auto accidents where the parties do not have insurance.

Under this situation, it is possible to make a claim directly to the MVAIC for financial compensation.  There are, however, strict guidelines regarding how such a claim may be made and deadlines within which it must be filed.  A claimant also is required to establish that there is no other auto insurance coverage available.

If you have been injured in a car accident, we can help you.  Call us at 716-542-5444.


Many of the residents of Buffalo can make do just fine with an older car.  After all, if the car is running well, there may be little point in spending the money to replace it.  Unfortunately, a recent study has revealed that driving an older model car actually increases the likelihood of suffering a personal injury in a motor vehicle accident.

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the results of its study regarding whether vehicle safety improvements in newer vehicles have helped prevent personal injury and fatal accidents.  The study, entitled “An Analysis of Recent Improvements to Vehicle Safety,” involved a detailed statistical analysis of motor vehicle accidents to determine the relationship, if any, between safety improvements and the historically low motor vehicle accident injury and fatality rates documented the last few years.

While it is not surprising that new features have made vehicles safer, in some cases the degree of improvement is surprising.  In comparing 2008 and 2000 model year vehicles, the NHTSA found that the likelihood of crashing for every 100,000 miles driven decreased from 30 percent when driving a year 2000 model to 25 percent when driving a 2008 car, and the likelihood of being uninjured when a crash did occur improved from 79 percent to 82 percent.

The study further found that safety improvements made after the year 2000 prevented approximately 700,000 vehicle crashes, and – in 2008 alone – 200,000 additional crashes could have been prevented if the older vehicles involved had possessed newer safety features.  Safety improvements prevented or reduced in severity approximately 1 million injuries, with approximately 2,000 lives being saved in 2008 alone as a direct result of improved safety equipment.

While the goal of improving vehicle safety is worthwhile, many people continue to suffer personal injury as a result of negligent drivers.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please call us at 716-542-5444.  We can answer your questions regarding your legal rights.


Most Buffalo personal injury lawsuits involving motor vehicles arise from car accidents and negligent drivers.  Occasionally, however, a motor vehicle has a design defect that may lead to injury.  When such a defect is apparent, it is best to have it fixed as soon as possible rather than run the risk of personal injury.  That is why Buffalo drivers should be aware that GM and Isuzu have recalled over one-quarter million SUVs that are at risk to catch fire.

The recall involves 2006 and 2007 models of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 97-X SUVs.  It includes vehicles that were sold or registered in New York State and Canada, along with 19 other states and Washington, D.C.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has been investigating the fire issue since February.  There have been 28 reports of fires starting in the driver’s side door.  It has been determined that the fires are caused by fluid containing road-clearing chemicals used in northern states in winter months being able to get inside the driver’s door.  This leads to corrosion of electronic components inside the door and possible short-circuits.  GM has received reports of 28 fires.

To correct this problem, dealers will be replacing the power window switches in these vehicles free of charge.  If you own one of these vehicles, you should contact a dealer to have the problem corrected as soon as possible and avoid the risk of damage to your property or personal injury.


Keeping infants safe from dangerous or defective products is an important issue.  Buffalo residents should be aware that a recall was recently issued for approximately four million baby seats manufactured by Bumbo International of South Africa.  These molded foam floor seats were sold at Babies R Us, Target, Walmart and other retailers throughout the U.S. from August 2003 through August 2012.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, babies can wiggle out of these seats.  An earlier recall in 2007 involved about one million of the seats being recalled for the placement of additional warning labels about setting the seats on elevated surfaces such as tables.  Following the first recall, Bumbo and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have learned of at least fifty incidents involving infants falling from the chairs while on an elevated surface and another thirty-four falls from floor level or an unknown height.

There have been 21 reports of infants suffering skull fractures from the falls.

If you have one of these baby seats, you should stop using it immediately and contact Bumbo.  The company is providing a free repair kit with a restraint belt and additional instructions on safe use of the baby seat. This kit can be ordered at or calling the company at 866-898-4999.

If your child has been injured by a dangerous product, we can help you.  Call us today at 716-542-5444.


As experienced personal injury attorneys practicing in Buffalo, we try to keep up to date on issues related to motor vehicle safety. Collisions involving trucks pose obvious and extreme danger to those in passenger vehicles, and – in our opinion – additional steps should be taken to protect motorists from these very large vehicles. Recently, the federal government confirmed that it has been studying the effectiveness of truck underride guards and is considering new regulations.

Underride guards are the metal bars that can be seen hanging down along the rear of tractor trailers. Their purpose is to stop smaller motor vehicles from sliding underneath the trailer in a collision. Without the guard, the front of many passenger vehicles can slide right under the trailer, causing the brunt of the impact to be taken directly on the windshield and seating area. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study has previously found that underride guards manufactured to U.S. standards could not withstand a 35 mph impact from a midsized sedan.

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a statement indicating that it became aware of an issue with rear corner impact crashes to tractor trailers in 2009, and has since begun a field analysis to determine what changes should be made. The standards for truck underride guards have not changed since the mid-1990s.

While any improvement would be a step in the right direction, it is troubling that the NHTSA only mentions rear corner impact crashes in its statement. In the IIHS study, underride guards manufactured to U.S. standards failed not just in rear corner collisions, but also when the impact was directly to the center of the guard – where it should be the strongest. One of two underride guards manufactured to stricter Canadian standards also failed when struck straight on, not just in the corner. It is clear that improvement needs to be made not just regarding corner collisions, but also in regard to direct impacts.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of an accident with a truck, we can help you. Please call us at 716-542-5444.


The Defendant Admitted She Caused the Accident. Does That End The Lawsuit?

September 7, 2012

An admission of negligence by the defendant in a Buffalo personal injury lawsuit is obviously very helpful to the injured party.  Such admissions often go a long way towards helping to settle a case without having to go to trial.  They do not, however, automatically establish that the defendant was negligent or bring about an […]

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