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


Many Buffalo car accidents involve defendants who were ticketed for moving infractions such as Following Too Closely or Passing a Stop Sign. While the defendant receiving a traffic ticket may be helpful in any lawsuit you file, its value as evidence that the defendant drove in a negligent manner largely depends on how the ticket was handled in court.

In cases where a defendant has pleaded guilty to a traffic infraction related to the auto accident, that plea is admissible as evidence against that defendant in the personal injury case. It is treated as an admission to having committed that offense. In many cases, this admission alone may be enough to establish the defendant’s negligence in causing the motor vehicle accident.

When a defendant does not plead guilty to a traffic infraction but instead is convicted of one after a trial, the conviction is not considered an admission and usually is not admissible in the personal injury case. The reason a conviction for a traffic infraction after trial is not admissible as evidence in a civil case is that because a traffic ticket is a relatively minor matter, the defendant may not have contested it as strongly as he or she would have contested a more serious charge.

If the defendant is acquitted of any traffic infraction after trial, the acquittal also is not admissible as evidence in the personal injury case, and the defendant cannot use it as evidence that he or she did not drive in the manner set forth on the traffic ticket.
If you have been injured in a car accident where another driver was negligent, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999 for legal help.


When someone suffers a personal injury in Buffalo due to another person’s negligence, the fact that his or her medical expenses may be paid by some form of health insurance is not usually a bar to pursuing a personal injury claim against the negligent party. It is important, however, to let your personal injury lawyer know about your insurance coverage, as certain types of coverage may have an impact on your case.

This is most likely to happen in cases where Medicare has been involved in payment of medical expenses. In New York State, health insurers generally may not seek to be reimbursed for medical expenses out of an injured party’s personal injury settlement. Medicare, however, is an exception to this general rule.

When Medicare has paid for medical treatment related to a personal injury accident and the injured person recovers damages from the negligent party, Medicare is entitled to reimbursement for those medical expenses. It is very important that you let your personal injury attorney know if you are receiving Medicare, because there can be very serious penalties if you make a personal injury claim and fail to inform Medicare of any damages you recover.

Aside from Medicare, there are also certain health insurance plans administered under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) where the health insurer is able to recover expenses in a similar fashion. While this does not mean you cannot pursue a personal injury claim, it is important for your personal injury lawyer to know about this insurance so that any potential reimbursement can be considered when pursuing damages.

If you need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands how insurance can impact your case, we can be reached at 716-631-9999.


In most Buffalo personal injury lawsuits where injury was caused by a dangerous condition on someone’s property – such as an icy sidewalk or broken stairs – the defendant’s knowledge of the dangerous condition prior to injury is an important element of the case.

While it is not always necessary to prove the defendant was actually aware of the dangerous condition, proof that the defendant was previously aware of the condition but did not correct it is always helpful when pursuing a personal injury claim.

For most cases involving injury on property, the injured party must establish that the defendant either knew about the dangerous condition or would have known about it if he or she had exercised reasonable diligence.

Where there is no absolute proof that the defendant actually knew about the condition, proof that the defendant should have known about it may include evidence regarding how long the problem had been present, whether the problem was a recurring one (pooling of water at a location every time it rains, for example), and whether the area was inspected with any regularity.

The major exception to the requirement that the injured party establish that a defendant knew or should have known of a dangerous condition on his or her property occurs in cases where the defendant actually created the dangerous condition.

This may happen, for example, where a defendant plows snow onto a sidewalk creating a hazard. Where the dangerous condition was directly created by the defendant, it is not necessary to prove knowledge of it.

If you have been injured on someone’s property and need legal help, we would be happy to assist you. Please call us at 716-631-9999.


Following most Buffalo motor vehicle accidents where an injury occurs, a personal injury lawyer initially deals with the defendant’s auto insurance company when pursuing the case.

Defendants who have no insurance pose a problem in personal injury cases because they usually have little else in the way of personal assets, and in the absence of insurance, there is no way the injured person can obtain fair compensation for his or her injuries.

Because of this situation, New York State requires auto insurance company’s to provide a minimum of $25,000 in uninsured motor vehicle coverage. This coverage applies when the insured vehicle is struck by an uninsured vehicle and someone in the insured vehicle suffers a personal injury.

In addition to this minimum uninsured coverage, auto insurers are required to offer drivers the option of purchasing Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (SUM) insurance. SUM insurance provides additional coverage above and beyond the $25,000 minimum and may apply not only to uninsured vehicles, but also when a personal injury is caused by a driver who carries less bodily injury insurance coverage than the amount of SUM coverage.

For example, if a defendant has $25,000 in bodily injury coverage and an injured person carries $100,000 in SUM coverage, the injured person may be able to collect not only the $25,000 from the defendant’s insurance, but also all or part of the difference between the bodily injury and the SUM coverage (an additional $75,000).

It is a good idea to purchase additional SUM coverage with your auto insurance. It provides you with additional protection from drivers who choose to carry little or no insurance.

Understanding how insurance works is an important part of almost any personal injury case. If you have suffered a personal injury, we can help you at 716-631-9999.


There are several things that a Buffalo personal injury lawyer must prove to successfully represent an injured client. “Proximate cause” is one of the issues that must be proven in every personal injury case.

An event or action is considered a “proximate cause” in a personal injury case if it was a substantial factor in bringing about the injury. To successfully pursue a claim for damages, a personal injury lawyer must be able to prove that a negligent or reckless act of the defendant was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

When deciding whether the actions of a defendant were a proximate cause of an injury, the standard usually used by the judge or jury is whether a “reasonable person” would consider the act a cause of the injury. If the judge or jury believes a reasonable person would reach this conclusion, then they must find that the act was a proximate cause and, therefore, the defendant is responsible for the injury.

It is possible for someone to be negligent – or even deliberately reckless – and still not be responsible for an accident. This can occur when the judge or jury decides that although a defendant did not act properly, the incident that led to the injury would have happened anyway.

Just because an act is found to be a proximate cause of an injury, it does not have to be the only cause. When the acts of more than one person combine to create a dangerous situation, each of these acts may be found to have been a proximate cause. In this situation, more than one person could be legally responsible for an injury.

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


Payment of damages following a successful Buffalo personal injury lawsuit is controlled by New York State law. While an injured person who wins a case at trial will receive at least a portion of his or her damages shortly after the verdict, when there is a large verdict part of the payments may be split up over time.

An injured person who wins at trial is entitled to payment of all past damages, attorney’s fees, and other expenses associated with the case in a single payment. This payment will usually be received shortly after the completion of the trial. In cases where the jury has awarded future damages but they total less than $250,000, future damages also are included in this lump sum payment.

When future damages exceed $250,000, however, the injured person only receives the first $250,000 as part of the initial payment. The remainder is paid off over time. The jury will set the number of years of future damages being awarded, and all damages must be paid off during that time period. In determining the exact amount of periodic payments, there is a formula applied that attempts to account for inflation and the fact that the injured person could have invested the remaining money if it had been received in one lump sum.

If a case is settled by the personal injury lawyer without going to trial, whether the payments will be made all at once or over time may be part of negotiation of the settlement. In all but cases involving very high damages, it usually is possible to negotiate a settlement where all damages are paid in one payment.

If you have suffered a personal injury and need an experienced lawyer, we can help you. Call us at 716-631-9999.


Many Buffalo residents are already struggling to support themselves under tough economic conditions. When a serious injury after an accident renders someone unable to work, that person’s ability to provide for themselves and their family may be severely impacted. In most cases, someone who is injured as a result of another person’s negligence can pursue lost wages as part of his or her personal injury claim. There are, however, some specific rules regarding when lost wages can be recovered.

The most common limitation on recovery of lost wages occurs when a person is injured in a motor vehicle accident. Under New York’s No Fault law, most injured motorists who cannot work receive compensation for at least part of their lost wages through their own automobile insurance. Because these lost wages have already been paid, the injured person is not allowed to “double dip” and receive damages from the defendant for the same lost wages.

For car accident cases, lost wages cannot actually be recovered from the defendant unless the combined lost wages and medical bills paid by the injured person’s own insurance exceeds $50,000.

If a person suffers injuries that result in long term inability to work, he or she may sue not only for past lost wages, but also for future lost wages based on what his or her earnings would have been. Successfully doing so, however, often requires the injured person to hire an expert who can look at variables such as the person’s work history and age, the likely rate of inflation and likely pay increases to arrive at a number for future losses that is not mere speculation.

If you have suffered a personal injury and need legal help, we can answer your questions at 716-631-9999.


As experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyers, we have seen many cases where a drunk driver causes devastating personal injuries in a car accident. Unfortunately, the drunk driver in these cases rarely has sufficient insurance or other assets to fully reimburse the injured person for his or her damages.

While the person who provided the driver with alcohol may bear some of the responsibility for the driver’s condition, the law limits the circumstances under which an alcohol provider may be sued when a drunk driver causes personal injury.

Private individuals who provide alcohol usually may not be sued if the intoxicated person then drives and causes an accident. As a result, when a drunk driver was served at, for example, a private get together at someone’s residence, the provider can rarely be sued.

There is an exception to this general rule when the drunk driver was a minor and a private individual provided or made available alcohol to that minor. Under such circumstances, the provider may be sued even if he or she is a private individual.

When alcohol was provided by a commercial business such as a bar or restaurant, New York law does allow an injured person to recover damages from that business. To do so, however, the injured person must be able to prove that the business continued serving alcohol to the drunk driver even though the drunk driver was visibly intoxicated. As a result, it may be necessary to speak with eyewitnesses who observed the condition of the drunk driver before leaving the business where he or she was served.

If you have been injured in a car accident, we will explore all possible sources of compensation for your injuries. Call us at 716-631-9999 for legal help.


In many Buffalo personal injury cases, it is not always clear cut who was at fault for the accident. For example, while the defendant may have created the dangerous condition that led to a personal injury, the injured person still may have been able to avoid being injured if he or she had been more careful. Where more than one party, including the injured person, contributed to the happening of an accident, the amount of compensation for any damages is determined under New York’s comparative negligence rules.

Under comparative negligence, it is still possible to recover some damages even when the injured person’s negligence contributed to his or her own injury. In this situation, New York State law provides that the amount of damages recoverable shall be reduced by a percentage equal to the percentage that the conduct of the injured person bears to the overall conduct which caused the damages.

In other words, when compensation is being determined, a “percentage of blame” will be assigned to each of the parties involved, and the damages will be reduced based on this percentage. For example, if an injured person is found to be 25 percent at fault for having caused the accident and the defendant 75 percent at fault, the injured person may recover 75 percent of the total damages awarded.

If you have suffered a personal injury and have questions, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999. We would be happy to discuss your case.


In Buffalo, How Do You Know How Much A Personal Injury Lawsuit Is Worth?

August 26, 2014

Determining the proper value of an injury requires the help of an experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer. In many cases, it can be difficult to place a value on a personal injury because no amount of money can truly compensate the injured person for the harm they have suffered. Nonetheless, the law does provide some […]

Read the full article →