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


When a Buffalo resident is injured by a poorly made or badly designed product, it may be possible to pursue a personal injury lawsuit and recover damages for that injury.

The phrase “product liability” is a general term that can refer to a wide variety of different products.

Product liability personal injury cases can involve anything from cars with dangerous defects to poorly manufactured children’s toys to pharmaceuticals that have life-threatening side effects.

While this variety makes each product liability case unique, there are some general rules that apply in all product liability personal injury cases.

Most product liability cases will require the injured party to establish that the product he is she is claiming is defective was designed or manufactured with a flaw that makes it inherently dangerous.

An example of this type of claim is when a burn victim sues an automobile manufacturer after being injured in a car fire that occurred because the design of the vehicle failed to properly protect the gas tank from impact.

It is also possible to seek damages when the design of the product is not inherently dangerous but the maker of the product knew, or had reason to know, that the item was defective.

This type of personal injury case usually involves proving that the maker was aware of shoddy workmanship in the product that led to someone being injured, but did nothing about it.

In product liability cases, it is necessary to prove that it was the defect in the product that caused the injury and that the injured person was using the product as directed – or at least in a manner that could be reasonably anticipated.

When a large number of people are injured by the same defective product, product liability cases may be brought as class action lawsuits seeking damages for everyone who was injured.

If you have been injured as a result of another’s negligence, we can help you. Call us at 716-631-9999.


Over the past several years, the Buffalo area has seen rapid expansion of the number of bicycle paths and lanes in the area.

While having specific areas designated for bicyclists helps to protect them from collisions with motor vehicles, many bicyclists still suffer personal injury as a result of bicycle-motor vehicle collisions.

When evaluating who was at fault when a bicycle and motor vehicle collide, it helps to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the specific laws surrounding use of a bicycle.

A bicyclist who is riding on a roadway generally is required to follow the same rules – and has the same rights – as someone driving a car.

At locations where there is a lane specifically marked for bicycle use only, bicyclists are required to use it.

Where there is no such lane, the law requires bicyclists to travel on the right hand curb or shoulder to the extent it can be safely done.

It is against the law for bicyclists to ride more than two abreast on the road, and they must travel in single file when being overtaken by a vehicle.

If a bicyclist violates these rules, he or she is likely to be found at least partially responsible for any collision with a motor vehicle.

In most situations, motor vehicles are required to treat a bicyclist the same as they would a car.

This includes yielding to them when the car is exiting a driveway or at a stop sign, not encroaching on the lane being used by the bicyclist, and not blocking a bicyclist’s path when he or she has the right of way.

If a motor vehicle does any of these things and causes a personal injury accident, the driver of the motor vehicle may be held liable for damages.

If you have been involved in a personal injury accident and need legal help, we are experienced personal injury lawyers. Call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.


Buffalo personal injury lawsuits involving an injury to a child under the age of eighteen are not uncommon.

In fact, some types of personal injury cases, such as dog bite cases, are more likely to involve injury to a minor than to an adult.

A person under the age of eighteen, however, cannot legally pursue a personal injury claim on his or her own behalf.

Because an individual under the age of eighteen may not pursue a lawsuit on his or her own behalf, any claim for personal injury must be brought by a parent or legal guardian acting on behalf of the child.

In such cases, the parent or legal guardian will technically be the plaintiff in any lawsuit.

If the plaintiff is awarded monetary damages on behalf of the child or receives damages as a result of a settlement, a court typically will review the amount of the award and the manner in which it is paid to the plaintiff.

This is done to ensure that the child is being treated fairly and is the ultimate beneficiary of the monetary award.

If the parents or guardians choose not to pursue damages in behalf of a child, the child may not pursue a personal injury claim while still a minor.

Fortunately for injured children whose parents choose not to pursue a claim, however, the statute of limitations within which to file a personal injury lawsuit is tolled during the period of the injured party’s infancy.

This means that the statute of limitations – which is usually three years in personal injury cases – does not actually begin to run until the injured person turns eighteen years old.

As a result, an injured infant whose parents refuse to file a personal injury lawsuit may file such a lawsuit within three years of turning eighteen.

If your child has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, we can help you. Call us at 716-631-9999.


All property owners in the Buffalo area are required to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition.

If they fail to do so, they usually may be held liable if someone suffers a personal injury on their property.

However, if the injured person was using another person’s property for an outdoor recreational activity such as hiking, hunting, boating, bike riding or skiing, there are exceptions to this general rule.

While property owners are required to keep their property safe, New York State law provides an exception to this requirement when the injured person was involved in an outdoor recreational activity.

The list of activities that fall under this exception is very extensive.

It includes most common outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, sledding, horseback riding, skiing, bike riding, boating and riding a snowmobile.

Because a property owner is not required to keep his or her property safe for these activities, there may be no basis for a personal injury lawsuit against the landowner when someone performing one of these activities is injured.

If you are injured while doing an outdoor recreational activity, however, it may still be helpful to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.

This is because there are certain situations where a person injured during a recreational activity can still sue the property owner.

If the injured person was paying the property owner to use the property or the property owner was aware of a specific hazard but did not provide any warning about it, for example, it may still be possible to pursue damages in a personal injury case.

If you were injured on someone else’s property, it is important to speak with someone who understands your legal rights.

Call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.


Many people in the Buffalo area have jobs that require them to drive.

When a worker is injured in a car accident caused by another driver, the interaction of New York’s laws governing Worker’s Compensation, No Fault Insurance, and personal injury claims can make the matter very complicated.

While there is no bar to pursuing a personal injury claim in a car accident just because someone was working at the time, it may not always be in the employee’s interest to do so.

As a result, an experienced personal injury attorney should be consulted to analyze the specific facts of the case.

When a driver was not working, up to the first $50,000 of that person’s medical expenses and lost wages are usually paid by his or her own No Fault automobile insurance.

When a person is driving for work, however, these expenses are paid by Worker’s Compensation insurance instead.

A driver does not need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to obtain these initial payments.

If the driver does make a personal injury claim against another party, these initial payments made by Worker’s Compensation insurance are treated the same as payments made by No Fault insurance.

They cannot be recovered by either the driver or the Worker’s Compensation insurance company.

This means that if the employee does pursue a personal injury claim, the Worker’s Compensation carrier cannot seek to get back the money it paid in place of No Fault payments from the negligent driver.

Worker’s Compensation may, however, recover for other payments it has made, including medical expenses and lost wages that exceed this $50,000 threshold.

In such cases, it is important to carefully analyze the best course of action to pursue.

It may not be to the driver’s benefit to make a personal injury claim if it only results in having to repay Worker’s Compensation or endangers possible future payments from Worker’s Compensation.

If you have been in a car accident and have any questions, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.


Many Buffalo area establishments where people gather for recreation, exercise or entertainment require patrons to sign a release stating that should the patron suffer a personal injury while using the property, they will not hold the property owner or the operator of the activity liable.

Although signing such a release would seem to bar an injured person from bringing a personal injury claim, there are several exemptions to the application of such releases in New York State.

As a result, an experienced personal injury lawyer should carefully examine the release to determine if it applies when someone is injured.

Under New York State law, any release signed by an injured person related to the use of a swimming pool, gymnasium, place of public amusement or recreation, or similar establishment which exempts the facility from liability for negligence is void and unenforceable – so long as the owner or operator received a fee or other compensation for use of the facility.

The logic behind this law is that where someone is making a profit for use of a facility, that person should be held responsible for maintaining it in a safe manner and ensuring the safety of those who use the facility.

Even in cases where the injured person did not pay a fee, the release still needs to be carefully reviewed.

Releases tend to be strictly construed by the courts, and if an injury was caused by something outside the parameters of the release – such as a hazard unrelated to the facility’s normal use or a particularly dangerous condition that the owner allowed to exist at the location – it may still be possible to pursue a personal injury claim.

If you have suffered a personal injury on someone else’s property, we can help you.

Call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.


All Buffalo personal injury cases require the injured person to prove the nature and extent of any injury suffered.

This process involves allowing the defendant to obtain and review the injured person’s medical records.

So that the defense may obtain these records, the person pursuing damages will have to sign an authorization, which is required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.

HIPAA bars medical providers from releasing any information regarding a patient’s treatment without consent.

While someone making a personal injury claim is required to give up certain privacy rights regarding medical treatment, this does not necessarily mean that the defense has a right to look at records completely unrelated to injuries suffered in the accident.

The defense is entitled to see all medical records related to treatment for injuries suffered in the accident that is the subject of the personal injury claim.

They also are entitled to see any records of prior treatment to the same body parts as the claimed injuries.

For example, if a person is claiming a neck injury and received treatment for neck pain prior to the accident, the defense is entitled to see all records regarding neck treatment, regardless of whether it occurred before or after the accident.

Only under very limited circumstances is the defense allowed to look through all of the injured person’s medical records regardless of whether they relate to a body part that was injured in the accident.

When the defense insists on seeing unrelated medical information, the matter may eventually end up in front of a judge.

The judge will review the disputed medical records and decide if they contain anything the defense has a right to know.

If you have suffered a personal injury and need legal advice, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.


A few years ago, the United States Postal Service ranked the top 25 cities in the country for dog-bite attacks on postal workers.

According to the postal service, Buffalo ranked 18th on this list. Overall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.

Obviously, the first action anyone should undertake following a dog bite is to see to their own protection and care for their injuries.

If the dog owner has not secured the animal, go to a location where you are not a risk for further attack and contact animal control to secure the dog.

Any wounds should be immediately checked and cleaned. If they are deep, extensive or any bleeding cannot be stopped, medical attention should be sought.

In addition to these actions, there are also steps you can take that may be helpful should you need to pursue a personal injury claim.

If you are not familiar with the dog or the owner, it is important to obtain the owner’s name and contact information.

If the owner is not present and you do not know who the dog belongs to, animal control should be called so that they can locate the animal and possibly determine the identity of the owner.

If there are witnesses to the dog bite incident, it is also important to obtain their identities and contact information.

They may be able to provide important information regarding the nature of the attack and, if they had previous contact with the animal, may be helpful in determining whether the dog had previously acted in a dangerous or vicious manner.

Proof that the owner was aware the dog may bite is important when making a personal injury claim.

Following a dog bite, it also is helpful to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you determine


While it is important to have a Buffalo personal injury lawyer who is prepared to sue for your injury and go to trial if necessary, many personal injury cases in the Buffalo area may be settled without being sued in court and taken to trial.

In almost all personal injury cases, the party that caused the injury will have some form of insurance that is responsible for providing coverage on behalf the defendant.

As a result, a personal injury lawyer may be able to recover damages simply through negotiations with the insurance company representing the negligent party.

In such cases, the matter may be resolved without even having to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Instead, the attorney will gather evidence of the other party’s negligence and the client’s injuries, which is then provided to the insurance company.

Once the insurance company has reviewed it and completed its own investigation, the sides may then try to reach an agreement on the value of the case.

Even if it is necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit, these negotiations with the insurance company often continue.

In fact, even in situations where it is necessary to file a lawsuit, very few personal injury cases actually end up in front of a jury.

Instead, the parties either eventually negotiate a settlement or agree to pursue some alternative method of resolving the case, such as having the matter presented to a neutral arbitrator who will decide if the defendant was negligent and the amount of any damages owed to the injured party.

If you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands your options when it comes to settling your claim, call us at 716-631-9999.


What Happens When The Person Who Caused A Personal Injury Dies In The Accident?

July 21, 2015

In certain Buffalo personal injury accidents, someone’s negligence can result not only in injury to others, but also in injury to the negligent person. This is most common in motor vehicle accidents where the negligent driver is injured or even killed. The fact that the negligent person has died does not bar an injured person […]

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