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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 BumboUSA.com 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.

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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.

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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 end to the lawsuit.

Instead, a jury must consider all the circumstances surrounding the admission.  In some cases the defendant may later deny the statement, and the jury will have to determine whether it was actually made.  Even in cases where an admission is not denied by the defendant, the jury may still consider issues such as the physical condition of the parties when the statement was made, any time that had passed between the accident and the admission during which the defendant could have reflected on the situation, and all other conditions and circumstances at the time and place the admission was made that may have influenced the defendant’s position.

After weighing all of these factors, the jury is entitled to fully credit the statement as the truth, reject it, or give it any weight it desires.

Please feel free to call us at 716-542-5444 if you have suffered a personal injury and have any questions.  We would be happy to help you.

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It is not unusual for a person to suffer a loss of memory following a Buffalo personal injury accident, particularly when that accident involves a serious blow to the head.  This can be a problem in pursuing a personal injury claim because the injured person is unable to present his or her eyewitness account of how the injury occurred.  Fortunately, the law in New York State has taken into account the unfairness of this situation.

When this occurs, the injured person must prove through the presentation of clear and convincing evidence that he or she suffered a memory loss as a result of the accident which makes it impossible to recall the events leading to the injury.  This would require, for example, medical testimony regarding a Traumatic Brain Injury or similar injury that may lead to loss of memory. 

If the jury is satisfied that the injured person has indeed suffered a loss of memory, then that person is not held to as high a standard of proof when the jury is determining whether the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the injury.  The jury will be instructed that they are entitled to use greater latitude in inferring negligence based on the other evidence in the case when this situation arises.

If you have suffered a brain injury due to another’s negligence, we can help you.  Please call us at 716-542-5444.

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Most Buffalo personal injury lawsuits revolve around the issue of whether the defendant caused an injury due to his or her negligence.  In a legal sense, to find someone negligent requires that they be found to have failed to use the same standard of care that an ordinary person would be expected to use under similar circumstances.  In most cases that do not involve someone deliberately inflicting harm, the defendant must be proven negligent to be found liable for damages to the injured person.

In rare cases, the standard that must be proven to obtain damages from the defendant is not negligence, but reckless disregard.  This higher standard is most often seen when injury is caused by an emergency vehicle on an emergency call.  Such vehicles are permitted to violate certain rules of the road and if they cause an accident when doing so, they must be shown to have been acting with reckless disregard for the safety of others before the injured person may obtain compensation.

Reckless disregard has been defined as the intentional performance of an action with conscious indifference to an obvious risk that created a high probability of injury.  It requires proof that the defendant was aware that harm was likely to arise from his or her actions, but deliberately chose to proceed anyway.

If you have suffered a personal injury, we can help you with your legal questions.  Please call us 716-542-5444.

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The parties to Buffalo personal injury lawsuits are encouraged under New York State law to engage in open and fair exchange of information.  When a party fails to turn over documentation, it is largely at the discretion of the court to determine what, if anything, constitutes an appropriate sanction.
Generally, when a party fails to produce a document, it may not be used against that party unless the jury is satisfied that (1) a document is in their possession that is important to an issue in the personal injury lawsuit and (2) there has been no reasonable explanation for failing to produce the document.  If these criteria are met, the jury may infer that the document would not have supported that party’s position.

Where a party has deliberately destroyed evidence, however, there may be an inference of fraud.  When this occurs, the party may be limited in the evidence it can submit and there is an even stronger inference that the document would not have supported the party that destroyed it.

In most personal injury lawsuits in Buffalo, the need for such sanctions is rare.  It is very unusual for a party to refuse to turn over evidence, especially when the other party seeks a directive by the court to produce it.

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At Trial, Are All The Facts In Dispute?

August 29, 2012

If every Buffalo personal injury trial required that all possible issues in the case be disputed, the courts would become bogged down with lengthy trials in which irrelevant points were being contested.  As a result, our trial system has developed in such a way that most trials will only involve a few contested points. Generally, […]

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