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 personal injury accident involves more than one negligent party, it helps to have an experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer.

In most cases, an injured person may bring a personal injury lawsuit against all parties who were responsible for the injury.

If the case proceeds to trial, it will then be the responsibility of the jury to assign a percentage of fault to each of the negligent parties.

While this sounds fairly straightforward, New York’s laws regarding how much each negligent party is required to pay – known as joint and several liability laws – are somewhat complicated and can impact how much each responsible party is required to pay in damages.

In some cases – most notably motor vehicle accident cases – all of the parties found to be liable for an injury are responsible for the full amount of the damages.

This means that if one of the parties cannot pay his or her fair share of the damages, another responsible party or parties who can pay will be required to pick up that party’s share of the damages.

In other types of cases, the negligent parties are each fully responsible for paying the injured person’s economic damages – such as medical expenses and lost wages – but may not be responsible for making sure the injured person is fully compensated for other damages, such as pain and suffering.

The amount each responsible party is required to pay for non-economic damages is limited to the amount determined by his or her percentage of responsibility for the injury.

As a result, if one of the negligent parties cannot afford to pay his or her full share of damages, the injured person may not receive the full amount awarded by the jury because the other parties are not required to make up the difference.

Because of the complexity surrounding multiple defendants, it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who can evaluate the likelihood of obtaining full compensation from each responsible party.

If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence and need help, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.


New York State residents and businesses have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition.

This generally includes making sure parking lots and sidewalks are free of snow, ice or other debris that may cause someone to suffer a personal injury in a fall.

Of course, everyone who lives in the Buffalo area knows it would impossible to keep walkways completely clear at all times.

As a result, how long the snow or ice was present before the injury occurred may be pivotal in proving that the party who maintained the walkway was negligent.

When pursuing a personal injury claim after having fallen due to snow or ice, the injured party must prove that the snow or ice had been present long enough that a reasonably prudent person would have discovered and removed it.

As a result, if there are heavy snows in the period immediately prior to the injured person’s fall, it may be difficult to successfully pursue a claim for damages.

The snow or ice that led to the fall may not have been there long enough that the defendant could reasonably be expected to have removed it.

This does not mean, however, that a claim is barred every time it happens to be snowing when someone falls.

In some cases, for example, snow may be much deeper than could be accounted for by the light snow in the period leading to the fall, indicating that the area had not been maintained.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will carefully examine both the condition of the area and the weather conditions leading up to the injury when determining how best to proceed with a personal injury case.

If you were injured in a fall and need the help of a personal injury lawyer, please feel free to call us 716-631-9999.


Most personal injury car accidents involve making a claim against a negligent driver’s auto insurance.

Experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyers, however, must deal with several different scenarios where the car driven by the defendant may not have insurance.

These include cases where the defendant has failed to pay for the required insurance, accidents involving a stolen vehicle, and hit and run accidents where the responsible vehicle is never identified.

In most cases where the defendant has no insurance, the injured person may make an uninsured motorist claim against his or her own automobile insurance policy.

New York State requires all automobile insurance policies to provide a minimum of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, of uninsured motorist coverage, and it is possible to buy additional coverage.

Aside from establishing that the defendant had no insurance, the issues in bringing a claim against the injured party’s own insurance are essentially the same as would arise in any personal injury case.

In cases where the injured person has no automobile insurance, which is most likely to occur when a pedestrian who does not drive is struck by a car, the injured person may bring a claim directly to the New York State Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).

The MVAIC provides coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, in motor vehicle accident cases where there is no other insurance available.

When proceeding against the MVAIC, there are special notification rules that do not apply to private insurance companies, and it is important to have the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

If you have suffered personal injury in a car accident, it is important to have a personal injury lawyer who understands what compensation may be available to you.

If you need legal help, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.


Many people would be surprised at how few Buffalo personal injury cases actually go to trial.

Good personal injury lawyers frequently are able to successfully resolve a personal injury claim without having to go to the time, expense, and difficulty of trying a case in court.

While an experienced personal injury attorney will always be prepared to take a case to trial, there is extensive work that he or she can do to obtain just compensation for the client prior to trial.

In many cases, a personal injury lawyer will begin the process of trying to resolve a personal injury case before the matter is even formally sued.

Often, the first step taken will be to speak with the insurance company for the negligent party, provide them with information regarding how the injury occurred and medical documentation demonstrating the degree of injury, and see if the matter can be brought to a conclusion without having to formally file a lawsuit.

If the insurer appears open to paying a fair amount in damages to the injured person, the parties may engage in ongoing negotiations as the injured person progresses through treatment.

Although some cases cannot be resolved through negotiation with the insurer and require the filing of a personal injury lawsuit with the court, initiating a formal lawsuit does not mean that the case must proceed to trial.

Even after the lawsuit has commenced, an experienced personal injury attorney will remain in contact with the defendant’s insurer and the lawyers for the defendant to see if the matter still may be resolved either through negotiation or some other alternative to trial, such as arbitration.

Many people are nervous about the prospect of going to trial.

If you have suffered a personal injury, you should not let fear of going to trial stop you from making a valid claim for your injuries.

We can provide you with legal help at 716-631-9999.


Buffalo area residents who suffer personal injury are often concerned about where their case will be heard.

This is especially true when the accident occurred outside of the Buffalo area, and the injured person is worried about having to travel a long distance to court if they pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

Most personal injury lawsuits in this state are filed in a New York State Supreme Court.

Many people find New York’s designation of these courts as “supreme” courts confusing because of their familiarity with the U.S. Supreme Court.

This leads them to believe a New York State Supreme Court is one of the highest courts in the state.

Actually, every county in the state has its own supreme court, and there are several state courts with higher authority.

Under New York law, a personal injury lawsuit may be commenced in any county where one of the parties – either a plaintiff or a defendant – lives when the lawsuit is filed.

If none of the parties actually live in the state, the plaintiff may choose a county.

This rule is helpful to people who were injured when traveling in another part of the state because they can still file the lawsuit in a court near where they live.

While most personal cases are heard in a New York State Supreme Court, there are a few exceptions.

For example, certain cases – particularly those involving a non-U.S. citizen – may be moved to a federal court, and claims made against the government of New York State or one of its agencies only may be heard in the Court of Claims.

If you have suffered a personal injury and have any questions about how to proceed, please call us at 716-631-9999.


Many Buffalo personal injury cases involve multiple injured parties.

This commonly occurs, for example, in motor vehicle accidents where there are multiple occupants in the vehicle that is struck.

There are several ways the presence of multiple injured parties may impact a case.

In terms of damages, multiple injured parties may, unfortunately, limit the amount of money each party can recover.

Nearly all personal injury cases involve insurance converage, and the presence of multiple injured parties means that there may be less insurance money available for each person.

For example, a defendant in a car accident may have insurance that offers coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

If there is only one or two injured parties, they each potentially may recover the full $25,000 per person available under the defendant’s policy.

If there are three or more injured parties, however, the insurer is not obligated to pay more than a combined total of $50,000 to all of them.

As a result, when that $50,000 is divided up three or more ways, a person who would have received the full $25,000 if no one else was injured may actually receive less.

Multiple injured parties also may affect the case procedurally.

It is common for such cases to be joined together – either by order of the court or agreement among the parties – during what personal injury lawyers term discovery.

Discovery is the period before any trial when the parties collect information from each other.

The purpose of joining cases for discovery is to avoid redundant situations such as requiring the same person to appear repeatedly to be interviewed by different lawyers.

If a trial is necessary, it also is possible that the cases brought by the various injured parties will be tried at the same time, although there is no absolute requirement that this happen.

An experienced personal injury can help you understand how your case can be expected to proceed.

If you have been injured, call us at 716-631-9999 for a free consultation.


Buffalo accidents involving a pedestrian struck by a car can involve truly serious physical injury to the pedestrian.

Drivers are expected to watch out for pedestrians under all circumstances.

Whether the driver is legally liable for the accident, however, depends on the circumstances surrounding the collision.

In areas where there is no sidewalk, New York has specific laws regarding the responsibilities of both drivers and pedestrians.

A pedestrian walking in an area without sidewalks is required to walk upon the left side of the road so that they are facing traffic.

He or she is also expected to stay as far left as possible so as to avoid obstructing vehicular traffic.

Drivers of motor vehicles also have duties to pedestrians in this situation.

They are required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian and, when necessary, to give warning by sounding the vehicle’s horn.

While failure to follow these rules does not automatically make the driver or the pedestrian wholly responsible for the collision, failure to obey traffic laws is a strong factor in determining who is responsible for causing an accident.

Whether the pedestrian, the driver, or both were negligent in causing the pedestrian’s injuries requires an analysis of all the factors that led to the collision.

When determining whether to proceed with a claim against the driver, it is helpful to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to properly analyze the case.

If you have been injured by a car and need legal advice, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.

We would be happy to answer your questions.


Buffalo motorcycle accidents often involve very serious injuries and can have a devastating impact on the motorcyclist’s life.

Unfortunately for motorcyclists injured in a personal injury accident, New York does not have the same insurance requirements for motorcycles as for other motor vehicles, which can make an injured motorcyclist’s situation much more difficult.

For most motorists, New York’s No Fault insurance laws require the driver’s own auto insurance to pay for his or her initial medical expenses and lost wages.

For motorcyclists, however, New York does not require insurers to provide No Fault coverage, and few motorcyclists choose to carry it.

As a result, a seriously injured motorcyclist may be placed in a position where his or her lost wages and medical expenses are not being covered by any insurance.

The motorcyclist can seek to recover these medical expenses and lost wages as part of the personal injury lawsuit.

If the case does not settle quickly, however, a motorcyclist who cannot work may face serious financial hardship in addition to the physical injuries he or she has suffered.

As a result, it is especially important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer following a motorcycle accident – one who knows how to move the case along as quickly as possible without compromising his or her efforts to obtain full monetary compensation for the injuries.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle or motor vehicle accident and need an experienced personal injury attorney, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.


When a Buffalo personal injury case is settled and the defendant agrees to pay damages to the injured party, there are specific rules regarding how much time the defendant has to pay the damages.

How long this period of time is may vary depending on who the defendant is.

For most defendants in personal injury cases, New York law requires that they pay all sums due to any settling plaintiff within twenty-one days of the settling defendant having been tendered a written release and a stipulation discontinuing the personal injury case.

Both of these documents must have been signed by the injured party or by someone with authority to act on the injured person’s behalf.

As a result, most people who have suffered personal injury can expect to be paid within three weeks of having completed the paperwork necessary to discontinue the case.

If the defendant is a branch of the government, however, the amount of time they have to pay the injured party after completion of the appropriate paperwork changes.

If the defendant is a municipality – such as a city or town – or a subdivision of a municipality, this time is extended from twenty-one days to ninety days.

If the defendant is New York State or an officer or employee of New York State, payment is not based on when the paperwork is submitted, but instead on when the comptroller reviews it.

Payment is due within ninety days of the comptroller’s determination that all papers required to effectuate the settlement have been received by him.

If you have been injured and need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.


Who Is Responsible When Someone Is Injured By A Poorly Maintained Sidewalk?

August 10, 2015

When someone suffers a personal injury in the Buffalo area as a result of falling on a poorly maintained or uncleared sidewalk, who is responsible depends on precisely where the sidewalk is located. There are several rules regarding who is responsible for maintenance of sidewalks located on public or private property, and it helps to […]

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