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.


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 guidelines that an experienced lawyer may use when placing a value on the injury for purposes of settling a case.

Some damages, such as the cost of past medical expenses and lost wages, are “hard” numbers that are easily calculated by adding up the total value of the medical bills and missed time from work. It can be much more difficult, however, to determine what is adequate compensation for more subjective damages such as pain and suffering. There are also other variables, such as potential future medical expenses, that may come into play when determining the total value of damages in a case.

When attempting to place a value on these more subjective damages, personal injury lawyers usually research the value that New York State courts have recently placed upon similar injuries. Making such comparisons, however, requires consideration of several variables such as the age of the injured person, how long they will have to live with the injury, prior health and the likelihood of future recovery.

If you have suffered a personal injury and need an experienced attorney, please feel free to contact us at 716-631-9999. We would be happy to help you.


Some Buffalo drivers injured in a motor vehicle accident choose not to speak with a personal injury lawyer. This is especially true when the accident involved a minor collision or the person does not think they are very hurt. For those fortunate people who did not suffer a serious injury, the decision not to consult a personal injury lawyer may work out. In cases where a person’s injuries turn out to be worse than originally thought, however, they may regret their decision.

Because New York law requires a driver’s own car insurance company to pay for the insured’s initial medical bills and lost wages, many injured people feel they do not need a lawyer. Unfortunately, if the funds available from the injured person’s insurer are used up and he or she still needs medical treatment, is unable to work or continues to suffer other damages as a result of the accident, he or she may regret not retaining a personal injury lawyer to seek additional funds from the party who caused the accident.

In some cases, the insurance company of the person who caused the car accident may even offer an injured person some compensation to settle any claim. While it may seem like a good idea to take this money and avoid having to pay any legal fees, it is rarely a good idea to do so. Most people do not have the experience to properly analyze the value of their injuries, while an experienced personal injury lawyer will know how much to seek from the insurance company. Insurance companies usually try to settle claims for as little as possible and frequently offer less than the full value of the injury.

Even if you do not think you are badly injured, we do not charge any fee up front to speak with you and help you determine if you have a personal injury claim. If you want advice regarding your legal rights following a car accident, please feel free to call us at 716-631-9999.


We are experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyers who have represented clients injured under a variety of circumstances. Personal injury lawyers tend to group some types of cases into general categories such as “slip and fall” or “dangerous product” cases. “Premises liability” is one of the terms used to describe a category of cases.

Premises liability is a term used to describe accidents that occur on someone’s property as a result of negligent maintenance of the property or allowing the presence of a dangerous condition. Under New York State law, both business owners and homeowners must maintain their property so that it provides a safe environment for those who may be visiting or using that property.

This includes, for example, making sure a broken sidewalk or step is repaired, keeping walking areas free of ice or other obstacles, and cleaning up any spills or debris that may lead to someone falling or otherwise being injured. If someone is injured on the property because the owner failed to properly maintain it, the owner may be sued for damages arising from that injury.

When attempting to prove the owner’s responsibility, however, it is usually not enough just to prove the dangerous condition existed on the property. Instead, it also must be shown that the owner knew – or at least reasonably should have known – the hazard was present, and the hazard was sufficiently dangerous that it was unreasonable not to correct the problem.

If you have suffered a personal injury on someone’s property, we can help you. Call us at 716-631-9999 for legal help.


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.