Fall 2010 Edition

Vol.15 – No. 1

Michael Ranzenhofer’s Pledge to Personal Injury Clients

Dear Friends and Clients:

You may not know me as a personal injury attorney because I prepared your Will or handled your traffic ticket or divorce. However, I have been a personal injury attorney for thirty years.

You won’t see me advertising for accident clients on TV or on billboards for a number of reasons. I depend on referrals from satisfied clients, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers of injured people; and other professionals such as doctors, fellow attorneys, chiropractors and physical therapists. I don’t accept all cases. I limit the number of cases to those that I have time to personally handle. I carefully screen-out all cases. I don’t settle all cases and your case will be taken to trial if necessary to get you what you are entitled to receive for your pain and suffering, loss of income and medical expenses. I won’t refer your case out to another attorney. My “Ten Point Pledge” is to:

  • Communicate with you in plain language that is easy to understand.
  • Promptly return your telephone calls.
  • Quickly and thoroughly investigate and analyze your case.
  • Personally handle your case.
  • Keep you informed of the progress of your case at all times.
  • Show you the personal care, concern and attention which have been the hallmark of our law firm since 1955.
  • Not handle your case in an “assembly line” fashion.
  • Accommodate the needs of you and your family during the handling of your case.
  • Vigorously protect your legal rights.
  • Never release your name to the media, except with your written permission

Recent personal injury settlements which I have obtained and the types of accident cases that I handle are listed at www.wny-lawyers.com/personal_injury_law.php , for example: (1) $100,000 settlement from GEICO for a 38-year-old Kenmore woman who was injured in a motor vehicle accident where she was struck from behind in Amherst, NY. The woman sustained a back injury which required surgery and kept her out of work for several months; and (2) $75,000 settlement from Liberty Mutual for a back injury sustained by a Wheatfield woman in a motor vehicle accident. The 50-year-old woman, a veteran City of Buffalo Police Officer, sustained an injury to her back which kept out of work for nearly six months. For answers to commonly asked personal injury law questions, please see my blog: www.buffalo-injury-answers.com or call me personally any time at 716-542-5444 or 585-343-0746.

Mike Ranzenhofer, Attorney


Friedman & Ranzenhofer Celebrate 55TH Anniversary

Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC Attorneys recently celebrated their 55th anniversary. Founded in 1955 by the late Fred Friedman in Akron, the general practice law firm has grown to seven offices throughout Western New York. Law firm partners are Michael Ranzenhofer and Robert Friedman. “We opened additional offices in Batavia, Rochester, Wheatfield, West Seneca, Buffalo and Clarence as a convenience to our clients,” said Mr. Friedman. “Public and community service has always been important at Friedman & Ranzenhofer,” said Mr. Ranzenhofer, who is also New York State Senator for parts of Erie and Genesee Counties. He added that “Our deep involvement with the community enables us to better understand the needs of our clients.” Mr. Friedman, a former part-time prosecutor for twenty-three years, is active in numerous local organizations. The law firm emphasizes client education. Mr. Friedman has presented community education courses on numerous legal topics. He is the author of books on landlord-tenant law, small business law and personal injury victim’s rights. The firm’s websites, www.WNY-Lawyers.com and www.buffalo-injury-answers.com have free legal information including blogs, newsletters, legal forms, checklists and articles.


Free Medicaid/ Elder Law Seminars

Attorney Robert Friedman, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, will be presenting the following seminars. To register, please call (716) 542-5444 at least five days before the seminar.

“POWER OF ATTORNEY AND HEALTH CARE DECISIONS LAWS OF 2010” will be presented at the Akron-Newstead Senior Center, 5691 Cummings Road, Akron, NY on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 12:30 PM.

“FOURTEEN WAYS TO PRESERVE YOUR ASSETS WITH THE MEDICAID LAWS” will be presented at:

  • The Brothers of Mercy Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, 10570 Bergtold Road, Clarence, NY on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm. Also speaking is Colleen Fitzhenry of New England Financial.
    Sterling House Niagara, 6741 Nash Road, North Tonawanda, NY on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm .Also speaking are Beth Donner of M&T Bank Reverse Mortgages, M. J. Brzeczkowski of State Farm Insurance and Deborah Mathur of Sterling House.
  • The Medicaid eligibility requirements for long term care were drastically changed. However, you can preserve your assets, while accessing long term care services through the Medicaid program with powers of attorney; health care proxies and living wills; Wills; Irrevocable Living Trusts; transferring your home to family members; reverse mortgages, Long Term Care Insurance; Prepaid Funeral Accounts; IRAs and Pensions; properly documented gifts; spousal allowances and transfers; Caregiver Agreements; annuities and promissory notes. For further information on Medicaid planning, see www.wny-lawyers.com/pamphlets.php.
  • “PLANNING FOR YOUR GOLDEN YEARS IN A NEW YORK CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY” will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm at Fox Run, a continuing care retirement community, 689 Big Tree Road, Orchard Park, NY. Also speaking is Gene Chaas, CFA of Jeffrey M. Goldfarb & Associates.


    Robert Friedman Appointed to Industry Advisory Board

    Robert Friedman has been appointed to the Clarence High School Industry Advisory Board to help steer the direction of the Career Exploration Internship Program. It will create a forum of a sharing of ideas and resources to provide advice related to career education. The board consists of members of school administration, business department teachers, guidance counselors, parents, alumni, industry, and local organizations, such as the Clarence Rotary Club and the Clarence Chamber of Commerce. Their mission is to create a link between the business community and the academic student body by establishing a foundation for career development with the focus on partnerships.


    Is An Article 81 Guardian Needed?

    When an “Incapacitated Person” (IP) is no longer able to make certain decisions concerning the management of his or her property and/or health or well-being, the court can appoint a guardian to make these decisions for him or her. Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 ensures that the guardian’s authority is narrowly tailored to do only what the IP can no longer do for himself or herself. The need for a guardian could arise when an IP becomes physically or mentally incapacitated for any number of reasons, including accident, disease, or merely the natural process of aging. This incapacity must pose a risk of harm to the individual who must be incapable of understanding the nature and consequences of his or her incapacity and its potential risk. The court appoints an impartial court evaluator to interview the alleged IP and make recommendations to the court. The guardian’s chief responsibility is to make decisions for the IP. These decisions must be within the scope of the authority the court has granted the guardian, including: managing the monthly income and expenses of the IP, selling real or personal property, hiring home health aides and applying for government benefits. For further information on Guardianships, see www.wny-lawyers.com/pamphlets.php.


    New Laws On Our Blog

    These new laws and cases are discussed in Robert Friedman’s blog:

    The New York Family Health Care Decisions Act, which went into effect on June 1, 2010, allows family members and friends to make health care decisions, including decisions about the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, on behalf of patients who lose their ability to make such decisions.

    Unintended problems created by New York’s power of attorney law that went into effect September 1, 2009 have been corrected by a new technical amendments law effective September 12, 2010.

    A money judgment can be entered against a tenant who defaults after receiving an eviction petition and notice of petition by substituted or conspicuous, rather than personal, service.

    Small nonprofit organizations, which are at risk of losing their tax-exempt status because they failed to file required returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009, can preserve their status by filing returns by Oct. 15, 2010 under a one-time relief program.

    Leandra’s Law requires all individuals convicted of a felony or misdemeanor drunk driving charge to install ignition interlock systems in any vehicle they own or operate beginning August 15, 2010.

    For further details, see www.wny-lawyers.com/wordpress/.


    Disclaimer

    While a great deal of care has been taken to provide accurate and current information, the ideas, suggestions, general principles and conclusions presented in this newsletter are subject to local, state and federal laws and regulations, court cases and any revisions of same. The reader is thus urged to consult legal counsel regarding any points of law – this newsletter should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice. The purpose of this newsletter is to give the reader a general understanding of the law – not to provide specific advice. Every effort has been made to achieve accuracy. The law constantly changes and is subject to differing interpretations. Always consult with your attorney and act only on his or her advice. Friedman & Ranzenhofer, P.C. shall not be responsible for any damages resulting from any inaccuracy or omission. This newsletter is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Certain portions of this newsletter may be applicable only to New York State law.

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