AV Preeminent
Bar Register - Preeminent Lawyers
Avvo Rating
The Best Lawyer in America
Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Super Lawyers
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Hispanic Lawyers Association Member

Skaneateles, New York

The Skaneateles personal injury lawyers of Michaels & Smolak have handled many personal injury cases arising out of Skaneateles and on behalf of the residents of Skaneateles. Skaneateles, both the town and village, are located at the northern tip of Skaneateles Lake on the western most side of Onondaga County and derive their name from the Iroquois word for “long lake”. Skaneateles is one of the most affluent areas in the Finger Lakes. The appeal of Skaneateles is self-evident: The clear blue water of Skaneateles Lake is reminiscent of what one would see on tropical islands or in the Mediterranean.

Skaneateles is a popular summertime destination to the wealthy and famous. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State, First Lady and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton have vacationed there. Television personality Thom Filicia maintains a residence there. Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin-Bieber were recently spotted visiting the quaint village.

Visitors often enjoy dining at the Kreb’s, a famous food locale and historic landmark recently purchased and renovated by Skaneateles’s most visible and prominent residents, Adam and Kim Weitsman, who are owners of Owego-based Upstate Shredding and who also purchased and renovated a multimillion dollar mansion on West Lake Street. The profits from the Kreb’s restaurant go to fund charitable endeavors. Welch Allyn, world renowned manufacturer of sophisticated medical equipment (now owned by Hill-Rom), is one of the largest employers in Skaneateles.

Yet another attractive aspect of the community is that it is home to some of the finest public schools in upstate NY. The Skaneateles schools boast one of the best graduation and college attendance rates in all of New York State. The Skaneateles High School is also home to the powerhouse Skaneateles Laker hockey program. Skaneateles High school is one of the few school districts that offer a Women’s Varsity Hockey program. The Lady Lakers have won several NY State High School Championships. The Boys’ High school Varsity team, under the direction of their outstanding head Coach Mitch Major, won the 2018 NY State Championship. This was the schools 3rd State title (the most recent of which was in 2015).

The personal injury attorneys at Michaels and Smolak have significant ties to Skaneateles. Lee Michaels, the firm’s senior lawyer, for years resided in Skaneateles until recently moving just outside the Village of Skaneateles to Sennett. Mike Bersani, another of the firm’s lawyers, also has roots in Skaneateles and owns a cottage on the Lake. Attorney David Kalabanka’s son played hockey at the bantam travel and u16 level in Skaneateles.

The Skaneateles personal injury attorneys at Michaels and Smolak are proud supporters of Skaneateles High School sports and our signs are prominently displayed in both Skaneateles Rinks. This is one of the small ways we give back to the community that has supported us as many of our clients from over the years hail from Skaneateles. Our office is only a few miles down the road in Auburn.

We have represented many personal injury and medical malpractice victims from Skaneateles. In one such case, the Skaneateles personal injury attorneys at Michaels and Smolak represented a Skaneateles woman who was seriously injured as a passenger in single car collision. Unfortunately, the driver of the vehicle fell asleep at the wheel, passed a stop sign at a “T” intersection, crossed the road and continued down an embankment striking several trees. The injuries resulted in burst fractures of several vertebra in the lower spine of our client, the passenger, requiring two major surgical procedures in including a corpectomy, spinal fusion, bone grafting, placement of a cage and anterior locking instrumentation with related nerve and motor and sensory impairments.

The defendant’s insurer raised a seatbelt defense to mitigate the potential damage payout. In NY, failure to use an available seatbelt can potentially reduce an injured party’s recovery to the extent that the injuries would not been as severe had a seatbelt been worn. It is the party asserting the seatbelt defense that has the heavy burden of proving the injuries would not have otherwise occurred or would have been less severe. In anticipation of the defense, the Skaneateles personal injury attorneys at Michaels and Smolak have significant resources at their disposal, and this case spent funds to secure a world renowned bio-mechanical expert to perform both an accident reconstruction and seat belt analysis to determine whether the use of the seat belt would have made any difference in the case. The experts utilized an exemplar vehicle of the exact type involved in the collision and placed the client in it in the exact position in the vehicle studying her distance from the dash, roof and various other factors such as seat deformation, speed, angle and direction of the forces in the primary and secondary impacts as well as crush deformation. Our experts concluded that the same injuries would have occurred with a seatbelt as without. Our firm used this expert’s report to achieve a very, very large settlement for our client.

If you are a resident of Skaneateles or just visiting and the unthinkable happens resulting in serious injuries, the personal injury attorneys at Michaels and Smolak are here to help. The Auburn-based firm is a regional magnet for personal injury and medical malpractice cases, with referrals coming from all over central and western New York. Michaels & Smolak has an established reputation as leaders in the personal injury and medical malpractice field.

Directions from Skaneateles to the firm’s Auburn office can be found HERE. The firm also has offices in Syracuse and Liverpool. Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
He is one of the top lawyers in central New York & has the accolades to show for this, but in my book he's the top lawyer in the country. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Bersani & to have had him on my team! Matthew
★★★★★
I admire the amount of background work he did which was instrumental in getting me a very good settlement. Also, having never been involved in a personal injury lawsuit, Michael was very patient explaining the legal issues. You're in good hands with Michael Bersani and the firm of Michaels & Smolak. Richard
★★★★★
Dave took over my wrongful death case after it was badly messed up by another lawyer. He was dogged in his pursuit of all the information needed to make a solid case, and he succeeded in bringing it to a very satisfactory settlement. He was honest and straightforward, kind and compassionate through meetings, depositions, court appearances. I highly recommend him. Christine
★★★★★
Dave has handled our legal matters for over 20 years. Always there when we needed him. We were so happy with his professionalism and results that we referred him to several friends. If we ever need this type of service again, Dave will be the first and only call we make. Jackie