For Our Clients Since 1935
Weedsport, New York
The Weedsport personal injury lawyers at Michaels and Smolak have a unique “family” connection to Weedsport, aside from handling multiple serious injury cases for people who live in Weedsport or arising from serious motor vehicle crashes on the NY State Thruway, as our long-time paralegal resides and is raising her family there.
Weedsport is a charming village of about 2,000, located in the Town of Brutus, Cayuga County. The name comes from Edward Weed, one of the Village’s founders. Weedsport was one of the original Erie Canal port cities. Weedsport is a charming village and home to the Weedsport Warriors, 2018 Section 3, class D, high school football, Section III champions (and 2004 NYS Champions) with local fierce rivals Port Byron and Cato. Because high school sports are so important to life in Weedsport and Central New York, Michaels and Smolak has been a proud radio broadcast sponsor of Weedsport High School Football and Basketball on Finger Lakes News Radio.
Because the New York State Thruway runs though the village of Weedsport, it is one of the busiest justice courts in case volume for traffic violations and traffic accidents. The village of Weedsport is immediately off NY Thruway exit 40. Aside from the “speeding” that takes place the Thruway, Michaels & Smolak handles many Weedsport area thruway motor vehicle accident cases.
Weedsport is the home of the famous Weedsport Speedway, where racers in a number of divisions test their skills and compete in Dirt and Sprint Car Racing. The Weedsport Speedway also serves as a popular venue for regional concerts and fairs during the summer months.
A little known fact about Weedsport is that one of its prominent residents had maintained a large private “wild” and exotic animal collection. In fact, our personal injury lawyers handled a very significant Weedsport case arising out of that specific venue when a bear mangled a man. The law that applied to that case is called “strict liability”. In New York, the owner or harborer of “wild” animals is absolutely liable or “strictly” liable for personal injuries or harms and losses caused by his or her “wild” animals, even if the person injured arguably caused his or her own injury by deliberately getting to close to or molesting the animal. While on its face this may not seem fair, the law accounts for the fact harboring “wild animals” is an ultra-hazardous activity and as such, by keeping these dangerous animals, an owner does so at his own peril. This is in contrast to cases involving domestic animals such as dogs, where the injured plaintiff is required to show that the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s vicious propensities in order to hold the owner liable. That is not the case with the “wild” animals as the injured party need not establish that the owner knew of the vicious propensities of the animal.
The law regarding injuries caused by both domestic and wild animals is the same, though, in some respects: The comparative negligence of the injured person is not a defense to such a claim. In other words, that owner can’t argue the person bitten or injured by the animal was partly to blame.
In the Weedsport case our personal injury attorneys handled, a woman and her companion decided one night to sneak into the compound for a private viewing of the owner’s wild animal collection. In so doing, she managed to put her arm in close contact with an exotic bear that mangled her arm. We brought an action on her behalf based upon the owner’s harboring of “wild animals”. The owner properly turned that defense over to his insurer who promptly decided to deny coverage.
Our lawyers were called upon to take on the insurance company for the owner who disclaimed coverage for the injuries and sought a rescission of the insurance contract for an alleged “material misrepresentation” regarding the harboring of such “wild” animals. The case turned on extremely complicated rules of insurance and agency. Nevertheless, the Michaels and Smolak attorneys were able to establish that the insurer knew of the “wild animal “ collection despite their protestations and denials. The Weedsport personal injury lawyers at Michaels and Smolak had established that on a prior occasion a windstorm had toppled and damaged some of the wild animal cages and the owner had made a claim for such damage to the agent and insurer. Thus, the insurer and agent could not deny knowledge of the existence of the “wild animal” collection. The insurer was obligated to cover the owner for the serious personal injury claim. This triggered a very favorable settlement to our bear-mauled client.
Many accident victims from the Weedsport area have chosen the nearby Weedsport personal injury and medical malpractice firm of Michaels & Smolak to represent them. In addition, many generalist lawyers in and around Weedsport refer their personal injury and medical malpractices cases to the lawyers of Michaels & Smolak.
If you are a Weedsport resident or have been injured in your travels through, please contact our Weedsport personal injury lawyers who are located in our main headquarters in auburn, NY a short 6 miles down State Route 34 for your free consultation.