Understanding New Mexico’s Premises Liability Laws
Premises liability law in New Mexico is based on the common law principle that a property owner has a duty to use reasonable care to maintain their property in a safe condition for visitors. This duty extends to all visitors, including invitees, licensees, and sometimes trespassers.
- Invitees: people invited onto the property for the owner’s or occupant’s benefit, like guests, customers, and business patrons.
- Licensees: people who can enter the property for their own purposes, like social guests.
- Trespassers: uninvited persons who enter the property without the owner’s or occupant’s permission.
Many incidents can fall under premises liability, including slips and falls, broken staircases, loose carpets, and other similar cases that result in injuries on someone else’s property. A New Mexico premises liability lawyer can help determine if you have a valid personal injury case.
Negligence in Premises Liability
To succeed in a premises liability lawsuit in New Mexico, you must prove that the property owner or occupant was negligent. This involves the following elements:
- The property owner or occupant had a duty to use reasonable care to maintain the property.
- The property owner or occupant breached this duty by failing to warn of or correct a dangerous condition.
- The plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the dangerous condition.
- The plaintiff suffered damages because of their injuries.
Say a grocery store mops the floors and fails to put up wet floor signs. If a patron slips and injures themselves, then the grocery store can be held accountable for their damages.
Common Injuries Caused by Premises Liability Incidents
Premises liability injuries are those that occur on someone else’s property due to the negligence of the property owner or occupant. These injuries can range from minor to serious, resulting in various damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Here are some of the most common types of premises liability injuries:
- Dog Bites
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Nerve Damage
- Broken Bones
Assigning Liability in Premises Liability Cases
More than one party can be responsible in premises liability cases. It’s important to work with a premises liability attorney who can determine all the at-fault parties who may be sued in a lawsuit.
Some of the parties who may be liable for injury on their property include:
- Store Owners – They may not have properly trained employees to handle hazards and they may fail to properly warn visitors of a danger.
- Employees – They may have failed to clean up or maintain surfaces or put out signage to warn patrons.
- Managers – They are ultimately responsible for the actions of employees and should train employees to handle hazards.
- Landlords – They are responsible for maintaining common areas in rental properties. They may also be liable for injuries that occur in individual housing units if they knew about dangerous conditions and failed to repair them.
- Tenants – Tenants are responsible for maintaining the interior of their rental units. They may be liable for injuries that occur if they were aware of a dangerous condition and failed to report it.
- Occupiers – Occupiers are anyone who has control over a property, even if they are not the owner or tenant. This could include businesses, schools, and government agencies.
- Maintenance Workers – Maintenance workers may be liable for injuries that occur on the property if they were negligent in their work, such as failing to properly repair a broken stair or warn of a wet floor.
How to Handle a Premises Liability Claim
There are some important steps to take after being injured on someone else’s property. Some steps you should take to handle a premises liability claim include:
- Get medical attention immediately.
- Report the incident to the property owner or manager.
- Gather evidence, including photographs and videos.
- Contact a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.
- File a claim with the property owner’s insurance company.
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
- Go to court if you’re not able to work out a fair settlement.
FAQs About Premises Liability Claims
We are sure you have questions about your premises liability claim. We have answers. If you don’t see the information you need here, call us as soon as possible.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me Get a Settlement?
A premises liability lawyer can help you get the biggest settlement possible. They know New Mexico premises liability law and will use it to support your case. Your attorney can make sure you get compensation for all your losses, and you aren’t taken advantage of by the insurance company.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Every case is different, but you can get compensation to cover all your economic and non-economic losses. That includes things like pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Some factors can limit what your claim is worth. For instance, New Mexico’s pure comparative negligence laws state that your claim settlement can be reduced if your actions contributed to your damages. Say you ignored a hazard sign and got injured. The store could still be liable for your injuries, but you share responsibility for your damages because you put yourself in harm’s way.
Is There a Deadline to File a Premises Liability Claim?
In New Mexico, the deadline (or “statute of limitations”) to file a premises liability claim in most cases is three years from the date of injury. Work with a premises liability lawyer who can help you understand how the statute of limitations applies to your case.
What Type of Evidence Do I Need for My Premises Liability Case?
The specific evidence you will need for your premises liability case will depend on the facts of your case. However, some general types of evidence that can be helpful include:
- Photographs and videos of the scene of the accident
- Medical records and bills
- Witness statements
- Accident reports
- Expert testimony
It is important to gather as much evidence as possible as soon as possible after the accident. This will help your attorney to build a strong case for you.
Call a Farmington Personal Injury Lawyer
The property liability attorneys at Patscheck Law have a legal team ready to help you. We aggressively fight for our clients who have been victims of serious accidents. Let us stand by your side and guide you through the legal process.