Many Farmington residents venture away from their homes every day, whether it’s to run errands, go to work or school, a friend or family member’s house, a sporting event, an entertainment venue, or somewhere else. These individuals trust they will be safe as they venture into different locales wherever they go here in New Mexico, but that doesn’t always end up being the case.
Property owners are generally responsible for keeping their premises, whether outside their home or business or within it, safe. If their failure to do so results in someone suffering injuries, then that individual may have a valid reason to file a premises liability lawsuit to recover compensation.
What Responsibilities Do New Mexico Property Owners Have?
The general rule is that property owners should keep any potential dangers or hazards on their property to a minimum. However, there’s not a one-size-fits-all requirement as it relates to a New Mexico property owner’s responsibility to keep their premises safe. Someone who owns a building or parcel of land doesn’t owe everyone who may frequent their premises the same duty of care, either.
Understanding Classifications of Visitors
There are three primary classifications of individuals who may visit a property. New Mexico property owners may have a responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors in the following way:
- Invitees: May include family members, neighbors, and friends the property owner invites to visit their premises. Owners must ensure their premises are reasonably safe when requesting others visit their property.
- Licensees: These are individuals that are seen as being given a property owner’s permission to visit a property for their purposes. A salesperson visiting a store or office may fall into this category. Property owners must warn any such individuals of potential dangers they may encounter when visiting their premises.
- Trespassers: Anyone who visits a property without receiving its owner’s implied or expressed permission falls into this visitor category. Property owners seldom owe these individuals a duty of care.
Situations That May Warrant the Filing of a Premises Liability Case
There are a variety of scenarios that involve the negligence of others that may warrant the filing of a premises liability lawsuit, including:
A full-on canine attack can leave someone dead. However, dog bites can also leave behind life-altering impairments, including infected flesh wounds that tear through muscles and sever nerves which cause functional impairments.
Dog owners can be held liable for their aggressive dog’s actions. Some of the information a premises liability attorney will need to open your case include:
- Information about the dog that bit you and its owner
- Details about where the incident occurred, including what happened immediately before and after the attack
While there is other information you’ll want to compile as part of any premises liability case, which will be discussed later on in this article, these details above are unique to dog bite cases like yours.
Many New Mexico property owners take time to install adequate lighting and surveillance cameras inside and outside their premises to ensure the safety of their visitors. Other commercial property owners may trim back bushes, use keyless entry systems to restrict and track who frequents their premises, or hire private security to rove the inside and outside of their building to ensure everyone’s safety.
Would-be criminals tend to lurk in places where opportunities to pounce exist, including in dark corridors or isolated restrooms, parking garage corners, stairwells, behind cars, and around dark, unmonitored entryways and exits. The incidence rates of individuals falling victim to assaults, carjackings, rape, and other acts of violence can leave someone with physical injuries and perhaps more lasting mental health concerns.
Situations like these always warrant filing police reports, taking photographs of injuries and the crime scene, and taking time to receive immediate medical care. These are just a few details that a Farmington premises liability attorney like ours here at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm during your initial free consultation.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
How often do you notice potholes, uneven pavement, an unexpected stepdown, curled-up mats, a rain puddle, or spilled food or drinks when you venture out around town here in Farmington, NM? You probably do so quite frequently, whether as you navigate to the front door of the government office where you re-register your vehicle’s tags, traverse the recently mopped or waxed lobby floor in your office building, or nearby a defrosting freezer at the grocery store.
Slips, trips, and falls can cause more debilitating injuries than a simple skinned knee, bruise, or superficial cut. Broken bones aren’t out of the question, but at least you’ll eventually recover from the fracture. You may not be as lucky if you slip or trip and fall backward, striking your skull on the ground. Scenarios like these may cause you to suffer a traumatic brain injury, leaving you a shell of the person you once were.
Situations like these often result from businesses or homeowners delaying making necessary repairs to their premises to minimize such hazards. Photographs of the hazard, incident reports, and witness accounts of what they saw happen can always come in handy when building a case in such situations.
What To Do If You Suffer an Accident on Someone Else’s Property
If you were injured on someone else’s property, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may not think you have any apparent injuries. However, you may have internal ones. If you delay seeking medical treatment, the adverse implications of doing so may be irreversible by the time you see a doctor for help.
You should also take time to report the injury incident and take photographs whenever possible. If you can’t, then you should summon someone who can. If you became unconscious following your injury incident, you should enlist someone else to report it as soon as possible.
Determining if You Have a Valid Premises Liability Claim
Deciding to file a premises liability case sounds much easier than it actually is. Prospective plaintiffs don’t always meet the required grounds to file a premises liability claim. Some situations that may affect an injury victim’s right to file a claim include:
- They didn’t document their injury incident
- They didn’t seek medical care following their injury incident
- There doesn’t appear to be a direct correlation between the injury incident and the resulting injuries
- A prospective plaintiff was trespassing, engaging in horseplay, or otherwise doing something that affects their ability to sue for compensation
- The statute of limitations has expired
Again, this is far from an exhaustive list of reasons prospective plaintiffs may not be able to file premises liability lawsuits despite having been injured on someone else’s property. The key in any premises liability case is for you or your attorney to prove that a property owner’s negligence somehow resulted in you suffering injuries. This is an essential step to proving liability occurred.
How Our Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm Can Help With Your Farmington Premises Liability Case
Ensuring you have a valid claim is one thing. However, building a case that proves a property owner engaged in negligence can take time, energy, and a bit of strategic thinking. Our premises liability attorneys in our Farmington, NM office have the requisite skill to build a solid case that will give you the best chance of securing the fair compensation you need and deserve in your case.
Reach out to our Albuquerque location of Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our injury attorneys. That meeting is an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about the legal rights New Mexico law affords you and how you should proceed in your Farmington case.