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Attributing Liability in New Mexico Slip-and-Fall Premises Liability Claims

Posted in Firm News

When individuals have been injured on another party’s property, there is an analysis that must be done in order to determine whether that party was at fault for the injury and therefore liable to the injured party. In New Mexico, this area of the law is called premises liability, and it covers the duty that property owners or managers owe to other individuals who are invited onto their property, either as guests or as customers.

Liability in these cases is generally based on where and how the accident occurred. The most commonly recognized premises liability cases involve “slip-and-fall” accidents. Although this type of injury is often minimized by the media, it can very often result in serious bodily injuries. Some other common examples of situations that give rise to premises liability lawsuits are those in which shoppers are injured at a store, or in which a guest is injured at another person’s home. Generally, property managers and owners have to ensure that they take reasonable measures to keep their property safe for visitors.

A complicated situation arises when individuals are injured on land that is considered adjacent to the property owner. This may happen when a person falls or hurts themselves on a sidewalk that borders another person’s property. Again, the availability of compensation will depend on many factors. The trier of fact will look to whether the injury could have reasonably been prevented, whether the property owner was negligent, and how exactly the injury occurred. A plaintiff may be able to collect damages even if the injury did not occur right on the defendant’s land.

New York Court of Appeals Finds in Favor of Plaintiff, Citing Factual Issues of Ownership

One court recently released its opinion regarding a premises liability action brought by a plaintiff who fell on a New York City public sidewalk. After the plaintiff was injured, he brought a personal injury claim against the defendant, a property management association. The plaintiff argued that his injuries were caused because part of the sidewalk was raised above the concrete, which he claimed was a violation of a city code.

The code requires property owners to maintain sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition. The defendant asked the court to dismiss the claim during the summary judgment phase. They asserted that where the plaintiff fell was not their property and was instead another family’s responsibility. The lower court and the intermediate appellate court granted the defendant’s motion. However, the Court of Appeals reversed the lower courts’ decisions. It found that there were factual issues that questioned whether the defendant actually was in charge of the sidewalk and whether the plaintiff’s injuries were a result of a breach.

Have You Been Injured on Another Person’s Property in New Mexico?

If you have been injured because a property owner failed to properly maintain their premises, you should contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can assist you in filing a premises liability lawsuit against the appropriate defendants. The defendants in these cases, especially if the property is a business, will almost always retain their own attorney. As a result, it is important that you have a dedicated advocate who can assist you in getting the representation that you deserve. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you suffered. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 to schedule a free initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

State Court Hears Appeal Following Denial of Expert Testimony, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 2, 2016.

Appellate Court Affirms Denial of Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice Claim Based on Lack of Expert Witness Testimony, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 22, 2016.