If you got hurt on someone else’s property, that property owner (or anyone who was in charge of the property) may be liable for your injuries. When a person sustains injuries because of a hazard on the property of another party, the injured person can be eligible to file what is known as a premises liability claim. This is an area of personal injury law that says a property owner needs to take steps to ensure that his or her property is reasonably safe for others who come onto the property. If there is a risk or hazard on the property that cannot be repaired or remedied immediately, then the property owner has a duty to warn people about that risk. There are many different types of premises liability lawsuits, such accidents caused by slips and falls, as well as violent crimes caused by improper security at a hotel or in a business parking lot.
If you were injured on property owned by an individual or a business in Santa Fe, you may be wondering: Do I have a premises liability claim? The following are some key issues to consider in determining whether you may be able to file a lawsuit. Ultimately, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer in Santa Fe who can assess your case and can determine whether you have a valid claim.
Property Owner Has a Duty to Keep Premises Reasonably Safe
A property owner has a duty to use reasonable care in maintaining their premises. What this means is that a property owner can be liable for injuries if there is a hazard on the property that a reasonable owner would have discovered or if the actual property owner knew about the hazard and did not remedy it.
Trespassers do Not Have Claims Under New Mexico Premises Liability Law
The reasonable standard of care only applies to people who are lawfully on the property. For example, if you visit the home of a friend, colleague, or family member, you are lawfully on the property. Similarly, if you enter into a retail establishment to shop, browse, or dine, for example, you are lawfully on the property. However, if you are trespassing when the injury occurs, you do not have a claim against the property owner.
An Open and Obvious Hazard May Still Lead to a Successful Claim
The New Mexico Supreme Court has made clear that, while an “open and obvious danger” may be a defense in some cases to premises liability injuries, it is not always a clear and full defense for the property owner. In other words, even if someone on the property might see the hazard and recognize it, the property owner may still have a duty to remedy it or to warn about it.
Your Claim Will Need to be Filed Before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out
If you do have a valid claim based on the facts of your case, you need to make sure you still have a claim based on the statute of limitations. Under New Mexico law, most premises liability lawsuits must be filed within three years from the date of the injury. Even if you have a strong claim on the merits, you will not be able to recover if you wait too long to file your lawsuit.
Contact a Santa Fe Premises Liability Lawyer
Do you have questions about filing a Santa Fe premises liability claim? A Santa Fe personal injury attorney at our firm can speak with you today about your case. Contact Slate Stern Law for more information about how we assist clients in New Mexico with premises liability lawsuits and many other types of personal injury claims.