Personal injuries can happen at any time of the year and in many different kinds of accidents, but some types of personal injuries tend to be more common during the winter months, when the ground can be covered with snow and ice. It is critical for anyone who sustains personal injuries in winter weather to know that another party may be responsible for those injuries. The following are three things to know about winter personal injuries in the Santa Fe area.
Even if Winter Weather is a Factor in Causing Your Personal Injury, Another Party May be Liable for Your Injuries
You should never assume that simply because you sustained a personal injury as a result of winter weather or a wintry condition, that nobody else is at fault. In many cases, in fact, just the opposite is true. Property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises do not pose unreasonable hazards to people on the property, including the possibility of slip and fall injuries as a result of icy stairs or an icy pathway. Similarly, motorists have a duty to adjust their driving behavior accordingly when there is wintry weather, and the failure to take precautions could result in a successful negligence claim against that motorist.
You Will Most Likely Need to File a Lawsuit Within Three Years From the Date of Your Wintertime Injury
If another party is at fault for a personal injury you sustained in winter weather, you will likely need to file your lawsuit against that negligent party within three years from the date of your injury, according to New Mexico law. An experienced Santa Fe personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case today to ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner.
Many Different Personal Injuries can Result From Other Parties’ Negligence in the Winter
There are a wide variety of personal injuries that might seem to be caused by winter weather or wintry conditions, but those injuries actually result from another party’s negligence. While we alluded to some of those injuries above, you should know that the following are common examples of winter weather personal injuries in which the injured party may be able to file a successful negligence claim:
- Homeowner failed to salt steps or a walkway, and a neighbor slipped and fell on the ice;
- Homeowner failed to clean up liquid in a home entryway caused by snow boots, and a guest slipped and fell;
- Retail store owner or restaurant owner failed to salt steps, a walkway, or a parking lot, and a potential customer slipped and fell on the ice;
- Business owner did not clean up liquid puddles around the business caused by snow boots or dripping umbrellas, and a potential customer slipped and fell;
- Driver failed to slow down when snow or sleet caused roadways to be dangerous, and that driver was involved in a serious accident; or
- Driver did not leave sufficient following distance on the road despite information about an icy roadway or bridge.