CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A SANTA FE PREMISES LIABILITY LAWYER
If you have been injured by a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you may be in a position to bring a premises liability claim against the responsible party.
When you are on the property of a business, you are known as an invitee. This is because you have been invited into the property, either expressly or impliedly, to the benefit of the owner. The benefit is you buying their product, eating at their restaurant, or paying money for a service. In this scenario, the business owner owes it to you to keep you safe. If they fail to do this, then a premises liability claim may follow. Do yourself a favor and don’t try to fight a premises liability claim alone. Allow a team of experienced attorneys to help.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability claims speak to the legal obligation that property owners have to keep their premises safe and free of unreasonable danger. A slip and fall claim is just one type of premises liability claim. People sometimes slip on the property of another because the property owner has failed to warn them about some type of hazard, like a wet floor. Therefore, the property owner has not kept their premises safe from unnecessary dangers for others.
The following is a checklist you can use to help determine if a store was liable for your slip and fall injury or not:
- Did the store staff know about the hazard that you slipped on?
- Was the hazard there long enough that an employee of the store could have either cleaned up the hazard or taken steps to warn you of it?
- Did the store have a policy requiring their employees to routinely check for hazards in the store?
- Were there any warnings of potential hazards in the store?
- Were you being careful as you were shopping in the store?
- Were you keeping an eye out for any potential warnings of danger?
Given the checklist, it should be fairly apparent that notice is an important factor in a premises liability claim. If the landowner allegedly responsible for your injuries did not know, or would not reasonably have known, of any hazard or danger, then your claim will most likely fail.
Ultimately, to establish a store’s liability in your slip and fall case, you need to be able to show that the store and its employees were negligent. Negligence claims mean that someone owed you a duty and then subsequently breached that duty, which led to your injuries. Each store has a legal duty to protect its customers from injury and warn their customers of known dangers. Even if a hazard isn’t immediately noticeable, business owners still must take reasonable steps to check for dangerous conditions that may be initially unknown to them. If they fail to meet that obligation in any way, a court will likely determine the store was negligent.
Here are a few of the elements you must prove to state a claim for premises liability in New Mexico:
- You were lawfully on another’s property
- The property contained a hazard that put you at risk
- The property owner either knew or should have known about the hazard
- The property owner did not warn you about the hazard nor did they fix it
- This hazard caused you to sustain injury
How to File a Claim
If you believe that you may have a premises liability claim or have been injured by slipping and falling on someone else’s property, here are the steps you can take to file a slip and fall claim and put yourself in the best possible position for potential success:
Seek Medical Treatment
Always seek medical treatment after suffering any type of injury, no matter how minor. Receiving medical treatment not only ensures you are taking care of yourself, it can also serve as important documentation of your injuries to help support your claim.
Speak with an Attorney
Try to contact an attorney with experience in slip and fall cases as soon as possible. Our Santa Fe premises liability attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help. Call us today to receive a free case evaluation.
Read More: Why Hiring an Attorney Will Help Your Case
Open an Insurance Claim
Contact your insurance provider and the insurance representing the store to let them know you plan to file a claim. Your attorney may take care of this.
It is common that the store or responsible party will reach out to you to extend a settlement offer. Settlement offers are an attempt for all parties to resolve the issue without having to go to trial. If the amount of money in the settlement offer doesn’t feel appropriate to you, you can choose to decline it or keep negotiating with the insurance company. Your attorney may be able to advise you on your options.
When you have a personal injury claim such as a slip and fall, you may generally recover two different types of damages. You can seek economic damages and non-economic damages for your injury. Economic damages cover bills that are easily quantified with a set amount of money. This includes expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and other incidentals, like gas money for driving to and from doctor’s appointments. Non-economic damages are based on the impact the injury is going to have on your life going forward, and are therefore less concrete. These types of damages generally cover things such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
Statute of Limitations
Every state places a statute of limitations, or time limit, on when you are permitted to file a lawsuit for a certain type of claim. If you choose to wait until after the permitted time period, you may be barred from recovery. New Mexico law extends to victims a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This means you need to bring your premises liability claim within three years of the date of the accident to have a chance at recovering any compensation you may be entitled to.
Slip and fall cases involving children are a little different. While this could differ depending on your state, the clock usually doesn’t start running on a child’s slip and fall case until they turn 18, and then they have one year to file the claim.
The statute of limitations may also be affected if a death has occurred as the result of a slip and fall accident. The statute of limitations begins in a wrongful death case once the party bringing the suit has discovered, or should have discovered with reasonable diligence, the cause of death of the victim.
How Zinda Law Group MAY Help
Suffering an injury after an accident can be overwhelming for a recovering victim. The last thing that any victim needs is the burden of navigating through the legal process and haggling with an insurance company about money. Having an experienced attorney who has dealt with premises liability claims in Santa Fe before may be able to lighten this burden and can additionally heighten your chances of receiving the maximum compensation you may be entitled to. Our Santa Fe attorneys at Zinda Law Group have the experience to negotiate effectively with insurance companies.
Our injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group help victims get their lives back on track after suffering an injury by helping them build a strong case against the responsible party. Our lawyers have the negotiation strategies necessary to help you pursue the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. You can call our office today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a Santa Fe premises liability lawyer.