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What Is Premises Liability?

What Is Premises Liability?

Shapiro Law Team July 1, 2024 Personal injury,Safety

Premises liability is a law that governs personal injury claims when a person has been injured on someone else’s property. This law helps discern whether the personal injury victim will get compensation, how much, and whether the property owner is negligent. 

A lot goes into premises liability claims, which is why most New Mexico residents choose to work with a lawyer. If you want to file a premises liability claim, call Shapiro Law Team. We’ll work with you to help you get the maximum amount of compensation. We offer 24/7 assistance, bilingual attorneys, and a complete dedication to your case. We also operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay a single thing unless we win.

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Elements of a Premises Liability Claim

Premises liability claims, while varying by state, all share a common set of elements that must be proven. Understanding these elements is crucial for your case: 

  • The defendant has ownership or occupies the property on which you sustained an injury. 
  • The defendant was negligent in maintaining and taking care of said property.
  • You got injured on the property as a result of the defendant’s negligence.
  • You deserve compensation for your harm. 

Common Premises Liability Injuries

A premise liability injury can be almost any injury sustained on a property in which the owner was negligent. Common premises liability injuries include: 

  • Bone fractures
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Herniated disks
  • Neck injuries
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Burns
  • Illnesses

Examples of Premises Liability

Premises liability includes a lot of different types of situations. Some common examples are:

  • When a grocery shopper slips on a wet floor in a grocery store
  • If you suffer an injury in a swimming pool because of a lack of safety measures
  • Sustaining an injury from a faulty escalator in a department store
  • Dog bites or animal attacks
  • Amusement park ride accidents 

The following are factors that are considered in premises liability cases:

Legal Status of the Visitor

The legal status of the visitor is one of the following: invitees, licensees, social guests, or trespassers. Invitees are invited onto the property, such as a customer in a store. Licensees enter a premises as a guest for their own purpose and are there with the explicit consent of the owner. A social guest is a welcome visitor to said property. Finally, trespassers enter the premises without the right to do so. 

When it comes to licensees and trespassers, there is no implied promise that the owner has taken care of the property enough to assure its safety, making it harder for victims of premises liability to claim compensation.

Condition of the Property and Actions of the Owner and Visitor

There is typically a uniform standard of care that is applied to properties. This standard requires that the property should be relatively safe for any visitor, except trespassers. To determine whether the standard of care meets requirements, lawyers will consider the following: 

  • How the property was entered
  • How the property is being used
  • The foreseeability of the accident or the injury that happened
  • Reasonableness of the owner’s effort to remedy a dangerous situation or their effort in warning any visitors of the dangerous situation

Trespassers on Property

Although standards of care don’t always apply to trespassers, if an owner knows it is likely that trespassers will enter their property, the owner has a duty to give a reasonable warning to prevent injuries. That is typically why there may be signs like “No Trespassing” followed by “Risk of Electrocution” on power plants, or “Risk of Falling” signs by nature trails. 

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When Both Parties Are at Fault

A common argument lawyers hear is that the defendant, or owner of the property, will claim that the injury victim was partially at fault for what happened. Sometimes, this is true—a visitor has a duty to exercise reasonable care for their safety. If that care doesn’t seem to be exercised, then the compensation awarded might be reduced because of their own negligence.

Many states follow a comparative fault system for premises liability cases. This means that the plaintiff’s legal damages may be reduced by a percentage of their own fault for the incident. For example, if the injured person is proven to be 25% liable for the accident that occurred, and the total damages they were supposed to receive were $10,000, then they will only get $7,500. 

Can a Premises Liability Lawsuit Include a Claim for a Medical Bill?

In short, yes. For premises liability claims, you may be entitled to compensation for all injuries sustained and the consequences of those injuries. Your monetary compensation could include the costs of:

  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Any necessary medical equipment
  • Ongoing treatment is required due to the injury

Proving a Property Owner was Negligent 

Negligence is when someone doesn’t complete a certain standard of care. In order to prove that a property owner was negligent, attorneys begin by determining whether the owner had a legal duty to ensure their property was safe. If there was a duty, and they didn’t adhere to that duty, then they are negligent because they breached the duty of care. 

A property owner’s negligence is also determined by a status-based approach or a reasonable care approach, depending on the state. In New Mexico, the legal system uses the reasonable care approach, which means a property owner generally owes a certain duty of care towards most people who enter their property. 

Get Legal Advice for a Premises Liability Injury

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on the property of another, call the Shapiro Law Team. We are here to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. 

After a premises liability injury, things can be chaotic. From the initial shock to potential hospital bills, there is a lot to take care of on top of filing a claim. Let our trusted team of attorneys handle all the legal aspects of your situation, so you can focus on properly healing.

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