Were you hurt in an accident because you tripped or slipped and fell? You may be quick to blame yourself, but in reality, your painful injuries may be the result of factors beyond your control. Do not assume that clumsiness or inattentiveness is the reason for your slip-and-fall accident, but take the time to learn if you have grounds for a civil clam.
Common reasons for slip-and-fall accidents
New Mexico property owners bear the responsibility to maintain safe premises for customers and visitors to their property. If there are hazards, they should be clearly marked and, if possible, fixed promptly. Some of the most common reasons for slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Slippery or wet floors
- Cracked sidewalks
- Uneven pavement
- Poor lighting
- Negligent supervision
Many slip-and-fall accidents happen in public places where the victim has a reasonable assumption of safety, but you could suffer a painful injury on privately owned property as well. This type of personal injury incident commonly occurs in places that include:
- Grocery stores
- Public bathrooms
- Retail stores
- Parking lots
- Private homes
You have a limited amount of time to take legal action after a slip-and-fall accident. It is important to act quickly in order to preserve important evidence for a potential premises liability claim. Proving fault in this type of civil claim can be complicated, but it is possible to secure the compensation you need for medical treatment and recovery.
Proving liability and building a strong claim
Who is liable for your injuries if they are a result of negligent maintenance or dangerous property conditions? In order to have a successful claim, you must clearly answer that question by presenting evidence that the responsible party knew of the risk and had time to fix it. You must establish at least one of the following:
- Property owner knew of the condition
- Property owner created the dangerous conditions
- Property owner had a reasonable amount of time for repairs
- Property owner had enough time to discover the risk
If your accident occurred on commercial property, the owner of the business, the actual property owner or other parties may be liable for your pain and suffering. On private property, the homeowner may be liable, and, often, homeowner's insurance coverage may compensate you for your injuries. You should discover the options available to you by seeking a case evaluation as soon as possible after your slip-and-fall accident.