Premises Liability

Owners, occupants, and landlords are required to maintain all areas of their property to ensure the safety and well-being of others. Whether it is a residential or commercial property, the law applies. If there is an issue, hazard, or danger that could lead to a serious accident or injury, they have a legal obligation to either fix it or provide notice of the potential harm. When these things fail to happen, and their negligence causes another person’s injuries along with pain and suffering, they could be held accountable under premises liability laws in Albuquerque. 

What is Premises Liability Law?

Premises liability laws encompass several situations. From dog bites and animal attacks to icy sidewalks that could cause passersby to slip and fall, property owners are required to keep up with necessary repairs and maintenance. Several issues could lead to a premises liability claim. 

  • Swimming Pool Accidents – these most often involve children and an unsecured or unsupervised pool. Property owners who have pools on site are expected to secure them from unauthorized entry or use. If they have invited guests to use the pool, they are required to ensure all guests are safe. In New Mexico, security fences are not required around outdoor swimming pools. However, it may be in your best interest to include one to help protect against premises liability claims. 
  • Inadequate Building Security – this is most often an issue in apartment complexes, commercial buildings, and workplaces. Building owners have a duty of care to ensure the safety and security of their tenants, visitors, and employees. Many large buildings employ on-site security guards and install security cameras to enhance safety. When building owners do not take reasonable steps to secure their facilities, they open themselves up to a premises liability lawsuit. 
  • Slips and falls are perhaps one of the most common injuries sustained in premises liability claims. Whether it is due to defective staircases, wet floors, or unsecured carpeting, if someone is injured due to a property owner’s negligence to prevent slip and fall hazards, they can be held accountable for damages. 
  • Animal attacks are another common complaint. Property owners who leave their pets roam without supervision could be on the hook if the animal causes injury to a visitor on their property. 
What is a Property Owner’s Duty of Care?

Premise liability laws apply to both public and private property owners who engage in willful and wanton conduct. That can include failing to make repairs to sidewalks and stairs or allowing their dog to roam freely about the neighborhood. 

The only exception to the rule is for trespassers. In New Mexico, property owners are not liable for any injuries sustained by those who have entered their property uninvited or against warnings of no trespassing. 

Two other classifications of guests are covered by premises liability laws: invitees and licensees. 

An invitee is someone like a friend, family member, or neighbor who has the property owner’s permission to be on the premises. Because they are welcome on the property, if they are injured due to the carelessness of the property owner, they have a legal right to sue for damages. 

A licensee could be a salesman or other solicitor who has express or implied permission to be on the property. If the property owner directly invited the person onto their property, they have a legal obligation to ensure their safety. If the licensee enters at their own risk without direct invitation, they are not guaranteed the same duty of care from the property owner and may not be able to pursue legal options if injured. 

When Should I Hire a Premises Liability Attorney in Albuquerque?

The short answer is immediately. Sometimes people feel bad about potentially suing a friend, family member, or neighbor for injuries sustained while visiting their property. It is important to put those feelings of guilt aside and protect your rights. You should speak with an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as the injuries are sustained. At Cameron & Russell, our team knows what documentation to request to help build a solid case for our clients. We can arrange a no-obligation consultation to discuss the specifics of your claim and how best to proceed. 

What are the Chances of Winning?

Experienced premises liability attorneys will not waste your time if they do not believe you have a solid premises liability case. Our team will thoroughly review your case to determine if a claim likely will be successful. The key to proving any premise liability claim is providing evidence that the property owner or property owner’s management was deliberately negligent in their duty of care. If both parties are at fault, it is important to note that New Mexico is a comparative negligence state. This means if a court of law determines equal fault in the case, both the plaintiff and the defendant will split the cost of damages.

Call Cameron & Russell for a Free Case Evaluation

Bill Russell and Marcus Cameron are the faces behind Cameron & Russell. We go the extra mile for our clients to pursue personal injury claims and provide criminal defense. We approach every case with a fresh eye to detail and the determination to represent our clients to the fullest extent the law allows. We passionately defend clients facing criminal charges, and relentlessly seek out fair compensation for personal injury claims. No matter your situation, we promise to tirelessly represent your legal needs. 

Contact Us

  • 500 Marquette Ave NW Suite 1200
    Albuquerque, NM 87102

  • P: 505-218-7844
    F: 505-672-5128

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