New Mexico residents who are injured while on the property of another may be able to recover compensation for their damages, which may include medical expenses and lost wages, if they succeed on a premises liability lawsuit. Winning one of these claims requires a victim to prove certain legal elements, though, which can be challenging depending on the circumstances.
Although we have previously discussed premises liability as it relates to property owned by businesses, those who are injured while on the residential property of another can still pursue a premises liability lawsuit. The elements that must be proven in order to impose liability in these situations are slightly different compared to instances involving businesses.
If injured on residential property, a landlord or land owner can be held liable if four elements are proven. First, it must be shown that the landlord or land owner had control over the hazardous or dangerous property condition that resulted in the injuries suffered. Second, a victim must demonstrate that the landlord or landowner could have repaired the condition without unreasonable expense or effort. Third, it must be demonstrated that the injuries suffered were foreseeable given the existence of the dangerous condition. Fourth, a victim must show that the landlord or landowner failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that the injurious accident would be avoided.
The language of these elements, while pretty straightforward on its face, actually leaves room for legal argument. What constitutes control over a condition? What is unreasonable expense? What does it mean for injuries to be foreseeable? And what constitutes reasonable steps to ensure an injury is avoided? These questions are open for argument, although there may be case law that one can use to help support his or her legal position. This is why a skilled legal professional may prove beneficial in these cases. Those who want to learn more about the help an attorney can provide can look into lawyers in their area.