Fourth of July celebrations are now over, but some New Mexico residents may still may be feeling the effects of a celebration gone wrong. Although there were several restrictions on the use of fireworks this year, many individuals still celebrated Fourth of July festivities by setting fireworks off. In some instances, the use of these fireworks resulted in unexpected injuries. Those people who have been injured by fireworks may be able to pursue compensation for the damages they have suffered by filing a premises liability lawsuit.
The first step in pursuing one of these claims is to consider the victim's "status" as it relates to the property. For example, if the victim was invited onto the property, then the property owner will be held to a higher standard of care, meaning that it may be easier for a victim to prove the case. In addition to being an invitee, a victim may be classified as a licensee, social guest or a trespasser. The various statuses carry a corresponding duty of care.
Once status is considered, a judge and jury will look to a number of other legal factors to determine whether the property owner should be held liable. For example, the foreseeability of the accident or injuries suffered could play a critical role, as could the actions taken by the owner to avoid dangerous conditions. When it comes to fireworks, it may be helpful if a victim can show that a property owner failed to adhere to safety instructions related to those fireworks being shot off. Additionally, if a victim was injured in another way while on the premises, such as by stepping in a hole or slipping on a wet floor, then that victim may need to try to show that the accident was foreseeable and that the property owner's actions to prevent it were inadequate.
Premises liability cases can be difficult to sort through, but the outcome, when favorable, can be critically important to victims and their families. Those who were hurt during Fourth of July celebrations while on the property of another may benefit from getting more information from a legal professional.