Whether you’re shopping at a local grocery store or visiting a friend’s home, property owners have a duty to maintain safe, secure premises. When they’re derelict in this duty, serious injuries may occur, including broken bones, head injuries, spinal trauma, and more.
In the aftermath of such an injury, you may be wondering what to do. Be aware that you do have rights, and you can pursue legal action against the property owner. Here are a few steps to take after being injured on another person’s property.
Visit a Doctor
Medical records are an important piece of evidence in premises liability. They help establish that an injury actually occurred, as well as how severe the injury truly is. Along with the initial exam and treatment, be sure to attend follow-up visits as well. Additionally, get copies of all your medical records and retain them to present to the insurance company or court.
In order to show that the property owner behaved negligently and that their actions led to your injuries, you must satisfy the following criteria:
- The property owner/operator was in control of the property at the time
- The property owner/operator breached his or her duty of care
- An injury occurred on the property
- There’s a direct link between the injury and the negligence
As an example, imagine a property owner has broken steps leading into an establishment. The property owner is fully aware of the issue but has not acted to correct it. You enter the property via the steps, trip, and break your arm in the resulting fall.
Using the above example, imagine you’re not able to work while recovering from your injury. This causes you to lose wages, which is compounded by medical bills you must pay out of pocket. You would be able to pursue lost wages and medical costs in your premises liability claim. You may also be able to pursue pain and suffering depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Pursuing pain and suffering is more complex since it’s not easily quantifiable like lost wages and medical bills. You must establish that your normal way of living has been significantly disrupted and that your injuries caused a debilitating impairment. For instance, imagine you broke a hip instead of an arm in the fall. This injury is far more severe and requires a much longer recovery period.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney
Even cut and dried negligence cases are complex, which is why an attorney’s assistance is crucial. Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C. has extensive knowledge of New Mexico premises liability laws. Our team of attorneys have experience with many types of cases, including swimming pool accidents, slips and falls, negligent security, and more. We’ll help you compile the necessary evidence to ensure you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn more or call 505-343-1776 to schedule your free initial consultation.