Slip and falls can happen anywhere without warning. No one expects to leave their house and suddenly find themself injured and in the hospital.
While some slip-and-fall accidents involve minor injuries, others are severe.
At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., our New Mexico slip-and-fall injury attorneys understand these accidents can be life-changing.
If you fell due to another party’s negligence, you might have the legal right to pursue a claim for damages.
To learn more about your legal options, contact us today.
Who Is at Fault for a Slip and Fall in New Mexico?
You need to be able to show that someone else is at fault for your slip-and-fall injury to receive compensation. Property owners have to keep their property reasonably safe for potential visitors.
If there’s a dangerous condition or hazard, it’s necessary to either fix it or put up a warning or caution sign. Failure to do so can result in the owner being liable if someone is injured on their property.
Proving liability in slip-and-fall accidents requires solid investigative skills. You have the burden to prove there was a dangerous condition that the property owner knew about or should’ve known about and that they neglected to correct it or warn you about it.
Insurance companies view slip-and-fall accidents with skepticism because of concerns about fraudulent claims.
Unfortunately, fraud rings are operating throughout the country that stage slip-and-fall accidents in hopes of making quick money.
The actions of these wrongdoers directly impact people with legitimate injuries like you.
An experienced slip-and-fall lawyer will know how to prove that your injury is legitimate so that you can pursue compensation.
Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Numerous types of dangerous conditions and hazards can lead to a slip and fall.
Some of the most common causes of New Mexico slip-and-fall claims include the following:
- Wet floors and walkways;
- Rugs that aren’t adequately anchored down;
- Spilled water and other liquids on the floor;
- Carpeting that is ripped, torn, or loose;
- Broken stair handrails;
- Malfunctioning elevator or escalator;
- Broken pavement in a parking lot; and
- Lack of proper lighting in a stairwell or hallway.
When a property owner or caretaker doesn’t inspect the property regularly, they might miss a hazard that could lead to a slip and fall.
One of the most challenging aspects of proving liability in a slip-and-fall accident is establishing how much time elapsed between the hazard being created and when the owner should’ve inspected the grounds.
For example, consider a grocery store accident involving spilled water. If the spill happened and you walked through it less than a minute later, the store might not be liable.
However, if the last check was two hours ago, there’s a solid argument for liability against the store.
When you meet with a slip-and-fall accident attorney at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., we will help you investigate your accident to make your claim as strong as possible.
Discuss your case with us during a free consultation.
What Types of Compensation Can You Receive in a Slip and Fall?
Recoverable compensation in a slip-and-fall accident varies based on the individual circumstances of your case. Every case is unique, so what you’re eligible to receive will likely differ from what someone else received for their injury.
Potential recoverable compensation in a slip-and-fall accident includes any of the following:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future expected medical costs,
- Lost wages to date,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Disability and disfigurement,
- Loss of consortium,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Emotional distress.
Should the victim pass away from their slip-and-fall injuries, certain surviving family members might have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
It’s important to point out that recoverable damages in a wrongful death differ from those listed above. Wrongful death claims compensate the surviving family members for their losses, not necessarily the losses of the deceased.
A slip-and-fall accident lawyer at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. can explain the process for filing a wrongful death lawsuit and who is eligible to pursue a claim.
What Happens If You’re Partially at Fault for a Slip and Fall?
Injured victims often want to know what happens if they contributed to the accident in some way. In some states, being even one percent at fault will bar you from any financial compensation.
Fortunately, that’s not the case in New Mexico because New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state.
This law is important to know because it impacts your potential compensation. In a pure comparative negligence state, you can be partially or even primarily responsible for the accident and still receive a portion of your damages.
Your percentage of fault will reduce your compensation, though. That means if a jury finds you 20% at fault, your maximum compensation is 80% of your damages. If you’re 65% at fault, you can receive 35% of your damages.
Statute of Limitations for Slip-and-Fall Accidents in New Mexico
Another aspect of your slip-and-fall claim is the statute of limitations. You only have a limited time to file a lawsuit for slip-and-fall injuries.
The deadline to file a slip-and-fall claim is typically three years from the accident date. Failure to file a lawsuit before the deadline means the court will dismiss your case and bar you from recovery.
While three years is the norm, some circumstances can reduce or increase your filing time for a slip-and-fall injury.
For example, if you have a claim against a government entity, such as the city, county, or state, you only have six months to give notice of your intent to sue the government.
Don’t inadvertently miss critical legal deadlines and jeopardize your potential settlement. We recommend hiring a lawyer immediately following a slip-and-fall accident so that you can rest easy knowing you won’t miss any crucial legal deadlines.
Contact Our New Mexico Slip-and-Fall Injury Attorneys
When you need assistance following a slip-and-fall accident in New Mexico, Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. is here to help. We have the experience and resources needed to take your case to trial.
We’re passionate about helping injured victims fight for the compensation they’re owed.
Contact one of our conveniently located offices to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review your case and discuss how we can help you.