Premises Liability Attorneys in Albuquerque, NM
There are many ways a person can be badly injured in an accident. In many cases, accidents happen because someone does something that is not safe or someone is in unsafe surroundings. When accidents at businesses, offices, parks, other public places or private homes are caused by dangerous conditions on the property (premises), the owner or manager of the premises may be held liable if they allowed unsafe conditions to exist.
Albuquerque personal injury attorney Bert Parnall and Parnall Law are here to help you. We pursue premises liability claims on behalf of clients who have been hurt because of negligent property owners. We work to establish the facts of premises liability accidents and injuries and confront the at-fault property owners and their insurance companies.
Call Parnall Law today to set up a free legal consultation. If you have a viable premises liability claim in Albuquerque or Central New Mexico, we’ll represent you in a dignified manner to make things right for you. We’ll handle all the legal aspects of your claim. We’ll work aggressively to obtain a proper negotiated settlement or jury award for you while allowing you to focus on recovering and getting your life back.
Do You Have a Premises Liability Claim?
In personal injury and wrongful death law, “premises liability” refers to property owners’ responsibility for accidents and injuries that occur within their premises, i.e., building(s) and/or land.
In short, property owners have a legal responsibility to:
- Ensure their premises are safe for legal visitors, or
- Warn visitors of existing hazards in a manner that would enable a reasonable person to avoid harm.
It must be understood that:
- Trespassers are not legal visitors, and therefore generally cannot pursue premises liability claims.
- The law requires property owners or their representatives (managers, staff, contractors, etc.) to remove or mitigate (warn about) hazards in a timely manner. What is “timely” is a fact that can be contested.
- What constitutes a warning that would have adequately alerted a reasonable person to an existing hazard can also be contested.
The law also recognizes that individuals have some personal responsibility for their own safety. The “open and obvious” doctrine, for example, says that if the hazard cited in an accident was obvious, a reasonable person would have known to stay away. A claim would not be likely to move forward without extenuating circumstances.
In addition, the injured person’s actions that may have contributed to the accident may be held against them. For example, a person who was running down a store aisle or who was texting on their phone when they slipped and fell in a puddle from a spill could be considered at least partially at fault for their injury. Compensation from their claim, if any, could be reduced.
What Is Considered a Premises Liability Accident in New Mexico?
A slip-and-fall accident caused by a spill or a similar hazard that a business owner failed to clean up or warn about in a timely manner is a classic example of a premises liability case. Falls are a leading cause of serious personal injury, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken hips and other fractures, and back and spinal cord injuries, particularly among the elderly. Many premises liability claims result from fall accidents.
When in such a case the property owner or those working at the owner’s direction have failed to meet their legal obligation for the safety of visitors and a visitor is injured, the property owner may be held liable. The injured person may seek restitution for his or her losses, such as for medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and more.
If you are in Albuquerque or Central New Mexico, Parnall Law can assist and advise you about pursuing a premises liability claim after injuries caused by:
- Slip-and-fall accident: Spilled liquids or similar fall hazards in retail stores, lobbies, offices, restaurants, etc., should be cleaned up as soon as they are recognized and/or warning signs or barriers should be posted where drying isn’t possible right away. In some cases the material used for flooring, such as stone, is inherently slippery and causes slip-and-fall accidents.
- Potholes and uneven or loose flooring: Potholes in parking lots, lawns or other outdoors areas used by pedestrians cause people to trip, fall and be injured. Flooring made of linoleum, carpet, tile, hardwood, etc. can be damaged or worn and become uneven or loose over time and cause people to slip or trip and fall. If it is not repaired immediately, an area with such damage should be lit well, and the potential hazard should be identified with caution signs and/or barriers.
- Unsafe staircase or handrails: A staircase, stair treads or its handrails that are damaged, not maintained, badly designed, poorly lit, wet or strewn with debris can cause people to slip or trip and fall. These hazards should be repaired or identified with proper lighting and warnings.
- Elevators or escalators: Improperly designed, installed or maintained elevators or escalators can malfunction and, by stopping or starting abruptly, cause a passenger to slip, trip or otherwise lose their footing and fall. Elevators that don’t stop flush with the floor, and escalators with misaligned steps create a tripping hazard. An escalator’s hard surface and open, sometimes steep and moving stairway can make fall injuries worse.
- Obstructed walkways: Trip-and-fall accidents happen when a person unexpectedly encounters items left in a walkway, such as a pallet of merchandise in a store’s aisle or tools or equipment left on a sidewalk. Broken and uneven walkways also cause a tripping hazard.
- Falling merchandise or debris: Store shelves or displays that have been improperly stacked or stocked with too much merchandise can cause injury if merchandise falls onto people. At construction sites and other work zones, heavy objects that are not properly handled or secured can fall from above and cause serious injury if they strike a pedestrian below.
- Poor lighting: Corridors, stairwells, doorways, parking garages and other areas with insufficient lighting make it difficult to see hazards and irregularities that someone might otherwise avoid. Poor lighting also invites criminal activity, such as assault and battery.
- Inadequate security: Negligent owners of apartment complexes, offices, motels, hotels and other facilities may be liable for failing to provide enough security if a resident or guest on the premises is assaulted or robbed by an intruder. Sponsors of large events may be liable for accidents caused by too few security officers to control crowds. Stores or other businesses that allow loitering on their premises may be held liable if violence, vandalism or other criminal activity causes injury or property damage.
- Playground or amusement park accidents: Play equipment, including playground surfaces, as well as amusement rides and equipment must be designed, installed, maintained and operated safely. Private park owners, fair and carnival contractors, and local governments (including school districts) responsible for rides and playground equipment may be held liable for negligence that leads to accidents.
- Swimming pool accidents: In addition to creating a drowning hazard, swimming pools can be dangerous because of defective drains that lead to drowning and other injuries, and by having water depth insufficient for diving without proper warning signage. Improperly maintained pool water that develops bacteria or other infectious materials can cause swimmers to become ill. Accident investigations often indicate violations of local safety ordinances pertaining to public and private pools (including homeowners’ pools).
- Dog bites: Dog owners in New Mexico can be held liable for injuries when their dogs attack and bite or maul people, particularly if the dog has a history of vicious behavior that the owner knew or should have known about. Children and the elderly are particularly prone to serious injury in dog attacks. Homeowners’ insurance typically covers these claims.
If you or a loved one sought medical treatment after any of these kinds of accidents or a similar premises liability accident, please contact Parnall Law in Albuquerque. We can review your injuries and legal options at no charge to you.
Albuquerque Premises Liability Settlements
A premises liability claim is a lawsuit that seeks compensation for your losses caused by the property owner’s negligence. It seeks compensation through their insurance, such as business liability insurance, or homeowners’ insurance, which has a property liability component.
When Parnall Law represents you in a premises liability case, we seek three outcomes to your claim:
- Acknowledgment that you have been unjustly injured
- Compensation to indicate how badly you have been injured
- Compensation to ensure you are not financially burdened by the costs and losses associated with the accident, including loss of a loved one in a wrongful death.
A successful personal injury lawsuit typically provides compensation for:
- Past, current and anticipated medical costs connected to the accident
- Lost wages during recovery or if you are unable to return to work
- Property damage in the accident, such as to a car, bicycle, clothing or jewelry
- Pain and suffering, including loss of consortium in the spouse’s incapacitating injury or death
- Funeral and burial expenses in cases of wrongful death
After a significant injury has occurred, it is a mistake to think you do not want to file a lawsuit against a neighbor, a business whose employees you are friendly with, or friends or family. Though they may be named in the lawsuit, the cost of paying the claim comes from an insurance policy they bought for situations like the accident that hurt you. It does not come out of their pocket.
In most cases, Parnall Law will negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, which we will present to you for approval. A negotiated settlement ends your case with immediate payment. However, when we cannot persuade insurers to do what’s right, we are always prepared to fight your case in front of a jury.
We want you to focus on your recovery and leave your accident claim to us. For new clients, we immediately send letters of representation to inform creditors, insurance companies and others that you have legal representation and that preparation of a legal claim is underway. These letters advise them that we speak for you in all matters pertaining to your accident and injuries, including related bills. This allows you to answer any question or unwanted contact with, “Talk to my attorneys,” and leave it all to us.
If you have not obtained medical treatment you need, we can refer you to specialists who will treat you. If you need additional assistance, we are Albuquerque natives and our firm has been here since 2009, we know where to get the help you need.
New Mexico residents who have been injured or lost a loved one because of a property owner’s negligence have every right to seek justice for the harm done to them. Parnall Law can help you after a property liability accident to see to it that you are compensated for medical bills, lost income and other costs and losses, and for your pain and suffering.
Attorney Bert Parnall understands what you are going through. He has built a legal practice dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of other people’s negligence in Albuquerque and Central New Mexico. When someone else has wrongly injured you, we will help you set your life right again. Parnall Law will fight to hold accountable those who caused you harm.
The Parnall Law team in Albuquerque offers you the most experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys in New Mexico. We work diligently to obtain acknowledgment of the injustice you have suffered as well as the maximum compensation available to you.
Contact Parnall Law today to arrange a free legal consultation about the circumstances of your premises liability case. Our dedicated and compassionate personal injury attorneys can investigate and pursue your accident claim while you concentrate on recovering from the ordeal you have been put through. We want you to have your life back after this unnecessary intrusion.