Slip, trip, and fall cases are notoriously difficult for people to try to negotiate on their own. Many of these cases involve strong defenses for the business—and, unfortunately, juries can be very skeptical of these kinds of cases, particularly in counties like Dona Ana and Bernalillo. Jury verdicts are often lower in some New Mexico counties due to jurors being skeptical of slip and fall cases. The question they often ask is—why didn’t you just watch where you were going? This concept, known as “comparative fault” or “comparative negligence” says that we all have a duty to take care of ourselves, and if we are negligent ourselves, we bear some portion of fault for what happens to us. For example, if a client slips in a puddle of gravy at a restaurant, but the gravy was open and obvious to everyone else in the restaurant and no one else fell, the defense will argue that the victim of the fall is at least partly responsible for falling—even though the restaurant may have a duty to clean its floors. Juries are often persuaded by “personal responsibility” defenses like this, making it tough to win a slip or trip case without the help of a New Mexico personal injury attorney.
You Must Get Documentation
But the fact that the defenses are so strong in many slip and fall cases just means that when you have been seriously injured in a slip or trip at a business, you need a top personal injury team to help you analyze your legal damages and to help build the strongest possible case against the negligent business. Slip, trip, and fall cases are very fact specific, and an experienced lawyer knows what kinds of documents to get to prove that the business acted wrongfully. For example, businesses almost always have policies and procedures about how often to sweep floors, and how often to check for spills and other hazards in order to keep the business safe. This is because businesses have a legal duty to anyone who visits them to keep their business premises safe. Safety can mean a number of different things, like having appropriate security or asking people to wear hard hats in construction zones—but in a slip and fall case, safety means that a business has to take steps to make sure that its floors and aisles are clear of liquids, spills, debris, and other items that could cause someone to trip or slip and hurt themselves. Sweep logs, employee manuals, and other such documents can prove that a business wasn’t following its own rules regarding safety. This kind of discovery can only be undertaken by an experienced personal injury lawyers, like the New Mexico-based legal team at Roadrunner Law Firm.
State Codes and City Ordinances
Safety also means that a business must take steps to ensure that its premises meets applicable local, state, and federal building codes and safety ordinances. For example, the Americans With Disabilities Act sets forth very specific guidelines for how ADA-compliant railings and ramps need to be constructed in order to be safe. If a business has a ramp or railing that fails to meet these guidelines and someone gets hurt as a result of using the unsafe ramp or railing, that business can be held liable for the person’s serious injuries. Similarly, the New Mexico Uniform Building Code puts laws in place for safety for all new construction, like how many pounds of weight a staircase must be built to support, or the materials that can be used in certain kinds of building in order to maintain safety. When a business ignores these rules, the results can be catastrophic, or even deadly. But many of these cases go to trial, so you cannot try to build these cases and win them on your own. Only experienced personal injury attorneys like the ones at Roadrunner Law Firm know about all of the specific local, state, and federal regulations and laws that could help prove your case and win in court.
Get Legal Help
Slip, trip, and fall cases can present legal challenges that only an experienced lawyer can deal with. If you have been seriously injured in a slip, trip, or fall accident at a business and you were seriously injured as a result, you need New Mexico’s top personal injury law firm to assess your case. If you have had a broken bone, torn ACL or rotator cuff tear, fractured skull, internal bleeding, or other serious injury due to a business’ failure to keep their location safe, Contact us today. (505) 444-4321.
We have helped people who fell due to dangerous conditions in a number of places:
- parking lots
- grocery stores
- retail stores
$70,000.00 for injury to kneecap after falling in water at drive-in restaurant
$90,000.00 for injury to knee (with pre-existing arthritis) after falling in spilled milk at grocery store
$15,000.00 for injury to ankle after falling on spilled candy at big-box retailer