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Are you partially at fault for a slip-and-fall?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Accidents happen to the best of us. A slip-and-fall accident occurs when someone slips or trips within someone else’s premises or property. The settlement money you will receive for your injuries and other damages depends on the percentage of fault. The higher your percentage at fault, the less compensation you can claim.

In New Mexico, pure comparative negligence applies. This means that you can recover compensation if you are not 100% at fault for the accident, which is a more compassionate system than modified comparative negligence. This is another type of comparative negligence followed by other states where the victim does not get paid if proven to have over 50% negligence.

Loopholes to look out for

No one wanted the accident to happen, but someone must take responsibility. Here are defenses property owners may raise against you:

  • Inappropriate, defectively designed footwear
  • Absent-mindedness with using a mobile phone
  • Failure to recognize warning mechanisms like restrictive cordons, cones and signages
  • Neglect of rules about restricting passage to visitors to a specific area in the property

This process usually results in offers and counter-offers between the plaintiff and the property owner’s insurance company.

Countering the assertions

The burden is to provide sufficient context and evidence to avoid faulty calculations. You can do this by considering the following factors:

  • The severity of injuries like broken bones or brain trauma
  • The rehabilitation therapy or nursing care required for levels of pain
  • Inability to perform your usual daily routine and other recreational activities
  • Intangible losses like emotional distress, sleeping problems and loss of consortium
  • Economic losses like current and future medical bills, loss of current and future wages
  • Personal property damage if personal items like electronic devices or jewelry were lost or broken

Every detail matters in a slip-and-fall lawsuit. So, try to thoroughly remember and accurately document as much as you can. All these variables will eventually play out during significant negotiations.

Case-to-case basis

Slip-and-fall accidents are major wildcard scenarios and are influenced by circumstances surrounding the accident. Hence, your potential settlement does not have a one-size-fits-all formula.