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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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When Are Property Owners Liable for Injuries in New Mexico?

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In New Mexico, property owners have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of people who visit their premises. However, determining when property owners are liable for injuries sustained on their property can be complex.

If you were injured on someone else's property, understanding the laws and regulations surrounding premises liability in New Mexico is crucial for seeking compensation for your injuries.

Premises Liability in New Mexico

Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of property owners to maintain safe conditions on their premises.

Premises liability claims can arise from various hazards and dangerous conditions, including:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents: Wet floors, uneven surfaces, or inadequate lighting can lead to slip and fall accidents, resulting in injuries such as fractures, sprains, or head trauma.
  • Unsafe conditions: Poorly maintained premises, broken stairs, loose handrails, or unrepaired structural defects can pose serious risks to visitors.
  • Dog bites: Property owners may be held liable for injuries caused by their dogs if they knew or should have known about the animal's aggressive tendencies.
  • Negligent security: Property owners may be liable for injuries resulting from inadequate security measures, such as lack of proper lighting, broken locks, or failure to monitor the premises in high-crime areas.

If you were injured on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability claim depending on your legal status as a visitor on the property at the time of the accident.

Types of Visitors & Their Legal Status

In New Mexico, visitors to a property are typically categorized into three groups based on their legal status: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.


These are people who are invited onto the property for a lawful purpose, such as customers in a store or plumbers in a private residence. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees and must maintain safe conditions and warn them of any known hazards.


Licensees are people who have the property owner's permission to enter the premises but are there for their own purposes, such as social guests. Property owners are required to warn licensees of any known dangers that are not obvious.


Trespassers enter the property without permission. While property owners generally do not owe a duty of care to trespassers, there are exceptions, such as when the property owner is aware of frequent trespassing by children or if they intentionally create traps or hazards.

Factors That Can Determine a Property Owner’s Liability

Several factors come into play when determining whether a property owner is liable for injuries sustained on their property.

These factors include the following:

  • Property owner's knowledge: Did the property owner know or should have known about the hazardous condition that caused the injury? If the owner was aware of the danger but failed to address it or warn visitors, they may be held liable.
  • Foreseeability of harm: Was the injury foreseeable based on the circumstances? Property owners are expected to anticipate potential dangers and take reasonable steps to prevent accidents.
  • Condition of the property: Was the property in a reasonably safe condition? Property owners have a duty to inspect their premises regularly and address any hazards that could pose a risk to visitors.
  • Actions of the injured party: Did the injured party contribute to their own injury through negligence or recklessness? New Mexico follows the comparative negligence doctrine, which means that the injured party's compensation may be reduced if they are found partially at fault for the accident.

A personal injury lawyer can help you understand how these and other factors can affect your premises liability claim and your potential recovery.

Supporting Premises Liability Claims

If you were injured on someone else’s property, you may have a valid personal injury claim. It’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you can assert your rights and take the necessary steps toward achieving a recovery of compensation for damages.

Contact Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law today to learn more about how we can help.