Public places in New Mexico are generally safe, but serious accidents can and do happen because of dangerous property conditions.
By "dangerous property conditions," we mean anything from potholes in parking lots to inadequate security. Below are some important things to know about accidents resulting from property owner negligence.
Inadequate security results in more injuries than you might think.
In places where crime is common, property owners should take steps to ensure that the premises are reasonably secure for guests, customers and visitors. For example, hotels are obligated to ensure that random, dangerous people cannot easily access the premises and put guests at risk.
The same can be said of bars and nightclubs, which unfortunately can become hotbeds for criminal activity. If a dangerous situation arises at a bar, the establishment must take reasonable steps to keep the situation from escalating and causing harm. Additionally, sometimes bars over-serve patrons whose drunkenness contributes to harming innocent people.
For more on crime and premises liability, please see our previous post, "When inadequate security leads to personal injury."
Failure to comply with local restrictions and requirements can result in serious accidents.
Public places like restaurants, nightclubs and movie theaters are subject to specific regulations that are designed to ensure public safety. For example, there are occupancy restrictions in nightclubs. Why? If an occupancy limit is exceeded, lives can be put at risk for multiple reasons, including trampling and inability to leave quickly in the event of a fire.
Also, nightclubs, movie theaters, hotels and other establishments must have clearly marked exits, as well as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. When these requirements are not met, too often it's the establishment's patrons who suffer.
Injury victims have legal options.
People who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to property owner negligence need to be aware of the legal options for obtaining financial compensation and holding the responsible parties accountable.
Our overview of inadequate security in New Mexico provides further information.