Many of the clients that we here at the Sanders Law Firm have worked with in the past have been forced into dealing with every property owner's nightmare scenario: someone sustaining injuries on their land. If you are currently dealing with the same issue, then you may have already resigned yourself to the notion that you will be held liable (after all, any accidents that occur on your property are your responsibility, right?). Yet your actual liability may depend on why the injured person was on your property in the first place.
When you invite someone into your home or onto your land, you want to do everything necessary to ensure that they remain safe while there. Your legal responsibility also extends to protecting them from potential hazards that you may not yet know about, yet can be reasonably foreseen. For example, if someone comes while it is snowing, then you will want to ensure that your steps and walkways are shoveled, as one might reasonably expect ice to accumulate on them (thus causing a safety hazard) if you do not.
The same responsibility extends to licensees (people who may enter onto your property to do business, like a delivery driver). Yet what responsibility do you owe to trespassers? Per New Mexico's Civil Jury Instructions, you only have to warn trespassers if you maintain an artificial condition on the land that could be dangerous or engage in activities that could present a risk of injury to people coming on to your land. Yet while they assume the risk of any other hazards they may encounter while there, you cannot intentionally harm trespassers.
You can learn more about your duty of care as a property owner by continuing to explore our site.