Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a personal injury case involving an accident victim’s claim that the defendant landowner’s failure to trim the trees on their property was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Ultimately, the court concluded that the defendant landowner did not owe the plaintiff a duty of care to trim the trees on her property, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims.
The case is important to New Mexico car accident victims because it illustrates under what circumstances a landowner may be liable to a motorist for a dangerous condition on their property.
The Facts of the Case
The case arose from a two-car accident that occurred at a rural intersection. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiffs owned the property on the southeast corner of the intersection where the accident occurred. Following the crash, law enforcement investigated the scene, concluding that neither of the motorists applied the brakes before the collision and that it would have been impossible for either of the motorists to see the other motorist approaching because the foliage on the southeast corner of the intersection obscured the view on oncoming traffic.