Slip and fall accidents come under the law of premises liability in New Mexico and presumably other states as well. Slip and fall accidents are often ridiculed and trivialized. However, these accidents often result in very serious, sometimes catastrophic injuries or death. They are very serious and should be treated as such by the insurance companies that hold coverage over the subject property.
Unfortunately, as with most things related to insurance companies, they do not treat them with the proper seriousness that they deserve unless and until they are made to do so by an attorney.
In fact, there are many businesses with policies most assuredly developed with the input of their insurance carriers that will offer offensively low settlements if you will sign a release before leaving the premises. Some of these businesses are very well known both locally and nationally.
Never sign a release at the time of the accident even if you are not sure of your injuries. Leaving the business does not jeopardize your claims even if the business suggest otherwise. Instead, make sure you file an incident report and take pictures of the area where you were injured. The trivial amount that you receive at the scene is typically grossly insufficient even with minor injuries. In cases of serious injury, it is hard to stress how unwise such a release would be. Suffice it to say that once the release is signed, your case is done.
If you are seriously injured or worse a loved one is killed in a slip and fall, document the accident as best you can with incident reports, witnesses statements and photos. Then contact an attorney.
Without an attorney, the insurance company will immediately begin to try to kill your case. You will discover this right away when the phone calls start coming requesting a recorded statement by phone.
Do not give a recorded statement! Instead, politely let the adjuster know that you do not wish to be contacted and that you will be seeking the assistance of an attorney.