three glass soda bottles on a restaurant table

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Mexico: What You Need to Know

Personal injury cases have been a mainstay in the legal field since its inception. Throughout history, there have been plenty of landmark cases that paved the way to where personal injury law is today. An early case was that of Escola vs. Coca Cola.

In early 1944, waitress Gladys Escola was working in a restaurant in California, putting glass bottles of Coca-Cola away when one of them exploded spontaneously. Back in the 40s, almost every soda was bottled in those thick, “classic” glass bottles. Plastic bottles wouldn’t become the norm until 30 years later. So, when this particular glass bottle of Coca-Cola exploded, Escola suffered a particularly gruesome five-inch cut, which severed blood vessels, nerves, and muscles of her thumb and the palm of her hand. Needless to say, Escola sued Coca-Cola and won.

Personal Injury Law in New Mexico: Protecting the Rights of the Individual

Going up against one of the world’s most recognizable brands may seem daunting, if not downright impossible, but Escola and her litigator Melvin Belli stood up against Coca-Cola and won in what now is known as the landmark personal injury and product liability case of Escola vs. Coca-Cola.

Not every single personal injury case will become a landmark in the realm of litigation but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t defend your rights. If you’re in the state of New Mexico and you’ve suffered through a personal injury, then you should contact attorney W. Shane Jennings. Personal injury laws and rules differ from state to state. For this reason, we’ve outlined what you need to know about personal injury law in the state of New Mexico.

Personal Injury Cases Have a Three Year Statute of Limitations in New Mexico

Personal injury cases in New Mexico have a statute of limitations of three years. This means you must file your court case up to three years after the accident took place. If you fail to file within those three years, you may be unable to file at all. Three years may seem like a long time but before you know it, the statute of limitations will be up and you won’t be able to receive compensation for your injuries. So, as soon as you receive a personal injury, gather all the necessary information and contact your personal injury lawyer. The sooner your lawyer can get to work on your case, the better.

Explaining Comparative Negligence

There is a specific subset of personal injury cases in which both parties (that is, the injured person and the negligent party) can be held responsible for the accident or injury. In the state of New Mexico, a rule known as “comparative negligence” is used in these particular types of cases. Since the injured person played a role in the accident, the damages are reduced.

This isn’t to say that the injured person won’t win any damages, it only means the damages won’t be as grand as they would be if the injured person doesn’t fall under the comparative negligence rule. This is important to point out since many individuals decide not to file a personal injury case because they think they were at fault for the accident. If you find yourself in this situation, then it’s necessary to speak with a personal injury lawyer who can provide guidance.

Contact Your Personal Injury Lawyer, Today

If you’re in Southern New Mexico and you’ve suffered through a personal injury, then contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings. We provide legal aid to people in Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Cloudcroft, Anthony, Deming, and Lordsburg. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week so you don’t have to wait before speaking with a reputable personal injury lawyer. Schedule a free consultation today to see where your case can go from here. Our goal is to win you the damages you deserve so you can recover from your personal injury in peace. We’re ready for your call.

letters spelling out the word illegal

A Guide Through the Changing Landscape of New Mexico’s Marijuana Law

As the landscape of our nation’s marijuana law changes, it’s easy to feel confused and uncertain about the future. Let us focus our sights on New Mexico, a recent member of the medical marijuana group (which is currently made up of 32 states and Washington D.C.). New Mexico and 32 other states have removed criminal penalties for the medical use of marijuana. Furthermore, on April 12, 2018, an ordinance was signed by the mayor of Albuquerque, which decriminalized simple possession of marijuana under city law. The city’s penalty was reduced to a $25 civil fine. But what if you get charged with possession in any other city in New Mexico? If you’re unsure about what path to take, W. Shane Jennings can help.

Medical Marijuana May Be Legal in New Mexico But…

Just because medical marijuana is legal in the state of New Mexico doesn’t mean all possession of marijuana is decriminalized. This all boils down to using marijuana for “nonmedical” purposes. Possessing one ounce or less of marijuana, for instance, can be punishable by fines of up to $100 as well as up to 15 days in jail. Second offenses or convictions of possessing more than one ounce can potentially result in a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time for up to one year. These charges can be terrifying to many people, especially those who weren’t aware of the legal ramifications of marijuana possession. While we wait for the state government to approve more sweeping marijuana possession reform, it’s necessary to seek help for the most pertinent and present matters at hand.

A Drug Crimes Attorney Can Help

Drug possession charges can appear very cut and dry on the surface but you shouldn’t give up and subject yourself to the fines. Instead, team up with a reputable drug crimes attorney who can build a strong defense and remove or lower your charges.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, after all, so it’s up to you and your lawyer to figure out a way to establish your innocence. W. Shane Jennings is known for his meticulous, detail-oriented nature. He will leave no stone unturned on the path towards establishing your innocence. While the state of New Mexico and the entire nation waits for nationwide marijuana decriminalization, it’s necessary to be persistent and headstrong.

If you’re facing drug charges, contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings. We’re ready to get to work on your case!

a wrecked Honda CR-V after a car accident

When to Call a Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are, undoubtedly, incredibly stressful. Even if it’s a simple fender bender, your car accident will still result in a handful of events you’d rather avoid. Gathering information from the other party can be uncomfortable, for starters. Then the police arrive and you have to detail the events that led to the car accident. If only time travel existed, you could’ve gone back a few seconds in order to avoid the accident entirely! Sadly, there is no time travel in our reality. We have to deal with the outcomes but that doesn’t mean you have to do it on your own.

If your car accident is more complicated than a fender bender, give W. Shane Jennings a call. Continue reading to find out if your particular situation would benefit from legal assistance.

If You Sustained Injuries

If you sustained any injuries from your car accident, you’ll more-than-likely have to contact your insurance agency. As you may very well know, insurance agencies have their very own team of lawyers who will start working on your claim as soon as it’s submitted. You don’t want to end up with less compensation than you deserve, so it’s in your best interest to hire a car accident lawyer in order to even things out. Insurance agencies can actually deny your claim so it’s best to be safe and hire an experienced lawyer who will work tirelessly in order to yield the best results. Personal injuries can be crippling. With the help of a car accident lawyer, you won’t have to worry about recovering.

If You Are At Fault

Even if the car accident was clearly your fault, it’s imperative that you don’t say anything (to the police or to the other party) that may implicate you. Even saying “sorry” can lead you down a difficult and arduous path. You can, however, call a car accident lawyer.

Your lawyer will be on your side and he will build a case that will benefit you. Even if it seems like there’s no way out, W. Shane Jennings will devote his time and attention to your case. He is incredibly meticulous and has found the smallest details that turn entire cases around. Even if you feel as if you’re completely alone, know that W. Shane Jennings is here to help.

If You Are Unsure About What to Do Next

Car accidents are difficult situations. If you’re unsure about what may lie ahead, contact a personal injury lawyer. If you have a potential case on your hands, your lawyer will let you know. Don’t leave it up to chance, contact W. Shane Jennings today.

personal injury lawyer shaking hands with a client

Meeting Your Personal Injury Lawyer for the First Time: How to Prepare

Personal injuries almost always stop you in your tracks. Your whole life comes to a screeching halt because now you have to focus on getting better. Like most accidents, personal injuries are sudden and unexpected but there’s one key detail that differentiates them from the rest: when it comes to personal injuries, someone is almost always at fault.

Whether it be a distracted driver, a poorly built staircase, or an unsafe supermarket, a person or entity will be to blame for the injuries you’ve sustained. Unfortunately, it may be difficult for you to go up against a store chain, for instance, while you’re recovering from your injuries in the hospital. This is where your personal injury lawyer comes into play. Before you meet with your lawyer, it’s in your best interest to prepare accordingly. Below, we will outline a few key steps you should take in order to make sure your case succeeds.

Understanding Personal Injury

Personal injury is synonymous with the term “negligence.” These injuries occur solely because of the negligence of an individual or entity. The following age-old example of a personal injury (which occurs far more often than most business owners care to admit) is the missing “wet floor” sign. After a supermarket employee mops away a spill in aisle 10, she’s supposed to place a “wet floor” sign until the floor dries. Forgetting to do so can cause an individual to slip and fall. This accident may lead to a variety of injuries, from sprains to broken bones. All of this trouble simply because someone forgot to put up a warning sign. This is a simple example of negligence and it occurs all around us, at all times. When negligence leads to an injury, legal action must be taken.

What You Need to Know

When it comes to any legal recourse, it’s always best to contact your lawyer as soon as possible. W. Shane Jennings offers free initial consultations so you can reach out to his office as soon as your injury occurred. He will let you know about all the pertinent information you should have before meeting with him. The goal of a personal injury lawyer is to win damages (monetary compensation awarded after loss or injury) so you can recover in peace without worrying about mounting medical bills or missing wages.

By following these steps, your personal injury case will go as smoothly as possible.

  • Don’t say or sign anything regarding your injury. Avoid speaking to an insurance company or signing anything relating to financial compensation. The first step is to speak to an attorney. Speaking or signing anything else can cause issues in your case.
  • Get medical attention. Have a doctor diagnose your injury/injuries as soon as possible. Give this information to your personal injury lawyer, as well. He will present this information to the insurance company. Don’t wait around for medical attention as this may do more harm than good to your case.
  • Collect all the paperwork that will be necessary in your personal injury case. Gather police reports, medical records, and worker’s compensation forms.

Leave It In the Hands of Your Personal Injury Lawyer

From here on out, it will be your personal injury lawyer’s job to speak with the insurance companies and the negligent party. You will be able to recover in peace while your lawyer works to get you the damages you deserve.

If you or a loved one are suffering from personal injuries, give W. Shane Jennings a call as soon as possible! We’re proud to provide excellent personal injury assistance to individuals in Southern New Mexico.

the scene of a severe car accident

The Four Steps to Keep In Mind After a Car Accident Takes Place

As much as we may wish to be the safest drivers possible, accidents can still happen. Perhaps a brief distraction leads to a fender bender or maybe a glare from the sun caused a miscalculation, resulting in a more severe accident. Regardless of the incident, it’s necessary to follow the right steps in order to avoid making a tricky situation more difficult than it has to be.

If you find yourself in a car accident in New Mexico, then the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings can help. Continue reading to learn more about what you should do in the event of a car accident.

First Step: Check Yourself and Your Passenger(s) For Injuries

Before you get out of your car, you must assess your own well-being. If you’re injured, call 911 if you’re able to. If you can’t physically call emergency services, ask someone nearby to do so. If you have any passengers in your vehicle, check their injuries as well. Although a million thoughts may be rushing through your head, you still need to make sure you’re safe. If you’ve suffered from an injury, you need to prioritize the arrival of emergency personnel.

Second Step: Move to a Safe Location and Call the Police

This step also requires several factors in order to fully understand the right decision to make. If your vehicle is causing a hazard and it can move and it is safe to do so, drive to a shoulder or somewhere away from the main road. If your car cannot move, turn off the engine, turn on the hazard lights and leave it where it is, then get yourself and your passengers to safety. Once you’re in a safe location, contact 911. This is necessary no matter the severity of the accident. Everything from fender benders to rollovers necessitates the intervention of the police. This is because the police officer will fill out an accident report as well as document the scene.

Third Step: Exchange Information With the Other Driver (or Drivers)

This is, understandably so, the most awkward and perhaps heated step of the entire process. Let’s say you rear-ended a vehicle on the freeway and you both pull over to the shoulder. Perhaps the driver you hit is irate and they start yelling at you for hitting their car. As difficult as it may sound, it’s necessary to remain calm and collected in these scenarios. Anything you say can be seen as an admission of guilt on your part. Saying “I’m sorry” or “it’s my fault” may feel like the natural reaction but it may lead to further issues. If possible, just exchange information with the other individual. This information includes the full name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license and license plate number, the location of the accident, as well as the color, type, and model of the vehicle.

Fourth Step: Do Your Best To Document the Accident

Almost everyone has a camera on his or her smartphone. Use your camera to your advantage and document the scene of the accident. Make sure to also take pictures of the street (skidmarks) or of the weather or traffic. All of this will come in handy in the future and will more-than-likely facilitate your case. Car accidents are very stressful but they can become more stressful if the other party or the insurance company complicate the situation. This is where a car accident lawyer can help.

If you’re in need of legal assistance following a car accident, the Law Firm of W. Shane Jennings can help. Give us a call as soon as your accident takes place (preferably after the fourth step) so we can get to work on your case!  

two semi trucks on an open road as the sun sets in the background

How A Traffic Lawyer Can Keep Commercial Drivers on the Road

If you’re a commercial driver, you’re perfectly aware of how important your CDL is. Without it, you won’t be able to have a career as a commercial truck driver. The best way to maintain your CDL is by avoiding traffic violations. Failing to do so can cause your driving record and CDL to gain points which may result in higher insurance rates, fines, and even suspension. If you’re in the Southern New Mexico area and you’re facing issues relating to traffic violations, Attorney W. Shane Jennings can help. An experienced traffic lawyer can guide the way and help protect your CDL and your status as a commercial driver.

Briefly Outlining the Legal Ramifications for Commercial Traffic Violations

Although commercial drivers share the road with other drivers, the laws that govern CDL holders differ greatly from other traffic laws. Due to the massive weight of commercial motor vehicles, it’s understandable why the legal ramifications of CMV traffic violations are so much harsher than those for casual drivers. First, let’s look at moving violations for commercial drivers. These serious traffic violations can lead cause commercial drivers to lose their CDL for a certain period of time. Moving violations include, but are not limited to excessive speeding, reckless driving, erratic lane changes, and following vehicles too closely.

If you commit two moving violations within a three-year period, your CDL will be suspended for a minimum of 60 days. If you commit three moving violations within the same period, you will lose your CDL for at least 120 days.

A Skilled Traffic Lawyer Can Help

Committing a major offense, such as using your commercial motor vehicle to commit a felony or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will result in the loss of your CDL for one to three years. A conviction of a second major offense will cause you to lose your CDL for life. Losing your CDL for any amount of time, whether it be 60 days or three years, means you won’t be able to work and make a living.

If you find yourself in this predicament, it’s necessary to seek legal assistance from a skilled traffic lawyer. Attorney W. Shane Jennings has served the Southern New Mexico region for many years. He’s well aware of the intricacies of traffic law and CDL suspensions in the state. With his assistance, you’ll be on the correct path towards recovering your CDL.

the statue of justice

Why It’s Time to Team Up with A Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, your world is more than likely spinning out of control. In times like these, you need a criminal defense lawyer to tether you to reality. The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings proudly serves the Southern New Mexico region, continuously providing high-quality criminal defense assistance. But what exactly does a criminal defense lawyer do and why is it necessary to team up with a law firm? We’ve got the answers, right here!

Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Understands Exactly What You’re Going Through

More often than not, people who get charged with a crime feel as if they’re completely alone. These situations must be dealt with the utmost care and that’s exactly why it’s in your best interest to team up with an experienced legal team. Your criminal defense lawyer will steady you throughout the entire legal process. Mr. Jennings will accomplish this by explaining the situation and answering any burning questions you may have. From there, he will get to work on your case. After all, it’s Mr. Jennings’ job to steer the ship, all while anchoring you to the present moment. Misdemeanors and felonies, especially, should be handled with a deft hand. Your criminal defense lawyer will provide the guidance your case deserves.

Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Devote Himself to Your Case

When it comes to criminal cases, it’s crucial to be aware of the most minute details. This is where Attorney W. Shane Jennings excels. No stone will be left unturned. He is well-known throughout the New Mexico area for his knack for detail. This trait has given Mr. Jennings the ability to discover unique details and aspects which he can later bring up in court for your benefit. Mr. Jennings has thousands of hours of experience in courtroom time. This means he can guide your case on the correct path. He will be with you every step of the way. You’ll be able to rest easy knowing your case is in good hands.

Contact W. Shane Jennings, Today!

If you’re facing criminal charges, contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings. Attorney W. Shane Jennings and his team are ready to help with your case. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we’ll be able to get to work. You deserve a hard-working legal defender, attorney W. Shane Jennings can provide this and so much more. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help.

the word Immigration written on the road in the middle of the desert

Outlining the Nation’s Family Separation Crisis

Family separation is one of the most talked about issues currently plaguing the Border region and the country at large. But how did it start and where is this issue heading? Immigration lawyers all across the country have been working tirelessly for nearly a year to reunite families. If you’re in New Mexico’s Southern region and you’re facing immigration issues, The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings can help. By teaming up with an experienced immigration lawyer, your case will receive the care and attention it deserves.

A Brief Timeline of Family Separation in the United States

Families are being separated at the border and children are often being sent to detention centers. According to Business Insider, the states of Texas and California have the most detention centers in the country, with 184 and 120 centers respectively. Although the 23 detention centers in the state of New Mexico may pale in comparison with those in Texas and California, it’s still apparent that these centers are doing more harm than good. The idea of detention centers was first brought up by the Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, in March of 2017. Kelly was quoted as considering the policy of family separation in order to achieve a “deterrent effect.” Although many members of Congress wrote to Kelly in opposition of family separation, it was eventually implemented.

According to a memo obtained by the Washington Post in mid-2018, the family separation policy was implemented in New Mexico and West Texas for a five-month period. So, from July to November of 2017, our Border region was the first to see the ramifications of family separation and detention centers. Today, more than “2,300 children have been separated from their parents” (USA Today).

How a Zero Tolerance Policy Resulted in Over 2,300 Displaced Children

The entire family separation fiasco can be attributed to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which was launched in April of last year. On June 26 of 2018, a federal judge in California ordered for U.S. immigration authorities to reunite the families that have been separated at the border within 30 days. Although that timeline has come and gone, a handful of families have been reunited. If you or a loved one are facing the terrible ramifications of this botched immigration policy, the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings can help. With the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer, your case can be dealt with accordingly. Give us a call today to learn more about your options.