Accident between car and bicycle on city street

Bikes In A Car’s World: Bicycle Accidents On Modern Roads

If you look at a busy street today, you will find a road filled with cars and trucks. You’ll hear blaring horns and roaring engines, with sound bouncing off of storefronts and reverberating down the street.

Along the side of the road, you may see pedestrians and bicyclists using mechanical modes of transportation to move around compared to the cars of our era. While the legs are a technology millions of years in the making, the bicycle is barely 200 years old, celebrating its 200th birthday in 2017.

Technological advancement has been nothing if not meteoric, turning these mechanical marvels into simple tech in a few short years. But you may be surprised that many of the issues people had with the automobile were also levied at the bicycle as well.

The rapid pace of innovation has been a fixture of modern life, but such quick growth leads to problems, and the bicycle is not immune.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how modernization has impacted the bicycle and infrastructure at large as well as what you need to know about bicycle accidents and safety.

Bicycles: A Modern Marvel In The 1800s

As we mentioned earlier, the bicycle was quite the marvel when it was created in the early 1800s. You may think the bicycle was made to be a fun mode of transportation, but it was actually created out of necessity.

In 1815, a massive eruption of Mount Tambora, Indonesia caused a volcanic winter, which led to crops failing, causing people and animals to starve to death. Many of these animals were horses, which were used for transportation and other uses.

Seeing the issue, Baron Karl von Drais of Baden, Germany decided to do something about the problem. In 1817, he designed a precursor to the modern bicycle called a Laufmaschine, or “running machine.” His invention inspired other manufacturers to make their own, and it became a fantastic, albeit prohibitively expensive, tool.

These early contraptions did not have pedals, which wouldn’t be added until the 1860s. Nonetheless, the invention of the bicycle came with some problems. Many cities banned or regulated the use of these inventions because they would startle people on the sidewalks.

By the 1820s and 30s, the “hobby horse” had faded from existence. By nature of how they worked, they simply weren’t very practical. Roads were rough, the devices were expensive, and laws restricted their use to sidewalks.

The 1860s would see bicycles begin to modernize, with additions like centered steering wheels, a gear system, and pedals becoming more and more prevalent. This, coupled with slightly lowering prices, led to the bicycle becoming more practical and useful.

By the late 1890s, bikes were made of lightweight metal. This, along with other improvements, led to a boom in sales. By the year 1900, there were an estimated 1 million bikes in the world.

Bikes And Cars: Disruptions To Transportation

As stated earlier, bikes were disruptive to their environment, sometimes literally pushing people aside as they walked. But less than a century later, the car would send reverberations through major cities around the globe.

Cities that hadn’t adjusted to the use of bicycles were then adapting to the use of cars, helped out by lobbying from the wealthy and automobile companies alike. Since cars take up so much space, large roads had to be built simply to accommodate these new transportation machines. Pedestrians were slowly pushed to the side, and bicycles followed suit.

Nowadays, nearly every major city is well-optimized for use of the automobile, but not much else. While some cities are attempting to improve their pedestrian and bike infrastructure, it’s clear that cars now control the way that we move and interact in America.

A Quick Look at Bicycling Accident

As a result of the way we move, cycling is often rather dangerous for people. In 2018, 854 bicyclists were tragically killed in crashes with motor vehicles, many of them in cities. With how frantic city traffic can be, people are often overloaded with stimuli and may not see a bicyclist near them.

In addition to these fatality numbers, 11,000 people are injured by vehicles every year. This is a problem that continues to plague cyclists and one that leads to thousands spent on property repair and medical bills.

Part of that can be chalked up to people not paying attention. Cars are much faster than they used to be, yet our technology also allows us to be distracted by texts, music, and so much more while we drive. While hitting another car while distracted could easily be fatal, the chances are much higher when a cyclist is hit.

Another piece of this puzzle could be directly attributed to the lack of considerate urban planning. The invention of the affordable car completely changed the ways cities functioned, with the consideration of horses and bicycles being pushed far to the side.

These factors among others contribute to the epidemic of automobile-cyclist accidents on the road today.

Keeping Yourself Safe On The Road

Cities have become more hazardous than they are accommodating to cyclists, which is a problem for motorists and cyclists alike. So how do you minimize your risk of being involved in an accident?

No Distractions: Whether you are a cyclist or a driver, you need to remove any distractions while you drive. Phones, tablets, and other devices should be kept in your pocket until you reach your destination. Thousands of accidents every year are caused by distractions.

Get Involved: Think your city doesn’t support cyclists? Let your voice be heard! Contact government officials in your area to discuss creating cyclist-friendly infrastructure.

Use All Appropriate Safety Equipment: It is important to use the safety tools available to you. If cycling, consider a helmet, gloves, protective cycling clothing, and other equipment. For driving a motor vehicle, ensure airbags are working properly and that seatbelts are secure.

Choose The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings For Your Case

Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, accidents happen. Call the Hobbs office because we’ve aided enough clients in receiving favorable results from their accident cases in Las Cruces that we opened the Hobbs office.

If you need a team to help you navigate your cycling accident in Hobbs, New Mexico, then call our office to learn more!

A young woman sitting next to her car after a car accident

Recovering From A Car Accident: Steps To Expect

Car accidents are an unfortunate part of modern transportation. Over 16,000 car crashes are estimated to occur every single day in the United States alone. Being involved in an accident can be terrifying, especially if you’re unsure of the next steps you should take after the fact. 

If you’re unsure what you should do if you are ever in an accident, use this blog as a guide. From the immediate aftermath of the crash to finding medical assistance after the fact, we’ll discuss the basic steps you should take, as well as some tips for making the process smoother and less stressful. 

What To Do Right After Your Accident 

As soon as you get into an accident, you’ll want to analyze your surroundings, your health, and the health of your passengers. Most accidents aren’t serious accidents, so if your accident is not too drastic, try to get to the side of the road or another safe location. 

Call For Assistance 

Once you’ve assessed the situation and gotten to safety, you’ll next want to call for assistance. Alert the police to the situation, and be sure to give them relevant information like location and the extent of injuries. 

If there are serious injuries, be sure to alert the authorities so they can send paramedics to your location. They may ask you to describe the injuries sustained by you or your passengers and provide medical advice to use until the paramedics arrive. 

Get All Relevant Information 

You’ll want to get any relevant information from the other person or people involved in the accident. Information that you’ll want to acquire at the crash scene includes: 

  • The accident’s location/address
  • Police officer’s name and badge number
  • Insurance companies/policy numbers
  • Vehicle information (make, year, color, etc.)
  • Driver contact info
  • Witness names

With this information, you’ll be better equipped to file a claim or address any questions or concerns about the car accident itself. 

If it is safe to do so, you will also want to take as many pictures of the accident as you can. This provides concrete evidence of what occurred. Try to capture the orientation of each vehicle involved, as well as capturing identifying landmarks like buildings or street signs. Finally, gather witnesses that saw the accident and can corroborate your story and support the police report of the incident. 

Order Roadside Assistance If Necessary

If your car is unable to move or if it would be unsafe to drive away from the crash, then you’ll need to call in for roadside assistance. They will be able to tow your vehicle for you, so you’re able to get it to a safer location, be it your home or a car shop. 

File A Claim

Once you are safe and sound, you’ll want to file a claim with your insurance agency. Take detailed pictures and notes of the wreck, including any police information that is pertinent to your claim. You can begin filing your claim at the scene of the crash in fact, or wait until shortly after the crash if that is more comfortable. 

Get Medical Treatment If Necessary 

Even if you don’t need any serious medical attention, you may have some aches and pains after your car accident. You don’t have to suffer through those aches and pains, though. By using a doctor or chiropractor, you can begin to heal and recover from the pain of your accident. 

Some chiropractic clinics to consider in Las Cruces include: 

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be eligible to have your medical expenses covered by the opposing party’s insurance coverage. If you aren’t sure about your eligibility, your insurance company or lawyer may be able to provide more information. 

Contact An Attorney 

If you’ve been hit by a commercial vehicle, you may be in for a legal battle. No insurance company wants to shell out money for an accident, but commercial insurance companies can be the most difficult to deal with. 

To combat the difficulty of working with a commercial company, hire an attorney that is ready to fight for you in these types of accidents and cases. The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings knows that you want the justice you deserve we want to help you get it.  

Choose The Law Office of Shane Jennings For Your Accident!

If you or someone you know has been in an accident with a commercial vehicle, our office can provide the legal representation. Give us a call today to discuss your case!

Truck is driving down an empty highway past a mountainous landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents

In the course of your time driving, there are many things that can go wrong. Moving violations and collisions are the most common and obvious dangers on the road. There are many other hazards that need to be considered as well. If you’re driving alongside an 18-wheeler, you run the risk of coming into contact with spilling cargo, causing you to crash and possibly become injured. 

Trucking companies can be held liable for these types of crashes, but fighting that fight on your own can be an uphill battle. The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings is here to help in the event of a crash with a semi-truck. There are a lot of things that go into defending you and how semi-truck accidents are handled, so we’ve provided some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. 

Who oversees the laws for trucking companies?

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) oversees all laws and regulations that involve the commercial truck industry. These regulations force OTR carriers to have some sort of commercial insurance coverage. This is to ensure that owner-operators and commercial truck companies have enough insurance protection to be able to pay for any damages if found liable in the event that an accident can occur. 

What are the most common causes of truck accidents?

Distracted driving is one major cause. Truck drivers are most often found to be distracted by using their GPS unit or when by becoming tired. Another major cause is faulty truck maintenance. All commercial trucking companies are required to document all maintenance records in the case that a truck might break down. 

Who can be held responsible for a truck accident?

Semi-truck accidents most often result in personal injury lawsuits against the driver and trucking company. This includes the truck owner(s) if they differ from the actual driver. In some serious injury cases, insurance companies have gone after the actual truck manufacturer for damages.

Why do I need an attorney for my truck accident claim?

You stand a much better chance of obtaining an appropriate settlement after a commercial motor vehicle accident with the assistance of an experienced truck accident lawyer. A lawyer who represents your interests can level the legal field. 

Protect Your Rights with The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings

 Truck accidents can lead to severe and life-threatening injuries. A car accident can make your world feel as if it’s spinning out of control. The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings is here to provide the guidance to help make it better.  Contact us today to learn about how we can represent you on the road and in all walks of life!

two cars damaged after an accident

Help! I Got In A Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver

Every driver should drive as defensively as possible. This would be realistic in a utopia where no one gets aggravated when someone takes a second too long to start moving after the light turns green. Humans, sadly, are fallible. Perhaps you were running late and you had to drive a bit faster than usual to get to work on time. Or maybe you decided to keep checking your phone for that important email. Next thing you know, you’re in a fender bender, rollover, or anything else in between. Or let’s say you drove to work and remained completely aware of your surroundings, driving at or below the speed limit and signaling whenever you changed lanes.

Accidents Happen, Even to the Safest of Drivers

Even if you drive as safely as possible, you won’t be able to stop another individual from hitting you. Let’s say this happens and you notice your vehicle’s entire rear bumper breaks and falls off; your left rear tire is bent inwards; your headlights are decimated. Simply put, you won’t be able to drive your car any time soon. You’re dazed and a bit frazzled but you’re able to call the cops.

While you wait, you get out of your vehicle and walk over to the person who hit you and attempt to exchange information. The person who hit you is a young man in his early 20s. He has a short, unkempt beard. His hair is tied up in a messy bun, and he’s lighting up a cigarette. You think that at this present moment, you could go for a cigarette as well, but you decide to remain calm and mature.

You ask the young man for his name and insurance information. Up to this point, the situation hadn’t really sunk in yet. Sure, you experienced some shock but, being a realist, you were able to push that away and get to work, so to speak. But when the young man says he doesn’t have insurance, the damaged world you were holding up so valiantly crumbles.

For a few brief moments (which feel like an eternity in your mind) you’re unsure about how to proceed. Then the police sirens bring you back to the present moment. You look at the young man, who is now staring out the passenger window as he exhales the smoke from his cigarette, and your heart sinks a bit deeper as the words “lost cause” repeat over and over in your mind.

Remember, You’re Not Alone!

You walk back towards your half-destroyed car. A police officer comes up and asks you for your information. You provide it but you’re still in a daze. Then, you have a moment of clarity. You recall a blog you read a few weeks ago that remarked the exact situation you find yourself in now. In fact, it all feels a bit eerie. The blog described the exact accident you find yourself in, almost to a T. You take this as a sign and you call the car accident lawyer from said blog. As you explain your situation, your attorney provides a bit of guidance and you schedule a meeting to go over your car accident.

The Legal Ramifications of Driving Uninsured in New Mexico

You see, driving without insurance is illegal in the state of New Mexico (under the NMS 66-5-205 Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act, which states that “all drivers must have a means to guarantee their financial responsibility in case of accidents”). Even though this Act exists as a means to ensure that every single driver in the streets of New Mexico can be held financially responsible for accidents, many drivers still drive uninsured. Violating the Act is categorized as a misdemeanor and can lead to a $300 fine or up to 90 days of jail time in addition to suspension of the vehicle’s registration.

Where to Go Next

Let’s return to the above scenario. Once the police officers speak to the other driver, and they find out he doesn’t have insurance, the officers will immediately confiscate the driver’s license plates. The other driver will be on his own legal quandary now but that doesn’t mean you should be all alone. The other driver should be held responsible for the accident he caused. It is up to your car accident lawyer to guide this unfortunate situation as positively as possible.

Choose W. Shane Jennings as Your Car Accident Lawyer

Attorney W. Shane Jennings has worked with his fair share of car accidents cases, especially those in which one driver (or both!) was uninsured. The road ahead will be arduous but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. With the help of a reputable car accident lawyer, you’ll be back in the driver’s seat in no time.

Give us a call or save our office’s phone number in your phone book today. You never know when you’ll need to call a lawyer; make sure you’re prepared for when the unexpected happens.

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.

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!