Top Reasons to Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

Top Reasons to Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

Personal injury cases can be quite complex. There are fault investigations, coordination between insurance companies, medical providers, and law enforcement. Additionally, there are negotiations with insurance companies who make deals in their best interest. Hiring a personal injury attorney in New Mexico who is knowledgeable and has experience fighting for your rights is key. Here are the top reasons you should hire a personal injury attorney in New Mexico.

Claim Assessment

Personal injury attorneys are experienced and can tell you if your case is worth the legal hassle. If it is doubtful that you will win, you can avoid the time and cost of preparing your case.

Understanding of Personal Injury Law

Complicated legal and medical terminology are typical in most personal injury litigation cases. Personal injury attorneys can navigate through all the red tape and examine the evidence needed to resolve your case.

Additionally, Personal injury lawyers use their extensive knowledge of the law to present your case in a legally favorable context.

Assesment of Involved Parties

In some auto accidents, it is easy to tell who is at fault. However, in some cases, there may be more responsible parties. Automotive defects, road conditions or the sale of alcohol to a drunk driver could have also played a role.

Experience with dealing with lawyers

During your discovery process, you will need to share facts and documents. Personal injury attorneys are familiar with this process and can handle this more efficiently.

Experience Dealing with Insurance Companies

Calculating your injuries, lost wages, pain, and suffering is difficult without a personal injury attorney.

Furthermore, insurance companies make offers for their own benefit. A personal injury attorney can recognize a bad settlement offer and advise you of the best action to take.

Higher Settlement Amount

Personal injury lawyers use their experience and negotiation skills to get the settlement you are entitled to. As a result, personal injury attorneys settlements are 300% higher on average.

Trial Experience

If your case goes to trial, attorneys have many hours of courtroom experience. Therefore, personal injury attorneys understand how to present your case before a jury.


When you have an accident, you can be frustrated and want a quick resolution. Insurance companies use this to lure you into accepting low settlement agreement. A personal injury attorney won’t take a low settlement agreement.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

As a result of the complexity of personal injury claims, you should consult with a personal injury attorney in New Mexico. Attorneys investigate the accident, calculate your damages, and determine a fair settlement. When you hire an attorney, you show the insurance company that you will not settle for less than you deserve.

In addition, there is nothing to lose and no upfront expense for consulting with a personal injury attorney Contact us today at (575) 308-0308.

10 Things to Document From an Auto Accident Scene

10 Things to Document from an Auto Accident Scene

When you have been involved in an auto accident, proper evidence collection from the accident scene is important for your case. Evidence can be photos, videos, and documentation. The evidence will help to demonstrate that you were not at fault. Additionally, it will show the accident was responsible for your injuries.

Here are 10 things you should document from an auto accident scene.

1. Evidence from First Responders

If you find yourself in need of medical attention, call an ambulance. This provides you with needed medical attention. It also provides a medical record to use as evidence in your case. Medical first responders can serve as a witness to injuries at the accident scene.

If you are not in need of immediate medical attention, contact the police. Document their names and badge numbers. The police report will also serve as evidence for your case.


2. Driver’s name and contact information

The driver’s information shows who was operating the motor vehicle when the auto accident occurred.


3. Insurance Information

The other driver’s insurance card will contain the contact information for the insurer. You may need to contact the driver’s insurance company to obtain information and coordinate repairs.


4. Vehicle Description and License Plate Number

Take photos or take note of the car make and model as well as the license plate number.

5. Photographs of the Final Resting Positions of the Vehicle from the Auto Accident Scene

This is very important. The final resting place of the vehicles after the auto accident shows a lot of information about the impact. Information such as vehicle speed and impact angle will be helpful in backing up your personal injury claim.

Photographs should be from multiple angles and distances. This will reveal information such as your distance from an intersection or a warning sign.


6. Photographs of the Damages

Detailed photos of the damage to both vehicles are also helpful in determining fault. Additionally, it provides supporting evidence for a personal injury claim.


7. Photographs of Road Conditions

Road conditions can play a key role in determining the cause of the accident. Document Potholes, oil slicks, missing or obstructed signage that could have contributed to the accident.


8. Photographs skid marks

Document Tire Marks from accident scene

Skid marks or lack thereof could show if the driver attempted to brake or not. Lack of braking could be a sign of a distracted driver.


9. Information from Witnesses

witness testimony after auto accident scene

If there were witnesses to the accident, collecting their names and contact information will be useful. If you sustain injuries your attorney may need to speak with them.


10. Photos of Your Injuries

auto accident injuries

Contact The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings

Creating a record of your injuries can go a long way in proving what injuries you sustained from your accident. This will support your personal injury claim. The Law Office Of W. Shane Jennings will review your case and provide you with a free evaluation

5 Things You Should Never Say After a Car Accident in New Mexico

5 Things You Should Never Say After a Car Accident in New Mexico

After a car accident, you will need to speak with the other driver involved. What you say next could make or break your case. It is important that you are aware of the pitfalls for some of the most common responses. Here are 5 things, from The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, you should never say after a car accident in New Mexico.

“I feel fine”

After a car crash, you are full of adrenaline and disoriented and unable to assess the pain you are in. It is very common for injuries not to surface until hours, sometimes days later. Therefore, stating how you feel at the time can work outside of your best interest. Saying “I feel fine” could lead to questions when you file a personal injury claim. You should never say anything that will make light of your condition.

“I’m sorry”

Car accidents are scary and cause many inconveniences for both parties. It is human nature to want to apologize, even if it wasn’t your fault. However, the other party can be interpreted that as an admission of fault. It is best that you say little as possible and let the evidence speak for you. Otherwise, you could forfeit your personal injury claim and pay out of pocket for the damages you suffer.

“It was my (your) fault”

It is important not to accuse yourself or the other party for the auto accident. There could have been other factors involved in causing the auto accident. Not only can accusations cause a heated exchange of words, it could even lead to physical violence adding more tension to an already tense situation. It is best to allow law enforcement to do their job in conjunction with your insurance company to determine who was at fault.

“I know what happened”

You should be as exact as possible when talking with law enforcement about the facts of the accident. However, you should avoid speculation about the events. This could make the case more difficult to resolve. Speculation such as vehicle speed and driver intent can cause inconsistencies during the investigation that could damage your case.

Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

The actions you take immediately after a vehicle accident in New Mexico are critical to ensuring just compensation for your claim. We are standing by to provide you with the assistance you need after your accident. Contact us The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings today (575) 308-0308

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

We all have busy lives filled so many things to do and so little time. We often have to multi-task to compress time and get things done. Sometimes it is unavoidable, however, in certain situations, it can cause more harm than good. Driving is one of the situations that should command our full attention. Distracted driving is responsible for about 9 deaths and more than 1000 injuries every day.

Here are a few tips from The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings on things to do to remain focused on the road.

Get Plenty of Rest

When you do not get enough sleep, nodding off can distract you from driving and this can lead to big problems.

The problem of drowsy driving is much higher than federal estimates show
According to newly released research from the AAA Foundation for traffic safety about 10 percent of all motor vehicle-related crashes.

In-car camera footage of over 3500 drivers in a span over several months reveals that drowsiness was a factor in 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes resulting in “significant” property damage – markedly higher than the 1 percent to 2 percent federal agencies estimate.

“As many Americans struggle to balance their busy schedules, missing a few hours of sleep each day can often seem harmless,” AAA Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research Jake Nelson said in the release. “But missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash, which is the equivalent of driving drunk.”

  • AAA offers tips to help drivers avoid drowsiness behind the wheel:
  • Drive during normal awake hours.
  • Don’t rely on your body for warning signs of fatigue.
  • Take breaks every two hours or 100 miles.
  • Drive with an alert passenger and take turns driving.
  • Don’t take medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment before driving.

Put your cell phone away

Using a cellphone takes away your focus from the road and increases the danger to pedestrians, other motorists, and passengers.

Hands-free or Bluetooth devices do not reduce the dangers of distracted driving. If you must make a call, pull over to a safe place and make the call or text. Joseph McKillips, executive director of the Vienna, VA-based Network of Employers for Traffic Safety had this to say.
“Hands-free use, it’s cognitively distracting to the driver,” “The research says so.”

Here’s what you can do:

  • Let your friends and co-workers know that you do not take calls, respond to text messages, or emails while you are operating a vehicle.
  • Remove access to distracting items. Items such as paper and pen, or a cell phone, should be made inaccessible.
  • Pull over if there is something you need to take care of before you reach your destination.

Don’t Eat and Drive

Eating while driving is not illegal, however, studies show it should be. Eating while driving has proved to be just as dangerous as texting while driving.

This video shows how an Albuquerque, New Mexico city bus driver learned this the hard way.

In a Lytx study done in 2014 shows that a driver who is eating is over 300% more likely to be in an auto accident that their non-eating counterparts. However, According to an Exxon-Mobile survey of 1000 individuals, 70% of drivers have admitted to eating and driving.

Don’t Apply Makeup While Driving

This one should be a no-brainer, however, 46% of women have admitted to applying makeup during their daily commute.

IN 2009, the data revealed that about 450,000 auto accidents per year were caused by women applying makeup while driving. In some states, such as California, it is illegal.

Call a New Mexico Auto Accident Attorney if you are a Victim of Distracted Driving

This is far from a complete list. Any activity that removes your eyes from the road, removes your hands from the wheel, or takes your full attention from the road, should be recognized as distracted driving.

If you have been a victim of a distracted driver in New Mexico contact The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings at (575) 308-0308 for more information and free consultation.

What to Expect After a Car Accident in New Mexico

Automobile accidents can affect the lives of those involved in many ways. From minor injuries and property damage to wrongful death. When you are involved in a car accident in New Mexico, you will need to work with your insurance provider, and possibly a personal injury lawyer. It can be a painful ordeal. Therefore, New Mexico residents need to be well informed about the auto accident settlement process.

Should I Report a Car Accident in New Mexico?

If the accident resulted in personal injury or damages to property that exceed $500, New Mexico requires two reports, an oral report to local police, in addition to a written report.

Oral reports must be filed over the phone to your local police department. Written reports must be filed within 5 days of the accident and must be filed with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT).

In addition, however, even if the injury did not result in personal injury you should still exchange insurance and contact information with the other party involved in the accident.

New Mexico Car Insurance Laws

New Mexico requires drivers to carry minimum liability insurance of at least:

$25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person,
$50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons
$10,000 for property damage in any one accident

How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in New Mexico?

Almost all disputes over car accident damages end in an out of court settlement. When you negotiate a settlement, you are calculating the amount of money you will accept to drop your legal claim.

New Mexico also has an alternative dispute resolution method called settlement facilitation. Settlement facilitation conferences are a type of mediation. A mediator, or facilitator, helps guide the parties in reaching a resolution. In this method, the parties have the ability to create their own agreement that is satisfactory to both parties.

How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement in New Mexico?

There are no guarantees in what your settlement will be. Since each case is unique and the settlement depends on a number of factors. For instance,
there will be different amounts if the result of the accident caused:

  • Minor injuries with no ongoing complications
  • Substantial injuries that require surgery, or physical therapy
  • Spinal trauma or paralysis
  • Brain injuries that created a cognitive disability
  • Wrongful death
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Lost wages

Consequently, the extent of the damages you sustained is the most important factor in determining a settlement amount.

How Long Do I Have to File an Automobile Accident Lawsuit in New Mexico?

The Statutes of Limitations for filing a legal case for a car accident in New Mexico is three years for personal injury claims and four years for property damages.

Most noteworthy, Statutes of Limitations are non-extendable time limits. Therefore, be sure you have time to file a lawsuit.

Free Claim Review from The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings

In conclusion, The understanding of fault, damages, meeting the appropriate deadlines are all key aspects of a successful settlement and can be a daunting task for the average person. A free claim review from The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings can help prevent other issues that could stop your case before it starts. Call us at (575) 308-0308We are standing by to help guide you through the process.

Annulment: Frequently Asked Questions

If you want to end your marriage there are several options available. For many individuals, an annulment is the most prudent choice, but you might not know exactly what this process involves.

It is critical to understand the differences between separation, mediation, a traditional divorce and an annulment to help you determine what is the right option. Here are a few frequently asked questions you might have about an annulment.
What Is the Difference Between a Traditional Divorce and an Annulment?
In many respects, an annulment and a divorce are very similar. For example, both are legal proceedings that end with two former spouses no longer joined in marriage. However, it is critical to understand the main difference between an annulment and a divorce before going forward.
When seeking a divorce, the two parties or the court acknowledge the marriage occurred. An annulment, on the other hand, is a legal end to a marriage the court states was not valid. In either case, both former spouses can choose to remarry.
What Are a Few of the Grounds for Annulment?
There are two types of divorces: fault and no-fault. For an individual to seek a fault divorce, they must prove that the other spouse’s actions led to the divorce. In a state with no-fault divorce laws, neither party must provide evidence of the other’s wrongdoings.
In a way that is similar to a fault divorce, one spouse must provide valid grounds to receive an annulment. Some of the most common reasons include:
  • Previous marriage. The other spouse was legally married to another person.
  • Blood relatives. The spouses are relatives. An aunt and nephew, uncle and niece, grandparent and grandchild, or parent and biological child are a few examples.
  • Forced marriage. One party was forced into the marriage.
  • Underage. One party was under the age of marital consent.
  • Consummation. The spouses did not consummate their marriage.
  • Misrepresentation or fraud. For example, if one spouse lied about being a drug user, their age or a past criminal history, it could be grounds for an annulment.
These are only a handful of examples. If you have any further questions about what is considered grounds for annulment, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney.
Are There Any Benefits to Seeking an Annulment?
Depending on an individual’s circumstances, there are several advantages to seeking an annulment. These benefits will depend on individual situations for both spouses. For example, if one spouse was collecting alimony before the annulled marriage, they can often begin receiving those payments again from a former spouse.
If either spouse’s finances were destroyed because of their marriage, an annulment can often help both spouses become more stable. In many states, an equitable division of marital assets is a legal option. However, if an individual is granted an annulment, they will be allowed to retain all their assets, including those assets that were obtained before and after the marriage.
Finally, for many individuals who can seek an annulment, a piece of paper that confirms their marriage never occurred in the first place can help those individuals more easily rebuild their lives and move on.
What Should I Do First?
If you are considering your options for ending a marriage, your first step needs to be contacting an attorney. Your attorney can help you determine if an annulment is the right choice, or if it is even possible. Next, your attorney will guide you through the process of determining the grounds for your annulment and finding evidence to support these grounds.
Do not try to go through this process alone. Instead, contact an attorney to learn about your options and rights.
Obtaining an annulment for many individuals is the best option available for many individuals. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at the Law Offices of W. Shane Jennings.

Case Won: What to Do If Your Civil Judgment Goes Unpaid

When you choose to get involved in a lawsuit, you typically expect to win monetary compensation from the party that has wronged you. If you win the lawsuit, the next logical step is that the losing party pays you by order of the court.

However, in some instances, the losing party in the case does not pay the judgment for some particular reason. He or she might not have the money to pay the judgment or might simply refuse to pay.
If this happens to you, you will need to take additional measures and pay extra court costs in order to collect your judgment. The following are some things to remember when you attempt to collect your money after winning a civil case.

Refusal of an Individual to Pay a Judgment

The losing party in a civil case may refuse to pay a judgment for any number of reasons. If you have sued an individual person, the refusal to pay is likely due to a lack of funds. If they do not have the money, they will have nothing to pay you, unfortunately. It can be difficult to collect your money in this type of situation without further action on your part.

Wage Garnishment

Refusing to make a payment for a civil judgment does not automatically get the losing party out of the final judgment. If you have sued an individual and they refuse to pay, you can have their wages garnished – assuming that the individual is employed and is paid legally.
If you choose to have the individual’s wages garnished in order to collect the judgment, you will need to back to court and schedule a hearing. You will also need to provide proof that this person owes you money for your case and has not made payments toward the judgment.
Each state will limit the amount you may garnish from each paycheck, up to a certain percentage per pay period.
If the individual claims not to work or have any sort of income, you can have a post-judgment discovery conducted if you believe that is not truthful. You will need to work with your attorney and the court to do so. The individual could be subjected to questioning and depositions and may also have to provide documents.

Refusal of a Business to Pay a Judgment

Most businesses will comply and pay the judgment right away to avoid any negative press that could hurt their revenue. However, some businesses may choose not to pay out judgments.
If this happens, you have a few more options. The first thing to do is to garnish the bank account of the business, much like you would do with an individual.
However, garnishment may not always an option. Some businesses, especially small businesses, opt to work on a cash-only system. In this case, you would need to work with your local sheriff’s department to make a collection.
With assistance from your attorney, the sheriff can seize the cash in the register of the business in order to pay you. Other assets, such as equipment or inventory, can also be seized in order to help collect your judgment.


If the individual or business that you have secured a judgment against files for bankruptcy, you may be out of luck. Chapter 7 bankruptcy essentially throws out just about all debts that are due, including any judgments issued by the court.
For any of these collection options, you will need an attorney’s assistance at minimum. Keep this in mind when you are deciding whether or not to move forward with collection, as the money you will need to spend may outweigh the amount you are due. For assistance with your legal matters, please contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings.

Being Charged With Domestic Violence In New Mexico

If you are arrested for charges related to domestic violence, you may feel intimidated. Of course, dealing with the legal system is never a walk in the park. The difficult road ahead of you is one reason why you might consider hiring an attorney to combat the charges.

Each state has its own guidelines for domestic violence charges. Domestic violence in New Mexico may include physical harm, severe emotional distress, assault, threats of injury, criminal trespass, criminal property damage, and harassment.
If you are arrested for domestic violence, you should quickly become acquainted with New Mexico’s domestic violence laws and processes. This guide will help you get started.

Understanding Domestic Violence Arrests

Your arraignment will be your first appearance in court, during which you will hear orders from the judge. In domestic violence cases, a New Mexico judge will order that you do not have contact with the alleged victim. Typically, lawyers advise that you plead not guilty.
If you are ordered to have no contact with those alleging violence, you may have to move out of your current residence. In some cases, the judge will issue a protective order. Protective orders can set restrictions for abuse and stalking, but it can also award temporary custody of a child to one party.
You will be expected to stick to the terms of your bond, including any restraining orders. Failing to do so could mean that you will be arrested and detained until it is time for your trial.

Understanding Domestic Violence Laws

According to New Mexico law, domestic violence can be committed against any member of a household or a member of the family that is not a resident, including parents, children, spouses, ex-spouses, romantic partners, or roommates. Domestic violence laws also apply to those you have had an intimate or romantic relationship with, even if you don’t live together.
One major misconception about domestic violence charges is that they can be dropped immediately if the victim does not want to press charges. The decision is actually up to the legal system.
Several types of domestic violence charges exist. For instance, some cases are determined to be an assault against a household member, which is a petty misdemeanor and may include an attempt to batter rather than physical contact. Battery, a misdemeanor, includes physical contact. Aggravated battery, a felony, includes contact with a weapon or causing great bodily harm by any means.

Understanding Domestic Violence Consequences

If you are convicted of domestic violence in New Mexico, the consequences are steep. In addition to jail, prison, or fines, you may also be required to attend counseling sessions as part of a treatment program.
Petty misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Misdemeanor convictions mean up to one year of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000. On the other hand, felony assault is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 depending on the degree.
Repeat offenders face steeper punishments. If you have been convicted of felonies in the past, a new felony conviction may be deemed more serious.

Understanding Domestic Violence Defense

To fight back against potential consequences associated with domestic violence charges, you need an attorney. Your lawyer is responsible for understanding and interpreting the law to provide you with a defense. Defense against domestic violence can be difficult, so you need professional representation.
The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings provides legal services for those facing domestic violence charges. We are compassionate and understanding while maintaining extraordinary legal expertise to help defend you against domestic violence accusations.

3 Defenses to a Criminal Battery Charge

Being charged with criminal battery in the state of New Mexico is a scary situation, and the negative consequences of such a charge can mean major problems for you. You could face everything from hefty fines to jail time.

According to 2006 New Mexico Statutes – Section 30-3-4 – Battery, “Battery is the unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to the person of another when done in a rude, insolent or angry manner. Whoever commits battery is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.”

Your best line of defense for fighting a criminal battery charge so you’re not found guilty is to hire a qualified criminal defense attorney. The most skillful attorney will look at the facts about your case and come up with logical defense tactics to show the court why you’re not guilty. Here’s a look at common tactics your attorney may use to defend you with a criminal battery charge.

1. You Acted Out to Protect Yourself

In some situations, your lawyer will gather evidence in an effort to prove to the court that you only assaulted the victim because you saw them as an immediate threat. Self-defense can be one of the more effective ways of defending your charge in court because most people will try to defend themselves from harm.

According to, self-defense is defined as using reasonable force to protect yourself from physical harm. Therefore, your act of defending yourself must be reasonable according to the proposed threat. For example, if someone threatens to hit you with their fist, you would equally be inclined to defend yourself with your own hands.

2. The Victim Consented to the Activity Leading to the Battery

One of the trickier defense tactics, consensual assault is a more unusual idea that rarely applies to normal situations. In battery cases, consent usually refers to the fact that the victim consented to something they knew in advance could cause them harm. One example of this situation is if the injuries occurred as a result of fighting for sport.

Consent rarely comes up as part of usual criminal battery cases, and when it does, judges can be apprehensive about viewing consent as a logical defense. However, if this defense does apply to your case, your attorney will take great strides to prove the unique circumstances of the incident.

3. You Were Protecting Someone Else or Your Property

Just as you have the right to defend yourself against a proposed threat, you also have the right to defend someone else or your personal property. This defense is commonly brought up in criminal battery cases because many people act out in an effort to protect someone or something. A few examples of this would be if:

  • You attacked someone who was directly injuring a loved one
  • You assaulted someone because they were trying to burn down your home
  • You attacked someone who was causing harm to your vehicle
  • You defended someone who was being assaulted by the victim

While these situations can sometimes be hard to prove, they are usually easier to prove than the common self-defense claim. This is especially true if you were defending another individual and not some form of material property because the third party may be able to give testimony.

While criminal battery charges can be a scary thing to face in a court of law, having a good attorney with knowledge of logical defense tactics may help. If you have been charged with criminal battery, don’t wait to get help. Reach out to us at Law Office of W. Shane Jennings today for expert advice regarding your case.