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 been working in the southern New Mexico area for many years, so he’s seen his fair share of car accidents, 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!