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.