What to expect after a car accident in New Mexico

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?

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?

Car Accident Settlements

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.

Those who hire an auto accident attorney receive settlements over 300% higher on average than those who don’t?
The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation
(575) 308-0308

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) 308-0308. We are standing by to help guide you through the process.

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

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.

Those who hire an auto accident attorney receive settlements over 300% higher on average than those who don’t?
The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation
(575) 308-0308

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.

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.

Those who hire an auto accident attorney receive settlements over 300% higher on average than those who don’t?
The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation
(575) 308-0308


“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 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

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

First responder evidence

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

contact info after a car accident

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


3. Insurance Information

car insurance after a car crash

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

photo of car accident

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


Those who hire an auto accident attorney receive settlements over 300% higher on average than those who don’t?
The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation
(575) 308-0308

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

car crash accident

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

photographing auto accident

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

document road conditions after auto accident

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