My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: New Mexico
My boyfriend and I have been preparing for a road trip for several months, and we had just gotten on the road about 2 weeks ago.This Friday we had left White Sands, NM and were headed up I-25 to Santa Fe where we were planning to stay with family friends. We had just passed thru Albuquerque, where everyone was driving like bats out of hell and I was getting whippped around going 65 in the slower lane.
We were in the suburb of Barillilo (?) when a hispanic, non-english speaking gentlemen pulled of the shoulder directly in front of me, I believe I was driving 60-65 as that was the speed I was maintaining the whole time, and even though both my boyfriend and I were watching the road, I had barely any time to react and we slammed into him going probably 55-60. Both airbags went off and miraculously neither of us were injured. I am 99.9 percent sure he was on the shoulder because of car trouble and I am pretty sure (although it happened so fast) that he pulled in front of me and his car died again because it did not appear to be moving at all. It was like slamming into a wall, and he did not seem even remotely surprised to be have been hit. The car directly behind me stopped and witnessed that he had pulled out in front of me. I only have liablility and I am terrified that the insurance companies will say this is my fault even though I know it was not- there were cars to my left, I tried to swerve but couldn't. On top of this, the police were rude and off putting, they kept asking us why were werent wearing jackets, and they searched the car for our IDs without asking permission. Is this illegal? They towed the car away, at least 3 officers and EMTS told us they were concerned with clearing the highway (not with our safety), they put us in an ambulance and we didn't get the name of ANYONE, not the witness or the other man I hit, and even though we told them we were ON A ROAD TRIP and had all of our belongings in the car, the EMTS and incredible rude tow truck driver gave us about 20 seconds to get belongings out of the car before they took it and left us at a McDonalds to wait for our friends. We are young and they treated us pretty disrespectfully, and I feel violated, like had I been less calm I might have gotten more respect.
Obviously tomorrow we are going to get the police report, contacting insurance companies, et cetera, but if anyone has any advice of how to assert myself or what steps to take I would tremendously appreciate it. I also wonder if this is going to get complicated since I'm from Austin, TX and I'm all the way up here. We are now just hoping to get some sort of settlement for my totaled, year old car (that I payed off one month ago) and take the greyhound for the rest of our trip.
Thanks in advance for any and all advice,