The 411 on Getting a Divorce in Oklahoma

Undoubtedly, getting a divorce can be a devastating process for all parties involved, especially children.  Not only are divorces extremely painful, they can involve several challenging and sensitive legal issues, requiring the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to help you.  Without effective representation, it could end up costing you your fair share of marital property or meaningful time with your children.  As a result, it is important to consider the following tips when contemplating a divorce, such as:

  1. Never represent yourself.  If you choose to go pro se, or represent yourself, you could end up sacrificing your rights and potentially causing mistakes that may not be reversible in the future.  Only an attorney is in the best position to advise you of all your options, protect your legal interests, and help you make informed decisions about your case.
  2. Never engage in a debate with your spouse via Facebook, emails or text messages.   If your spouse happens to be sending you nasty text messages or is making threats on Facebook for all of your friends to see, do not respond.  Moreover, never engage in any discussions regarding your divorce using any of these mediums.  In Oklahoma, Facebook messages and the like may used against you during your divorce and could even be construed as marital misconduct.
  3. Listen to your attorney.  Many times, emotions run rampant during a divorce case, which causes many people to become frustrated and unable to focus.  Regardless, it is important to listen to your attorney, no matter how upset you feel.  While you do not always have to agree with him or her, it is essential that you pay attention to your lawyer so that you can make informed decisions about your case.  The best ways to avoid problems in this regard is to jot everything down that your attorney tells you and ask questions if anything is unclear.  Also, keep all communications in a safe place for further review and consideration during your case.
  4. Don’t throw your kids in the mix.  While divorce cases can certainly become heated, they should never involve your children.  Specifically, when parents are constantly sparring in front of their children, it can cause them to become depressed, anxious and confused. Moreover, speaking negatively about your spouse in front of your children can create significant polarity and ongoing tension in the home. Although children are an important consideration in a divorce case, it does not mean that they have to be thrown in the middle of the battle.

If you are contemplating a divorce in Oklahoma, contact The Handley Law Center online or call us at 405-295-1924 to schedule a free confidential consultation.  Our attorneys will take the time necessary to advise you of your legal options and help protect your interests during the pendency of your divorce case.  Don’t wait to obtain the skilled legal representation that you deserve.

 

Tactics Auto Insurance Companies Use to Deny Your Oklahoma Accident Claim

 One of the worst things imaginable is being involved in a car accident, which can have serious emotional and physical consequences for all parties involved.  One of the most difficult challenges, other than getting over your injuries, is to deal with your insurance company, who is adept at denying your claims for a whole host of reasons.  The fact that insurance companies – both in Oklahoma and across the United States – get away with doing this is rather unfortunate, and often leaves people frustrated, depressed and uncertain as to how to move forward and recover from their injuries.  As such, it is important to become familiar with the most popular tactics that insurance companies use to deny claims, which are as follows:

  1. Insurance carriers know your policy language inside and out, no matter what.  That being said, you must review your policy and understand what your rights and obligations are, especially before an accident occurs.  Take the time to sit down with your insurance agent and ask questions so that you know exactly what you are dealing with and also, so that you both are on the same page.
  2. If impaired driving is involved in your accident – whether it be due to drugs or alcohol – your insurance company will likely try to deny your claim.  Many times insurance companies assert in their policies, sometimes in barely legible writing, that they are not responsible for accidents caused by impaired driving. Again, familiarizing yourself with your insurance policy language is the first step you should take in dealing with your insurance company.
  3. If you have had a pre-existing injury, you should expect to have your insurance company point this out in denying your claim. For example, if you suffered from an injury to your back or neck in a previous accident, your insurance company will likely assert that the current accident is not the cause of these problems – even if your current neck or back condition is worsened as a result of the collision.
  4. Insurance companies often try to show that you were at fault for the accident, and therefore responsible for covering your own injuries. Insurance carriers will also try and reduce your amount of compensation by also showing that you were partly to blame for the accident.

If you were injured in a car accident in Oklahoma, visit the The Handley Law Center online or call us at 405-295-1924 to schedule a free confidential consultation.  Our attorneys will take the time necessary to advise you of your legal options and keep you well informed during the pendency of your case.  Don’t wait to find out more about how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve!

Protecting Yourself from Liability at the Scene of an Oklahoma Car Accident

For anyone who has been involved a car accident, it goes without saying that the moments following the crash are often filled with panic, fear and uncertainty.  In the event that you are fully or partially responsible for the accident, it may influence you to blurt out things that for several reasons, you end up seriously regretting later on.  For instance, statements such as “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t even know that you were there” may all be true and intended to diffuse the tension of the situation.  However, making statements like these, while understandable under the circumstances, can be translated into admissions of fault, despite your intentions to the contrary.  In other words, things that are said following an accident that are suggestive of fault are often used to establish one’s liability in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit arising from the crash.

Accordingly, it is essential that you refrain from speaking about issues of fault and/or liability following a car accident. Strictly limit your conversations to exchanging contact information with the other driver(s), passengers and witnesses at the scene, if any.  The same holds true when answering any questions posed by medical professionals and law enforcement personnel.  Note that any statements that you make to these individuals could end up supporting their conclusion that you are to blame for the accident.   This information is then added to your police report, which is used by insurance companies to determine whether you are entitled to coverage.

Furthermore, even if the other driver is screaming at you about how the entire accident was 100% your fault, decline to respond and again, limit your discussion to getting his or her contact information. Also be sure not to offer any opinions or conclusions regarding what you believe gave rise to the crash, as the scene of the accident is not the proper forum to start discussing theories of liability.  Let a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction handle the liability aspects of your case, as they are properly trained to address the legal issues arising from your accident.

If you have sustained injuries in a car accident in Oklahoma, contact The Handley Law Center for a free consultation with one of our Canadian County Attorneys.  You can also call us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment.  Don’t wait until it is too late to get the representation you deserve!

 

The Don’ts of Making Agreements at the Scene of an Oklahoma Car Accident

Let’s say – hypothetically speaking – that you have just been in a minor fender bender and the other driver offers to pay you cash right on the spot.  Perhaps you aren’t able to see any damage to your vehicle and don’t seem to be physically injured in any way.  Heck, if you have to wait for the police to get involved, you may be late for that blind date that all of your friends have been talking about, so why risk it?   You even ask yourself what the harm is in pocketing a few hundred dollars and calling it a day?  She seems like a nice little old lady, why make her go through the hassle of involving insurance companies and risking rate increases?  When you start saying these things to yourself, cease and desist immediately!

Why?  Making agreements at the scene of an accident, for several reasons, can have serious consequences. For instance, there may be damage to your vehicle that isn’t readily noticeable, such as damage to the underside of your car, which could end up costing you thousands in repairs.  You may even have physical injuries of which you are not immediately aware.  Haven’t you ever heard of someone walking away from the scene of an accident and then feeling like they have been hit by a Mack truck the next day?  It is important to understand that unexpected and stressful events such as car accidents can cause your body to produce hormones known as endorphins, which temporarily mask pain upon impact.  Due to an endorphin release, you may be hurt, even seriously, and not know it.  As mentioned, no matter how “pain free” you feel at the scene of your car accident, there’s a good chance you will wake up feeling worse the next day.

So, what do you do next? No matter what the other driver’s sob story is, the best approach is to keep quiet at the scene of an accident and give yourself a few days before making any decisions about what to do next.  Regardless of how badly you may feel for the other driver, (remember the little old lady story above?), don’t get sucked into making agreements that you will regret later on.  Otherwise stated, no matter who they are or what they say, never make an agreement with another driver, especially if they caused the accident. If it turns out that there is more damage to your car or you are more injured than you had originally thought, the other driver who initially offered to pay you may change his or her mind.  While the little old lady seemed nice at the scene of the accident, nothing prevents her from becoming unscrupulous and even denying that she ever made an agreement with you.  Moreover, the more time that has passed since the date of your accident, the more likely that insurance companies will try to avoid paying for your car damage and/or physical injuries, due to the fact that the accident was not immediately reported to them.  It is important to keep in mind that all insurance carriers require you to promptly report to them when you have been involved in a car accident.

If you have sustained injuries in a car accident in Oklahoma, contact The Handley Law Center for a free consultation with one of our Canadian County Attorneys.  You can also call us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment.  Don’t wait until it is too late to get the experienced personal injury representation that you deserve!