The Main Causes of Truck Accidents in Oklahoma

  In Oklahoma, highways across the State are frequented by trucks of all shapes and sizes.  As essential as these types of vehicles are for the movement of goods throughout the nation, they can sometimes cause hazardous driving conditions for others on the road.   In fact, more than one hundred thousand people in the U.S. sustain fatal injuries as a result of trucking accidents.   Why then, do these accidents continue to occur?  Understanding the risk factors associated with truck driving may help prevent accidents and keep you and your family safe.  As such, the following is a list of the most frequent causes of truck accidents in the U.S.:

  1. Driver fatigue.  Many truckers fall prey to driver fatigue, especially while driving at night.  Moreover, truckers who are inexperienced or who attempt to push themselves farther and faster to get to their destinations are also to blame for accidents.
  2. Distracted driving.  Truckers, like everyone else, sometimes become distracted by their cell phones, dispatch radios and other devices.  Said distractions often cause truckers to lose focus and strike other vehicles within their vicinity.
  3. Excessive speeding.  Speeding is one of the major contributing factors to serious trucking accidents since large trucks cannot stop as fast as smaller vehicles.  When a truck is unable to stop in time, they often cause serious and sometimes fatal rear end collisions.
  4. Overloading or improper cargo loading.  Trucks that are improperly loaded or overloaded with cargo may become imbalanced and lose control, potentially striking other vehicles and objects.  Oftentimes, these lead to deadly automobile accidents.
  5. Blind spots.  Large trucks, especially tractor trailers, are replete with blind spots, also called “no zones”.  Specifically, it often takes quite a bit of time for novice drivers to become accustomed to using their rear view mirrors to properly change lanes.
  6. Lack of training.  Drivers who are not properly trained often cause accidents because they lack the experience necessary to maneuver in a variety of different circumstances.
  7. Improper vehicle maintenance.  Trucks that are not regularly repaired and maintained often cause accidents due to tire blow outs, brake failures, and other mechanical failures.

For more information about our person injury services, contact The Handley Law Center for a free confidential consultation with one of our experienced Oklahoma trucking accident attorneys.  You can also contact us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment.  Don’t wait!  Call us today to learn more about how we can help you obtain the results you deserve in your domestic law matter.

 

Tips to Consider When Hiring an Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer

 If you are considering filing for divorce in Oklahoma, you have likely used Google or searched the Yellow Pages to find a lawyer to take your case.   When going through the process of looking for an attorney, keep in mind that there is no way to tell whether they are being truly honest about their abilities simply from reading their advertisements.  For instance, some attorneys may claim to be highly skilled, seasoned or experienced however, having only represented a few clients in family law matters certainly does not rise to this level.  Additionally, some attorneys claims to “guarantee results” yet in the law, there is no way to truly predict the outcome of a case.

In general, there are several important qualifications that an attorney should have when representing clients in domestic law proceedings.   These are as follows:

  1. Only choose an experienced attorney.  A family attorney that has had numerous years of practice under his or her belt is preferable to one that has little to no experience.  Specifically, only a skilled attorney knows the ins and outs of the courtroom, how to handle opposing counsel, and can effectively tackle the challenging aspects of your case.   While you may save more money with an attorney who isn’t seasoned in family law, you could end up sacrificing your rights as a result.
  2. Don’t get drawn in by fancy advertisements or aggressive marketing schemes.   Just because an attorney spends a lot of money or time on advertising does not make them more skilled than others.   In fact, the best attorney is often one who relies upon their solid reputation in the community to obtain new clients.
  3. Only hire an attorney that takes the time to explain your case in layman’s terms.  This way, you can understand what all of your options are and can make well informed decisions throughout the legal process.
  4. Do not work with an attorney that is cryptic about his or her fees.  Although it is not always possible for an attorney to tell you the exact cost of your case before it starts, you should know how much they charge (i.e., whether it be a flat fee or hourly billing arrangement).  Moreover, you should be advised upfront about all of the applicable court costs and other fees associated with your case.
  5. Always work with an attorney who is compassionate and addresses your concerns in a patient and respectful manner. Every lawyer has a different style of working with clients and that is why it is important to find one that you can get along with and who can meet your needs.

For more information about our family law services, contact The Handley Law Center for a free confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.   You can also contact us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment.  Don’t wait.  Call us today to learn more about how we can help you obtain the results you deserve in your domestic law matter.

How to Effectively Negotiate a Child Custody Agreement in Oklahoma

In the State of Oklahoma, some of the most heavily contested issues during a divorce case involve a determination as to which spouse will be awarded primary custody of the children.  For example, in the event that two divorcing spouses cannot agree to a suitable custodial arrangement, then an Oklahoma District Court will need to render an appropriate decision in their stead.   However, for parties who are capable of negotiating the terms of their divorce, they have the option in Oklahoma to draft what is known as a custody agreement.   A custody agreement is a document that typically contains a custody and visitation schedule, a special holiday visitation schedule, various parenting provisions and child support information.  In other words, it is an agreement that is negotiated between the parties that spells out the terms of their custody and visitation.

Overall, there are numerous benefits associated with drafting a custody agreement.  First, it enables the parties to render a determination about custody and visitation that fits their specific needs and lifestyle.  For instance, one spouse may work days while the other works nights.  If a court needs to get involved, then both parties might not obtain the specific schedule that works best for them in light of their unique set of circumstances.  If the parties are able to work all terms out through an agreement, then they may receive a more favorable result since a judge will not always tailor his or her decision in a way that will leave everyone satisfied.  Additionally, a custody agreement also allows the parties to remain in control during their divorce proceeding.  Otherwise stated, being able to render your own decisions during your divorce case may help take the pain out of the process and enable the entire proceeding to run smoothly.

Notwithstanding the above, working together with your spouse to develop an appropriate custodial and visitation agreement involves a significant amount of compromise as well as patience.  Accordingly, if you are contemplating a custody agreement, it is crucial to keep in mind the following:

  • Be honest and forthcoming about everything from the start.  For instance, parties to a divorce must disclose their respective finances to one another.  The more honest and upfront you are in this regard, the easier the process will be to work with your spouse and finalize your custody agreement.
  • Try to be as open-minded and patient with your spouse as possible.  Understandably, the fact that you were unable to get along with your spouse is likely why you are seeking a divorce in the first place.   However, being as patient, non-confrontational and easy going as possible will certainly go a long way.  Meaning, the more you listen to your spouse and take the emotion out of the process, the higher the likelihood that he or she will be willing compromise with you.
  • Don’t put your children in the middle.  Although the subject matter of your custody agreement is your children, it doesn’t mean that they need to be involved in the drafting or negotiation process.  Regardless of the circumstances, putting your children in the middle or debating issues in front of them will create more tension and problems for them than what it is worth. Keep your discussions private and be sure to remain positive with your children during the process.
  • Consider all of your expenses.  Make sure to consider all of your expenses when negotiating with your spouse, including, e.g., costs medical care, health insurance, and private education costs.

If you are seeking a divorce in Oklahoma or are facing some other family law matter, contact The Handley Law Center for a free confidential consultation.  You can also contact us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment.  Don’t wait.  Call us today to learn more about how we can help you obtain the results you deserve in your domestic law matter.

 

Dividing Marital Property in Oklahoma Divorce Cases

In the State of Oklahoma, all issues related to marital property and debt that arise between divorcing spouses are either resolved through a Marital Settlement Agreement or by judicial decree. In essence, if the parties to a marriage are unable to divide their property and debt without judicial involvement, then the court must do so through a process known as “equitable distribution”. Despite what many people think, equitable does not necessarily mean equal. Rather, it refers to what the court deems as fair in light of the totality of circumstances.

Equitably dividing property in Oklahoma typically involves three steps. First, the court will undergo a process of discovery to determine which property is marital and which is separate. Second, it will then assign a monetary value to all of the marital property and debt. Lastly, the court will then distribute the property and debt to the parties in a fair and reasonable fashion.

In the event that you wish to avoid litigation and negotiate an agreement with your spouse over your marital assets and debt, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your property. These are as follows:

• Make sure to identify all of your separate property. For instance, if you received a family heirloom as an inheritance or some other item of value, make sure to segregate it from the rest of your property. Also be sure to keep a journal of all of your separate property so that if there are any questions raised later on, then you can refer to your records for clarification.

• Be ready to provide proof of your entitlement to certain property. If you were individually left money or property through a will or trust, it is crucial to keep a copy of these documents. In other words, if a conflict arises over the ownership of a certain piece of property, being able to produce said documents may help resolve the matter in your favor.

• Take an inventory of all of your separate property before removing it from the marital home. Compile a list of all of your separate property and take pictures of everything before removing it from the marital home. This way, you have accounted for your property and may substantiate your separate ownership of same should a problem arise at a later time.

• Educate yourself as to your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your marital home. Keep in mind that both you and your spouse, unless there is a domestic abuse order or some other court ordered restriction in place, have the right to enter the marital home and take your property. Therefore, neither you nor your spouse can prevent one another from entering the home, such as by changing the locks.

• Make sure to keep tabs on any property currently in your spouse’s possession that you will receive post-divorce. Meaning, if your spouse is using property that will distributed to you after your divorce is finalized, make sure that there is no balance owed on the property or any liens attached thereto.

If you are seeking a divorce in Oklahoma or are facing some other family law matter, contact The Handley Law Center for a free confidential consultation. You can also contact us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment. Don’t wait. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you obtain the results you deserve in your case.