Steps to Take After an Oklahoma Auto Accident

An auto accident can be a very scary event. In what feels to be a “blink of an eye”, the world has suddenly changed. Your car may be destroyed and even worse you and/or your passengers may be seriously injured. No one wants or even imagines him or herself being involved in an auto accident. However, that does not mean a driver should not be prepared in case the unthinkable happens. One of the best things any driver or passenger can do is to know what steps to follow, if he or she is involved in an accident. The following list is something every driver should review:

  1. Try to remain calm. Although an accident can be very frightening and overwhelming it is important to remain as cool and collected as possible. Now is not the time to panic, but for action.
  2. Triage. The most important thing to do is to determine if there any injuries to drivers, passengers or pedestrians. If so, you will want to call 911 or an ambulance right away. If you are in doubt whether an injury requires the paramedics, it is always a good to call just to be safe.
  3. Access the situation. If it is minor accident and the vehicles can be moved, it is best to move the vehicles off of the roadway and away from traffic, like the side of the road. If the vehicles are not able to be moved, you will need to alert other motorists of the accident. This can be done by the use of road flares, traffic cones, or a vehicle’s hazard lights. This advice also holds true if the accident takes place at dusk or at night.
  4. Contact police. Once everyone is safe, contact the police if you have not done so already. You will want to remain at the scene until the police arrive.
  5. Gather information: After an accident there is certain information you should gather. If you do not have paper and/or a pen handy you can use a smart phone to document the following information:
    • Names of drivers involved and their passengers;
    • Names and contact information of any witnesses;
    • Make, model, color and license plate numbers of the vehicles involved;
    • Insurance card information, including the name of the insured and the relationship to the driver, in the event it is not the same person;
    • General notes about the accident including:
    • Series of events that led up to the accident;
    • Weather conditions;
    • Damage to vehicles or other property;
    • Injuries to yourself and/or others; and
    • Photos or videos of the scene, if possible.
  6. Notify your insurance carrier. You will want to review your insurance policy and notify your insurance carrier in accordance with the policy terms.
  7. Contact an attorney. Most people think that their insurance company will protect them in the event of an accident. This is not true! If you were involved in an auto accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible and before you speak with an insurance adjuster or sign any documents.

            If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, it is important to remember to act promptly. Victims of auto accidents have rights and to safeguard those rights, it is important to have a skilled advocate on your side. The Oklahoma Auto Accident Attorneys at The Handley Law Center has been providing Oklahoma auto accident victims with aggressive representation for more than 30 years. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924. Our experienced attorneys prepared to whatever is necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Oklahoma DUI Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions about APC Charges

Most motorists in the state of Oklahoma are very familiar with the offense of DUI or driving under the influence. Motorists understand that if a person has a blood alcohol concentration at or above .08 percent and is operating a motor vehicle that that person can be arrested and charged with DUI. Most motorists also understand that a DUI is a serious offense that comes with severe penalties. However, many Oklahoma motorists are not familiar with “APC.” Before you head out for a night out on the town, familiarize yourself with APC. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding APC:

  • What is APC?  APC refers to an offense where a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and is in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle.
  • How does APC occur? Here are two common examples where a person could be charged with APC:
    • John leaves the bar at bar closing. Upon walking outside he realizes that he is in no condition to drive. He decides to use his cell phone to call a friend to pick him up. It is raining so John waits inside of his dry car to wait until his friend arrives. Before his friend arrives to pick him up, an officer approaches John and smells alcohol on his breath. John could be arrested and charged with APC even though he had no intention of driving his car.
    • Jane leaves a party where she had been drinking and begins to drive home. A few blocks from the party she realizes that she is too intoxicated to drive and pulls overs to the side of the road and parks in a legal parking space. Regardless of whether Jane decides to sober up on the side of the road, take a nap in an attempt to sleep it off, or simply wait and call a friend to pick her up, Jane if approached by a police officer could be arrested and charged with APC.
  • What is the penalty for APC?  APC carries with it the same penalties as if the person were charged with DUI, which are fines of up to a $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail. A person found guilty of APC may also lose his or her driver’s license. Just as if the person had been found guilty of DUI, the Department of Public Safety will be notified. If it is a first time conviction the suspension period is 180 days.
  • If charged with APC should I hire an attorney?  The short answer is yes. APC is a serious offense and can leave the person charged with a criminal record, fines and possible incarceration. The good part about APC charges is that a skilled APC/DUI defense attorney can aggressively fight against these charges. A seasoned DUI defense attorney will thoroughly review your case, including any all police reports to make that the arresting officer complied with the law. The attorney will closely examine both the police and the state’s case to determine if either made any errors.

Being charged with APC is a serious offense. If you were arrested and charged with APC or driving under the influence, you need a skilled advocate to protect your rights. For more than three decades, Oklahoma DUI Attorneys at The Handley Law Center has been defending motorists charged with DUI and APC. Contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924 to schedule your free confidential consultation. At The Handley Law Center, we will take the time to educate you on the law and review with you, your rights and defenses. The attorneys at The Handley Law Center pride themselves in providing clients with superior legal services.

Tulsa Doctor Receives Stiff Penalty for Failure to Pay Child Support

Most parents, whether married, single, or divorced, are familiar with the concept of child support. Child support is money paid from one parent, the “payor”, to the custodial parent or “payee”, on behalf of the parties’ minor children. The money is to be used at the custodial parent’s discretion for the benefit of the children. Child support payments typically coincide with the payor’s pay schedule. For example, if the payor is paid weekly, then usually his or her child support payments are also made weekly. If a support payment is not made on the date the payment is due, then the payment is late, and the payor is considered to be behind on his or her child support obligation or in “arrears”. The “arrearage amount” is the total amount of past due child support. Oklahoma is not a fan of deadbeat parents. Dads, or moms for that matter, that fail to make timely child support payments can face serious penalties.

In early April, a Tulsa doctor found out the hard way, just how seriously the state treats parents whose child support obligations fall into arrears, when the doctor had his medical license revoked by the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision. The Board was acting upon a court order it received from a Wagner County judge that directed the Board to revoke the doctor’s license for his failure to pay child support. In Oklahoma, a judge has the power to order that a payor’s professional or occupational license be revoked in the event the payor has not made a child support payment within the last 90 days. At the time the judge ordered the Board to revoke the doctor’s license, he owed more than $20,000 in back child support according to the Department of Human Services.

The revocation of a doctor’s medical license is a very serious penalty, one that will bring a doctor’s career to an abrupt halt. As part of the revocation, the Tulsa doctor will need to notify every hospital where he has privileges that he can no longer treat patients. Essentially, the doctor can no longer engage in the practice of medicine. The revocation remains in effect until he can work out a payment plan with the State or pay the total arrearage balance in full. Once an agreement between the doctor and the court is reached or the balance paid, the doctor can request that the judge reinstate his medical license.

Although the suspension of a medical or other professional license is not common, it does and can happen as this Tulsa doctor found out. Other penalties that a judge can order in the event a payor becomes delinquent on his or her child support, can include:

  • Jail time;
  • Garnishment of wages;
  • Suspension of a driver’s license;
  • Withholding of a tax refund; and/or
  • Hold on a passport.

The important thing to remember is that if you are able to pay your child support obligation, you need to pay it. If a parent needs to have his or child support obligations changed, then he or she needs to act promptly.

Contact the Handley Law Center Now!

Oklahoma courts take child support obligations seriously. If you are a parent who needs to have his or her child support obligation modified it is important to act quickly. Your first step should be to contact an experienced child support attorney. The seasoned Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys at The Handley Law Center will take the time to carefully review your case and determine the best course of action. To schedule your free and completely confidential consultation contact us at (405) 295-1924. At the Handley Law Center understand the strict penalties a parent who is in arrears in child support can face. Do not wait, call us today!

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Transportation has declared April “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month”. Distracted driving is more than just a serious problem, it is also a leading cause of injury and death. In 2012, approximately 421,000 people were injured in auto accidents caused by a distracted driver. The following is a list of things that every driver can and should do to prevent distracted driving and make our roadways safer:

  • Before starting off towards your destination, take a minute now, rather than when on the road, to turn on your favorite tunes, whether this this means setting the station on the radio, plugging in an i-pod, or popping a cd into the player. In the seconds when a driver’s head is looking down towards the dash to change a radio station, something could happen on the roadway which requires the driver’s full attention.
  • Do not attempt to multi-task. Many drivers, especially commuters, use the drive home to return phone calls and complete other tasks utilizing smart phones, such as texting. According to cell phone giant AT&T, close to fifty percent (50%) of commuters admit to texting while driving. Texting is one the worst forms of distracted driving as it takes the driver’s hands, eyes and mental focus off of the road.
  • Hands-free devices are not better than using a hand held device. With many states beginning to ban the use of cell phone while a driver is operating a motor vehicle, many of these bans exclude those drivers who use hands-free devices. Hands-free devices include earpieces, dashboard systems and gadgets that allow a cell phone to be used on speakerphone mode. The National Safety Council (NSC) has gathered at least 30 studies from researchers and scientists across the globe that show that hands-free devices do not offer any safety benefit when used while a driver is operating a motor vehicle.
  • Make sure that all electronic devices are turned off and stowed out of the driver’s reach. Although this may sound like a message you would receive on an airplane as the flight attendant prepares the cabin for take-off, the same advice holds true on the roadway as well as the runway. 
  • Make your focus solely about the drive. Most drivers live hectic lives and feel the need to multi-task both at home and at work in an effort to try to keep up. It is not uncommon for drivers to attempt other tasks while driving, such as eating, applying make-up or even reading the newspaper. In one case, a woman caused a fatal accident because she was trying to paint her nails while driving. You do not want to explain one day to your spouse, children, a judge, and the victim’s relatives, why you felt the need to complete such a pointless task, while trying to drive.
  • Serve as a role model. If you are using a cell phone while driving you are sending a message to the other passengers in your car that it is okay to do so. If your passengers are young impressionable minds, like your children, you may want to think twice. Children, especially teenagers, will be much more responsive to your rule of ‘no cell phone use while driving’, if you lead by example.

 Contact the Handley Law Center Today to Learn More!

The compassionate attorneys at the Handley Law Center understand how devastating and life altering an automobile accident can be. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an automobile accident as the result of a distracted driver, you need an attorney who can fight for you rights. The skilled and knowledgeable Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center are prepared to do whatever is necessary to obtain the compensation you are owed. Contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. Our attorneys pride themselves on providing accident victims with superior legal services.