Oklahoma Dog Bite Lawyers Offer Tips for Avoiding a Dog Bite in Oklahoma

Americans love dogs. In fact, the United States has more dogs per capita than any other country in the world. Although dogs may be “man’s best friend”, it does not mean that a dog will not bite the hand, or leg or foot, of the person who feeds it. While dogs can be great companions it is important to keep in mind that dogs can and do bite, especially when provoked. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year close to 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog. Approximately twenty percent (20%) of all incidents of dog bites require the victim to seek medical attention. To keep you and your family safe around dogs, keep in mind these valuable safety tips:

  • Do not judge a dog by its breed: Do not think that just because you are familiar with a strange dog’s breed that the dog is safe to approach. Any breed of dog has the capability to bite. The media often makes it seem that only certain breeds of dogs bite, while other breeds are “safe”. This is just not true. The best advice is to always exercise caution around dogs, especially a strange dog.
  • Always supervise young children around any dog: A dog may have a great reputation of being good with children. However, a dog should never be left alone with a small child. This advice even holds true for dog owners and their own young children. A toddler can easily pull a dog’s tail or poke it in the eye—which could provoke an otherwise docile dog.
  • Teach your children dog safety: About 50% of the people bitten by dogs each year are children. To help prevent your child from becoming a dog bite victim take the time to teach your child how to be safe around dogs. Explain to them to never:
    • Pet a dog without obtaining the owner’s permission first;
    • Pet a dog without first giving the dog the opportunity to sniff you;
    • Approach a dog that is eating or sleeping; and/or
    • Play aggressively or otherwise provoke a dog.
  • Do your homework before adopting a dog: Although any dog, regardless of breed can bite, it is best to talk with a reputable breeder, veterinarian or animal shelter advocate before adopting a dog. He or she can help you select a dog that is the right fit for your family. Remember that dogs, like people, have different personalities. Take the time to find the right dog for your family dynamic. Once you have adopted your new canine friend, enroll him or her in obedience training. 
  • Seek immediate medical attention: If you or a family member is bitten by a dog, the first step is to get the victim to a safe place. Next, you will want to seek medical attention. The problem with dog bites is that often the majority of the injury lies below the skin’s surface, making it difficult for the average person to judge the severity of the injury. If possible try to determine if the dog who bite the victim is current on its shots.

If you or your child suffered serious injuries from a dog bite, you need to speak with an experienced Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney. Only seasoned Oklahoma Dog Bite Lawyers can assist you in obtaining the compensation you are owed. The skilled Personal Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center understand Oklahoma’s strict liability statute for dog owners and will fight to make sure that your rights are protected. Contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924 today to schedule your free and completely confidential consultation. You can trust the attorneys at The Handley Law Center to provide you with aggressive representation.


Oklahoma Motorcyclists: How to Avoid Three of the Top Causes of Car-Related Motorcycle Accidents

While much has been done to promote awareness of how cars need to share the roadways with motorcycles, the problem is far from solved. Each year motorcyclists land in the hospital after being hit by a car. To protect him or herself, motorcyclists should always be aware of how to avoid risky situations. The following are three of the top three causes of car-motorcycle crashes and what you as a motorcyclist can do to avoid such an accident:

Car Changes Lanes in Front of You:

You are happily cruising along when a car suddenly darts into your lane. This all too common situation is a major cause of accidents. The reason why this type of accident is so common is partially because motorcycles are very small in comparison to other vehicles on the road. Due to its small relative size, a motorcycle can easily disappear into a driver’s blind spot. Another reason is that often motorists simply do not see a motorcycle as many motorists tend to be looking for another car or truck, not a motorcycle.

One of the best tips to avoid being side-swiped by a motorist changing lanes is to first avoid driving in a driver’s blind spot. Become aware of a car’s blind spots and stay out of them. You can also wear brightly colored gear to help to be more easily seen.

Hit By a Car from the Rear:

Unlike when a car rear-ends another car of even a truck, which can result in a minor fender bender, a car hitting a motorcycle from behind can be deadly for the motorcyclist. When coming to a stop, it is important for motorcyclists to always keep an eye on his or her mirrors and have an escape route ready. You can also leave your bike in gear in order to make a quick getaway. If there is another vehicle in front of you, be sure to allow plenty of space between you and that vehicle.

Car Turns Left in Front of You:

Another all too common cause of motorcycle-car accidents occurs when at an intersection, a car makes a left-hand turn in front of a motorcyclist. Clearly, the driver of the car either misjudged the speed at which the motorcyclist was traveling or did not see the motorcyclist. The best thing any motorcyclist can do to avoid being hit at an intersection is to pay careful attention. Keep a close eye on any car that appears to be turning. If you think a car is about to turn and are uncertain if that driver sees you coming, take precautions. Try to slow down as you approach the intersection and cover the brake, so that you can stop if necessary. If you realize a little too late that the turning driver does not see you, do not just ditch the bike. In most instances it best to try to reduce your speed as much as possible. This is also why it is so important for motorcyclists to wear helmets and other protective gear.

The injury attorneys at The Handley Law Center are experienced and compassionate litigators who have helped countless motorcycle injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident you to seek the counsel of a seasoned Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our skilled Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident Lawyers, contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924. At the Handley Law Center we pride ourselves in providing injury victims with superior legal services. Trust our team of injury professionals to do the same for you.


Understanding the Grounds for Divorce in Oklahoma

A novelty coffee mug once read “My Wife’s Coffee is Grounds for Divorce”. While the saying may be pretty “punny” to some folks, you cannot file for divorce in Oklahoma over bad coffee. But in order to file for divorce in Oklahoma, you do need to cite a valid reason or “ground” on the divorce petition for filing for divorce. The court requires that the petitioner or person requesting the divorce, be able to prove the ground cited in his or her petition in order to be granted a divorce.

Many states have a “no-fault” divorce option, where the petitioner does not have to prove a ground in order for the court to grant the divorce. Petitioners in Oklahoma who want a no-fault filing option, can use the ground of “incompatibility” which functions in much the same way. A no-fault is different than a non-contested divorce. In a non-contested divorce, the spouses are in agreement as to how assets and debts should be divided between the spouses and to all matters related to minor children, including custody, visitation and support. While most non-contested divorces use no-fault grounds, it is not a requirement. A petitioner can file for divorce using a no-fault ground, even if the divorce is contested.

The overwhelming majority of divorces filed in the state of Oklahoma use this no-fault ground. The reason behind the high percentage of no-fault filings is that in most cases, nothing is gained by using a “fault” ground. That being said, the legislature in Oklahoma does allow for eleven “fault” grounds for divorce, which include the following:

  1. Abandonment. Spouse has left the petitioner for a period of at least one year.
  2. Adultery. A spouse has committed an adulterous act.
  3. Impotency. Spouse is impotent.
  4. Pregnancy. Wife was pregnant with another man’s child at the time the marriage took place without the Husband’s knowledge.
  5. Extreme cruelty. Spouse is guilty of conduct that is physically, mentally or emotionally cruel.
  6. Fraudulent contract: Occurs when a spouse lies or misleads the petitioner of an important fact, that had the petitioner known prior to the marriage, he or she would not have gone through with the marriage.
  7. Habitual drunkenness: Spouse is always intoxicated.
  8. Gross neglect of a duty: Spouse has failed to provide the petitioner with a basic need or necessity.
  9. Imprisonment: At the time the petitioner files divorce petition, his or her spouse is incarcerated in a state or federal prison for a felony charge.
  10. Spouse granted a divorce in another state which does not discharge the petitioner of his or her duties in the state of Oklahoma.
  11. Insanity: Spouse must be considered ‘insane’ for a period of at least 5 years and he or she must be in either a public or private mental institution, and must have a poor prognosis.

Clearly many of the above grounds are not commonly used as they tend to be a little archaic in nature. Others, which may be more relevant, are often not used since they are difficult to prove. For example, adultery requires first-hand evidence or the spouse to admit to the adultery. Therefore, even if fault grounds exist for the divorce, most often people opt to file no-fault.

Filing for divorce is not as simple as it may seem. While any attorney can file a divorce petition on behalf of a client, only experienced Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys can truly provide a client with the legal services he or she requires. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our skilled family law attorneys. At The Handley Law Center, our El Reno based law firm has been providing Oklahoma residents with superior legal services for more than 30 years.

Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys Answer Payors’ Most Frequently Asked Child Support Questions

Child support obligations can be confusing for not only the custodial parent, but for the non-custodial parent or the “payor” as well. Failure to comply with a support obligation can land the payor in hot water with the court. Therefore, it is critical for a payor to fully understand his or her child support obligation and to comply with all the terms of the child support order. If you have questions regarding your support obligation, you should seek the advice of an experienced Oklahoma family law attorney. The following are some of the most frequently asked child support questions payors have about Oklahoma child support:

  • My ex and I have joint legal custody of our two children. My ex has residential custody but the children spend a lot of time with me. Do I still need to pay my ex child support? The answer to this question, in most circumstance is going to yes. A non-custodial parent is usually responsible for payment of child support to the custodial parent. However, certain exceptions can apply especially if the custodial parent earns considerably more than the non-custodial parent. The best way to find out exactly how much child support you should be paying is to talk with an Oklahoma family law attorney.
  • My ex is not following the visitation agreement and I rarely get to see my children. Do I still have to pay child support? In Oklahoma, child support and visitation are two very separate issues. Regardless of how often the non-custodial parent is allowed to see the children, he or she must continue to comply with the child support order. If your ex is keeping you from your children, the correct action is to go back to court to have your child visitation rights enforced, not to stop paying child support.
  • My income has significantly decreased since my original support order was entered. Is it possible to have the order modified? Child support orders can be modified when there is a change to the payor’s income. In order to have your support modified, you will need to file an appropriate motion with the court. A skilled Oklahoma child support attorney can help you estimate the new support amount. Remember, until your child support obligation is approved by the court, you need to continue to pay the existing support amount.
  • If I fall behind on my child support payments, what will happen? Child support obligations are set forth in a document that is signed by a judge, otherwise known as a ‘court order.’ Failure to pay child support either in full or on time puts the payor in violation of the court order. The custodial parent who receives the support, can file a motion with the court asking the judge to hold the payor in “contempt” of court. Penalties for failure to comply with a support obligation can include payment of the custodial parent’s attorney’s fees and even jail time for the payor.

Oklahoma courts take a parent’s obligation to pay child support very seriously. If you are parent who has either fallen behind on his or her support obligation or have questions regarding having a support order modified, you need to speak with an experienced Oklahoma Child Support Attorney right away. Contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924 to schedule your free and completely confidential consultation with one of our skilled Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys. Our attorneys will take the time to carefully review your child support order and make sure that the amount you are paying is fair considering all your particular circumstances.