Injured in a Car Accident? The Five Benefits of Hiring an Oklahoma Injury Attorney

A car accident can change a person’s life in the blink of an eye. One minute a person can be driving to his or her destination without a care in the world, and the next minute his or her life is turned upside down. A car accident can not only cause costly car repairs or replacement, but it can also leave a person with serious injuries than can trouble him or her for many years and leave him or her unable to return to work. Some people try for whatever reason, to handle their case without hiring an injury attorney. However, before you make the decision to represent yourself, you should be aware of the benefits of hiring an Oklahoma injury attorney to represent you. For example, an experienced Oklahoma injury attorney knows how to:

  • Help you determine the value of your claim: After an accident, you may have a dollar amount in mind that you feel is fair for your claim. However, how can you be sure that you are asking for the right amount? An injury attorney will analyze your claim and make sure you are seeking the proper amount of compensation. If you represent yourself, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars.
  • Navigate the legal system: If the insurance company will not give you a fair settlement, your only option is to file a civil case. Filing a case and preparing it for trial is something an experienced injury attorney is well-versed in how to do. However, if you are representing yourself, taking on the legal system will require time and effort on your part to learn.
  • Deal with insurance companies: When you represent yourself, you are at a disadvantage because you do not know (1) the value of your claim, and (2) how to navigate the legal system. The worst part about this, is that the insurance company knows this and will use these two things against you, by offering you a low ball settlement offer or giving you’re the run around. Veteran injury attorneys are used to working with insurance companies and will use this to your advantage.
  • Proceed to trial if necessary: The biggest advantage a seasoned injury attorney brings to the table is experience. If the insurance company is smart, they will offer you a fair settlement otherwise, they know that a good injury attorney will take the case to trial. The threat of trial is what makes many cases settle.

It is also important to be aware that an Oklahoma injury attorney will not take a fee until you receive compensation. That is because Oklahoma injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Which means that injury attorneys are extremely motivated to work hard for you, since they do not receive a dime until they obtain a settlement for you. You can also take comfort in knowing that an injury attorney will not take on a case if he or she does not believe that a fair settlement can be obtained. Otherwise, the injury attorney would just be wasting his or her time.

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries after being involved in an automobile accident, do not think that you have to handle this situation on your own. An experienced Oklahoma Injury Attorney can help make sure you receive the compensation you are due. At The Handle Law Center our team of seasoned Injury Attorneys have helped countless injury victims in Canadian County and throughout Oklahoma. To learn how an Oklahoma Injury Attorney can help you, contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924. We offer free and completely confidential consultations. At The Handley Law Center we are passionate about providing injury victims with outstanding legal services.

Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys Answer Questions Regarding Oklahoma’s New Divorce Law

On November 1, 2014, a new law went into effect that essentially requires divorcing parents with minor children, who choose to file for a no-fault divorce, to take a parenting education class. The purpose of the new law is to help reduce the divorce rate in the State, which is one of the highest in the country. The class is also thought to be of help to children whose parents are divorcing.

When you meet with an Oklahoma divorce attorney, he or she will be able to explain in detail how this new law will specifically impact your divorce case. However, the following are some of the more basic questions that people have regarding the new law:

Who must attend the class?

Divorcing couples who file for divorce using the no-fault ground of “incompatibility” must attend the parenting education class. Couples can choose to attend the class together or each may attend a separate class.

Must I complete this class if I filed for divorce using a fault ground?

Spouses who file for divorce who use a fault ground do not have to take the class. Fault grounds in Oklahoma include the following:

  • Adultery;
  • Extreme cruelty;
  • Fraudulent contracts;
  • Gross neglect of duty;
  • Habitual drunkenness;
  • Incarceration for a felony;
  • Impotency;
  • Insanity for 5 years (with incarceration in a mental institution);
  • Pregnancy at the time of the marriage by a person not the spouse; and
  • Spousal abandonment

What does the class cover?

The purpose of the class is to discuss with parents the impact of divorce on children. Each class is required to cover the following six subject areas:

  • Short and long-term consequences of divorce on children;
  • How to respond to common emotions children may experience during the course of the divorce;
  • Long-reaching effects of family violence;
  • Resources in the area that can help divorcing couples with issues such as substance abuse, addictions, couple’s counseling, family violence, financial planning and others.
  • Communication strategies to help facilitate cooperative parenting; and
  • Reconciliation as a possible outcome.

Is the class free?

No, the class is not free. The cost ranges between $15 and $60 depending on the individual class. Jurisdictions are required to provide the class, but the classes will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction within the State.

Can I be excused from attending the class?

Under the law, the court can waive class attendance for a person if there is good cause shown. However, in order for a judge to grant a person a waiver from attending the class, he or she will need to have a very compelling reason. For example, the class itself may increase the amount of time it takes for a person wanting a no-fault divorce to finalize his or her case. In part, that is one of the reasons behind the new law. Therefore, if your reason for wanting to avoid the class is based on expediting your case, that reason will likely not be seen as compelling.

One of the benefits of hiring an Oklahoma Divorce Attorney to represent you in your divorce case is because he or she knows and understands about new laws that may affect your case. When you work with an experienced Oklahoma Divorce Attorney, he can guide you effortlessly through the process. At The Handley Law Center you will be working with a team of seasoned professionals who have represented countless divorce clients in both Canadian County and around Oklahoma. If you are considering filing for divorce, talk to one of our skilled Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys first. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924. At The Handley Law Center we look forward to providing you with quality legal services.

Oklahoma Injury Attorneys Explain the Benefits of Cell Phones Following an Accident

Cell phone use by drivers has been blamed for countless accidents.  Recent data from the National Safety Council’s injury and fatality report, approximate that 1 in every 4 crashes can be attributed to driver cell phone use. While cell phones can make for trouble when a driver is behind the wheel, a cell phone can be your friend in the event you are involved in an accident. The following are some of the ways a cell phone can prove to be quite useful in the aftermath of an accident:

  • Call for emergency medical assistance: After an accident the first and most important thing to do is determine if you or anyone involved in the accident is in need of medical treatment. A cell phone can be used to call 911 or some phones even have local emergency numbers pre-programmed.
  • Contact the police: You will also want to use your cell phone to contact the police so that a report of the accident can be made.
  • Call for support: After an accident you may be in need of a little help. Whether you need your local mechanic to tow your vehicle away for repairs or just need to hear a friendly voice after a frightening experience, your cell phone is your best option. You may also need to get in touch with someone to let them know you need a ride home.
  • Take photos of important documents: Most people do not have pens and paper in their car. However, you do not need a pen and paper if you have a cell phone with a camera feature. Simply take photos of the other driver’s insurance cards, driver’s licenses and license plates. The nice thing about photos is that you do not have to worry about making a copying error.
  • Document the scene of the accident: Your phone can also work to document the scene of the accident. While your memory will start to fade after the accident, pictures or even videos do not. Use your phone to capture the scene, including photos of the other vehicles, drivers, and damage to surrounding property. Make sure you note the date, time and specific location of the accident.
  • Talk to witnesses: Depending on the accident, you may want to talk to witnesses who can give you opinions as to what happened and/or was cause of the accident. You will also want to obtain contact information for each witnesses. When talking to a witness you may find that he or she will agree to allow you to voice or video record his or her statement.
  • Photograph your injuries: Have your supportive friend who arrives at the scene or even a bystander take photos of any visible injuries that you may have. These photos can prove useful to your case.
  • Call your insurance company: You will want to inform your insurance company as soon as possible that you have been involved in an accident. Even if you are not at fault for the accident, insurance companies require that you report an accident within a relatively short period of time otherwise, you risk them not covering certain items.

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries after being involved in an automobile accident, you may have medical bills, lost wages and/or the expense of car repairs or replacement. The insurance company may be giving you the run around or offering to settle the matter for far too little. This is exactly why you need to speak with an experienced Oklahoma Injury Attorney. The seasoned Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center are ready and willing to help you fight to obtain the compensation that you are owed. Please contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our compassionate and caring Oklahoma Injury Attorneys.

Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions about Drug Possession Charges

There are individuals in Oklahoma (and across the country) that believe that no harm can come from personal use of drugs. So called “recreational” drug use has even been referred to by some people as a victimless crime. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, the State of Oklahoma does consider drug possession a crime, and in some cases is considered a felony offense. If you are unsure about the laws regarding drug possession, you need to be aware that in most instances it is a serious crime and the person can face up to 10 years in prison. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that Oklahoma residents have about drug possession charges:

What is a CDS?

CDS refers to the term “controlled dangerous substance.” However, there is not one definition of what a CDS is since each state’s definition can vary. For example, in Oklahoma drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), and heroine are all classified as CDS. Oklahoma also includes in its definition of CDS, the substances and materials used to produce these drugs.

What is the penalty for possession of a CDS?

The simple answer to this question is that is depends on several factors, including the type of drug that the person had in his or her possession. CDS are broken down into five main categories known as “Schedules.” Possession of a Schedule I or II drug in most cases is considered to be a felony. A first time offender can face a minimum of 2 years in prison, up to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. While possession of a Schedule III, IV or V drug is usually considered to be a misdemeanor offense. A person charged with a first time misdemeanor possession offense could face a year in jail and maximum fine of $1,000. However, a second offense is usually considered a felony.

Here is a breakdown of some of the drugs that fall into each category:

  • Schedule I: MDMA, heroine, GHB, LSD and psychedelics like mushrooms.
  • Schedule II: cocaine, PCP, oxycodone, and amphetamines
  • Schedule III: marijuana
  • Schedule IV or V: prescription drugs like Ativan and Ritalin without a valid prescription

Does where I purchased or possessed the drug matter?

Individuals who purchase or possess a CDS within 1,000 feet of a public park or recreation area, or a school can face punishment double that if they had not purchased in that same area.

How can an attorney help me?

Even if you do not believe you have any defenses to the charges against you, it is possible that you may actually have a defense. That is why it is important to talk with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. He or she can properly review the facts of your case and determine if you have any defenses. For instance, the fact that a police officer found a drug in an area close to your person, is not enough to qualify as possession. The State must be able to prove that the drug was also in your control.

There is nothing “minor” about a minor drug offense. If you have been charged with a minor drug offense such as possession, you need to treat this matter seriously. Schedule an appointment to meet with an experienced Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. The seasoned Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Handley Center have handled numerous drug-related cases both within Canadian County and around the State of Oklahoma. Our attorney can provide you with the aggressive representation that you need. The Handley Law Center is conveniently located in El Reno, a mere twenty minute drive from Oklahoma City. To schedule your free and completely confidential consultation contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924.