Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Steps to Take if You are Being Tailgated

Everyone loves a good tailgate party, right? What can beat food, friends and a festive atmosphere just before the big game? However, if you have ever been in the situation where you are being tailgated by another driver, you know first-hand that this is no party. Being in the situation where another car is feels like it is mere inches for your bumper can actually be quite stressful. You know that in that position, all it takes is one bad move by the tailgater and you could be in a serious accident. Tailgating or following too closely behind another vehicle, is a major cause of rear-end collisions. Since being tailgated is a fairly common occurrence, it is important for a driver to know how to handle the situation when it happens. The following is a list of do’s and don’ts for how to tackle this potentially dangerous scenario:

  • DO try to change lanes if at all possible. Sometimes tailgaters engage in this type of behavior in an effort to make the driver in front of them get out of their way. While you may not appreciate their tactics, it is safest for you and your passengers to change lanes when possible.
  • DO NOT allow yourself to get angry. While being tailgated is certainly frustrating and may even be upsetting, it is important not to lose your cool in this type of situation. Remember, that the most important thing is to get rid of the tailgater, not teach him or her a lesson.
  • DO encourage the driver to pass you if you are unable to change lanes. One way to encourage the tailgater to pass you is to drive at a steady rate of speed. Speeding up and slowing down is likely only to infuriate the tailgater. Plus, varying your speed will make it more difficult for the tailgater to pass you. Another strategy, is to drive in the right most part of your lane, in an effort to give the tailgater more room to pass you.
  • DO NOT engage in any behaviors that may be viewed by the tailgater as “aggressive”. For example, stomping on the brakes or flashing your brake lights will most likely enrage the tailgater. In most cases the tailgater knows that he or she is following too closely behind you. One situation where a tailgater may not realize what he or she is doing, is if he or she is intoxicated. In either scenario, rude hand gestures or honking the horn will only make a bad situation worse.
  • DO feel free to exit the road. If you simply cannot shake the tailgater, the safest option may be for you to exit the roadway. If the tailgater follows you, make sure you drive to a well-lit place, like a gas station or police station. You will also want your passenger to call the police if the tailgater continues to follow you.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured or killed in an automobile accident as the result of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys. The compassionate attorneys at The Handley Law Center will carefully review the facts of your case and determine if you may be able to hold someone responsible for your injuries. The aftermath of a serious car accident can be life altering for the both the victim and his or her family. At The Handley Law Center, our experienced team of Oklahoma Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorneys are will use their knowledge of the law to fight for your rights. Do not delay, call us today.

Avoiding an Oklahoma DUI on St. Patrick’s Day has Nothing to do with Luck

If Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love, then St. Patrick’s Day is all about celebrating the culture and history of Ireland. Even if you are not a bit o’ Irish, you can be on St. Patrick’s Day.  Actually, no one seems to care whether you are Irish or not, just as long as you sport some green attire. While St. Patrick’s Day can be a day of fun and festivities, unfortunately for some people turn this holiday can quickly become a nightmare. All it takes is one bad decision, like choosing to drink and drive to turn, and all of the fun suddenly stops.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2009 to 2013 a total of 276 people lost their lives on St. Patrick’s Day as the result of drunk driving. Whether you make it home safe and DUI-free on St. Patrick’s Day, has nothing to do with luck. Being safe on a holiday that has become synonymous with alcohol consumption requires a plan. Choose one of the following game plans in advance of St. Patrick’s Day and you will be glad you did:

Plan A – Let someone else do the driving: The best way to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day and avoid a DUI in the process is to let someone else do the driving. The key is to pick a sober driver. A designated driver is one option. Depending on where you live, you may have other options as well. Calling a cab or take public transportation are fairly inexpensive options, especially when compared to the cost of a DUI. You will want to have a plan in place before you set out. If you plan to use a designated driver, make sure that person is responsible and will remain sober. If you plan to take a cab, stick the phone numbers of a few cab companies in your purse or wallet. If you are not planning on driving, leave your keys at home so will not be tempted to drive.

Plan B – Host your own party: You do have to worry about a DUI if you never leave home. Hosting is a great way to have fun and not worry about drunk driving. But if you do host, you will want to make your guests make it home safely. One option is to take everyone’s keys at the beginning of the night. Also be sure to provide plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Plan C – Be the designated driver: To have fun on St. Patrick’s Day you do not have to consume alcohol. In fact, you could be the designated driver. Put a bottle of green food coloring in your pocket before you head out and whatever you drink can green.

Plan D – Spend the night: If your plans lead to you a party at a friend’s house, a good idea is to just plant to spend the night. If you are out on the town, find a hotel that is walking distance or a short cab ride from where you will be celebrating.

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence the first thing you need to do is to speak with an experienced Oklahoma DUI Defense Attorney. A DUI is a serious offense and even first time offenders can face severe penalties. Only a seasoned DUI Defense Attorney can properly advise you of your defenses and protect your rights in court. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our skilled DUI Defense Attorneys contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924. Our team of attorneys can provide you with aggressive representation. Call our office today!

Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys Answer the Most Commonly Asked Questions about Spousal Support

Unlike other areas of law, divorce is not really about winning and losing. The court is not concerned about handing out punishment or rewarding a “good” spouse. Rather, in a divorce, the court’s main job is to divide the parties’ assets and debts between them in a manner that is equitable. Sometimes, a party may feel like the court is “punishing” him or her, because the distribution of assets and debts was not equal. However, punishment has no place in divorce.

When a party is ordered to pay spousal support is another time when a party may feel that the court is against him or her. This is in part because many people who are contemplating filing for or have already filed for divorce, have a lack of information about spousal support. The following are some of the most commonly asked questions people have about paying and receiving spousal support in Oklahoma:

What is spousal support?

Spousal support is money paid from one spouse to the other spouse either during or after a divorce proceeding for a specified amount of time. If the support is paid during the pendency of the divorce, it is typically referred to as “maintenance”. If the support is paid as part of a final judgment it is then referred to as “alimony.” Regardless of the name given, the purpose of spousal support is for one spouse to provide needed financial support to the other spouse. The decision to grant alimony is based on whether the court finds that one spouse has need and that the other spouse has the ability to pay.

How is the amount of spousal support calculated?

While parties are free to negotiate and agree to a support award, there is no specific formula used by the courts to calculate an amount. Rather the judge hearing the case, will examine a variety of factors when deciding a support award. However, the amount of weight given to each factor is up to the discretion of the Judge. The factors a judge may consider include the following:

  • Length of marriage;
  • Lifestyle of parties during the marriage;
  • Health and age of each party;
  • Earning capacity and level of education of each party;
  • Property received in the divorce; and/or
  • Any other relevant information the court finds will guide its decision.

When does spousal support terminate?

Any order for spousal support, whether temporary or that is part of the final judgment will provide when the support terminates. In some cases, payments are made on a monthly basis for a certain periods of months or years. In other cases, spousal support is made in one lump sum. Spousal support also terminates if payee remarries or on the death of the payor or payee.

Can spousal support be modified?

Under certain circumstances a payor spouse can make a request to the court for a modification or termination of his or her spousal support obligation. These requests are usually granted when there is a change in circumstances that would make the payment of spousal support unreasonable or unnecessary. For example, if the payee spouse cohabitates with a romantic partner, the payor spouse may petition the court for a termination of his or her spousal support obligation.

If you are worried about being able to support yourself post-divorce, an experienced Oklahoma Divorce Attorney can help. Only seasoned Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys can review your financial situation and help you seek a proper support award. At The Handley Law Center, our attorneys will take the time to explain the divorce process and help you understand what outcomes are likely. To see how our team of dedicated Divorce Attorneys can help you during this difficult time in your life, contact The Handley Law Center, at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation today.

Oklahoma Injury Attorneys Explain What New Studies on Impaired Driving Mean for Oklahoma Motorists

In early February, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the results of two studies that examined motorist drug and alcohol use. By examining the results of these studies, Oklahoma motorists may have a better insight into who they are sharing the roadways with and can take appropriate steps to be safe.

The first study, the “National Roadside Study of Alcohol and Drug Abuse by Drivers” is the fifth of such studies done over the past 40 years by the NHTSA and/or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The study uses data collected from motorists traveling on the roadways at night during the weekend. Participation in the study is completely voluntary and the information collected is kept anonymous. As part of the study, motorists were asked to provide oral fluid, blood and breath samples. However, because the participation in the study was voluntary, not all participants provided all three samples. The samples were tested for alcohol and any drugs that could potentially interfere with a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. These drugs included prescription, over-the-counter and illegal drugs. The following were part of this year’s results:

  • Since 2007, the number of motorists with alcohol present in their systems decreased by close to a third.
  • Slightly more than 1% of motorists had a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit of .08 percent.
  • Close to a quarter of motorists tested positive for at least one drug that could pose a safety concern.
  • The number of motorists that had used marijuana grew by almost 50% since 2007, with more than 12% of weekend nighttime drivers testing positive for THC.

The second study was a crash risk study. The purpose of the study was to look at the risk motorists who used alcohol and other drugs pose on the roadways. Of all the drugs that motorists in the study were tested for, the only drug found in large enough numbers to be significant for study purposes was marijuana. The study took place in Virginia Beach over a 20-month period and data was collected from more than 3,000 drivers involved in a crash compared to 6,000 non-crash drivers. The study, the largest of its kind, had some scary findings:

  • Motorists with a breath alcohol at the legal limit of .08 percent, were four times more likely to be involved in a crash when compared to a sober driver.
  • Motorists with a breath alcohol level of .15 were twelve times more likely to be in a crash than a driver who was sober.
  • Motorists who use used marijuana were 25% more likely to be involved in a crash than non-users of the drug.

The two studies show that while alcohol use by motorists is down, there is still room for improvement. The studies also pose cause for concern as more states contemplate legalizing marijuana for recreational and/or medical purposes.

If you or a loved one sustained injuries after being involved in a serious automobile accident with an impaired driver you need to speak with skilled Oklahoma Injury Attorneys as soon as possible. Only an experienced Oklahoma Injury Attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and determine if you are entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and/or the expense of car repairs or replacement. The seasoned Injury Attorneys at The Handle 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 caring and compassionate Oklahoma Injury Attorneys.