Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys Ask: “Are You a Bad Driver?”

Some motorists love to hit the open the road. While for other motorists, driving is simply a means to an end. One reason some motorists view driving as more of a chore than a joy, is in part due to having to share the road with other drivers. Everyone likes to think that they are a good driver. But that of course cannot be true, since clearly there are a good number of bad drivers on the road. Before you assume that you are a great driver, consider the “sins” bad drivers commonly make and ask yourself if you ever make the same mistakes. The following is a list of some of the most common bad driver sins:

  • Distracted driver: Talking and texting while driving are the most common forms of distracted driving. Drivers who do not have their eyes or attention on the road are not only a danger to other drivers, but also to themselves.
  • Following too closely behind other drivers: It is not only annoying to have another vehicle “ride your bumper”, but it is also a safety hazard. Be smart and leave adequate space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Not having both hands on the wheel: Of course many people are in a rush, especially in the morning while trying to drop the kids off at school and make it to work on time. Taking one hand off of the wheel to sip your coffee may seem innocent enough, but it can be quite dangerous. Balancing a hot cup of coffee with one hand, while steering with the other hand, can be a recipe for disaster.
  • Riding the brakes: When a person steps on the brakes not only does it slow down his or her vehicle, it also sends a signal to the drivers behind him or her. Riding the brakes sends mixed signals to the other drivers, as to whether there is a good reason to stop or not. In many cases a driver can benefit by driving a constant speed or letting his or her foot off of the gas, rather than constantly stepping on the brake pedal.
  • Failing to anticipate: A bad driver is often surprised by things that he or she could have anticipated if he or she was paying proper attention to the road.
  • Impeding the flow of traffic: It is important to drive the speed limit. A person who is driving much slower than the posted speed limit can cause just as many problems (if not more) than a driver who is speeding.
  • Failing to use turn signals and weaving in and out of lanes: Changing lanes too quickly and without proper signaling can easily cause a nasty fender bender.

Even if you think you are a good driver, every driver can become a better driver. By working to becoming a better driver, a person not only makes the roadway a little nicer to share, but he or she also makes the roadways safer. A bad driver is not just irksome or annoying. He or she is a potential danger to others as his or her bad driving can lead to serious accidents.

If you have been seriously injured in an automobile accident you need to speak with one of our experienced Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys as soon as possible. Only a skilled injury attorney can protect your rights and make sure you receive the compensation you are due. To ensure the best possible representation, contact the attorneys at The Handley Law Center today. Call us at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. The seasoned injury attorneys at The Handley Law Center will guide you through the legal process and provide you with aggressive representation. Do not delay, contact The Handley Law Center today.

Important Documents Your Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys Need From You During Your Divorce Case

Clients are often surprised at the amount of “paper” that needs to be collected, drafted or exchanged before a person is finally divorced. Not only will your attorneys draft and file documents with the court on your behalf, he or she will also need to review documents that are in your possession.

If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to start gathering documents as soon as possible. The sooner you can provide your attorney with documents he or she requires, the faster your divorce case can move. If you are super organized, these documents may be at the tips of your fingers. However, if you are like most people it will take you awhile to locate and compile all of the documents your attorney needs. If you are worried that your spouse may become suspicious that these documents are missing and not quite ready to break the news to him or her, it is wise to make at least two sets of copies (one for you and one for you attorney) and leave the originals at home.

Income

The first type of documents your attorney will need from you are documents are income related documents. These documents can be used to help determine child support, spousal support or to justify a division of the assets. Income documents include:

  • Personal and/or business federal and state income tax forms for the past three years
  • Proof of current income for you and your spouse, like W-2s and pay stubs
  • Financial statements

Assets

In order to properly advise you of what you can expect to receive from the divorce, your attorney needs to know about all of your assets. The following documents will aid your attorney in determining your assets:

  • Bank accounts and certificates of deposit
  • Retirement/investment assets including 401(k), pension, IRAs and stock portfolios
  • Proof of business interests
  • Life insurance policies
  • Appraisals on businesses, jewelry, real estate, etc.
  • Titles/registration for any automobiles or recreational vehicles
  • Any and all documents related to the sale/purchase of real estate

Debt

In a divorce, assets are not the only things distributed between the parties. The court must also assign responsibility for debts between the parties. You will want to provide your attorney with the following documents/statements:

  • Mortgage or loans for all real estate
  • Auto loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card
  • Property taxes
  • Outstanding bills (utilities, medical expenses, etc.)

Legal

Your attorney will also need to know if you and your spouse have entered into any agreement or have any prior court orders that could impact your case, including:

  • Prior court orders for legal separation
  • Prior agreements of the parties including prenuptial agreements
  • Wills, trusts and power of attorney

Child-related

If a divorcing couple have a child/ren the court will need to allocate the children’s expenses between the parties. It is helpful to provide your attorney with any and all documents that show proof of the following expenses:

  • Daycare and/or preschool
  • Tuition or education related expenses
  • Activities, lessons and sports related costs and expenses
  • Child’s portion of medical, dental and vision insurance
  • Out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses
  • Prescription medication costs

Miscellaneous

The following is a list of other documents that may or may not pertain to your divorce case:

  • Proof of history of violence including police reports and orders of protection.
  • Orders for child support for child/ren from prior relationships
  • Bankruptcy related documents

If you are considering divorce, it is important to meet with one of our experienced Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys as soon as possible. At The Handley Law Center, our skilled team of Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys can properly review your case and answer any questions you may have about the process. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation call the attorneys at The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924. At The Handley Law Center we understand that deciding to file for divorce is an important decision and will do everything to help make the divorce process easier on you.

Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions about Contempt Proceedings

In a divorce or child-related court proceedings, emotions on one or both sides are often running high. That being said, it is especially important during these types of proceedings not to let one’s emotions interfere with one’s better judgment. When a Judge makes a ruling or signs off on an agreement reached by the parties, that piece of paper that bears the judge’s signature is known as a court order. It is not just any piece of paper—it a document that has the full force and effect of the law. Failure to follow a judge’s order can result in severe consequences. These consequences usually stem from what is known as a contempt proceeding. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that Oklahoma residents have about contempt proceedings in family law related matters:

What does it mean to be in “contempt of court”?

Oklahoma law recognizes two main types of contempt. First type is known as direct contempt, which occurs when a person acts out inappropriately or in violation of courtroom procedures in the courtroom in front of a judge. The second type of contempt is known as indirect contempt. Indirect contempt occurs when a person willing fails to follow or obey a court order.

What type of actions constitute indirect contempt of court?

A person can be held in contempt for a number of actions in all different types of proceedings. In family law matters, however, the following are a few common examples of the types of actions that would trigger a contempt proceeding:

  • Unwillingness to pay child support or other child-related expenses as set forth in the order (i.e. daycare, medical, and/or school expenses)
  • Not having child/ren available for visitation at times and/or places specified in the order;
  • Violating a provision of a child visitation order (i.e. taking a child/ren across state lines);
  • Failure to turn over personal property as specified in the order;
  • Unwillingness to pay support as set forth in the order for alimony/spousal support; and
  • Failure to submit to DNA testing in a paternity matter.

Does it matter if the order violated was a temporary order?

No. All orders regardless of whether they are temporary or final orders, need to be followed. If not, the person risks being held in indirect contempt of court.

What are the penalties for being found in contempt of court?

The penalties for being in indirect contempt of court can vary from a small fine to jail time. A person found in contempt of court can also be ordered to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees, which could easily amount to be more than the amount of the fine.

What should you do if you receive notice of contempt proceedings against you?

If you receive notice that contempt proceedings have been filed against you, the first thing you should do is contact an Oklahoma family law attorney. Your attorney will review your case, including the documents filed, and determine what defenses you have. After reviewing the charges with you, your attorney may determine that the allegations against you are unfounded. Even if you did violate the court order, your attorney may be able to show that you did not do so willfully. However, only an attorney can properly advise you as to your defenses and properly present them before the court.

If you received notice that you are the subject of a contempt proceeding in a divorce or child-related proceeding, it is vitally important for you to contact an experienced Oklahoma Family Law Attorney. With more than 30 years of experience handling family law related matters, the attorneys at The Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys at the Handley Law Center can help. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our skilled family law attorneys, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924.

Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys Caution Against Driving Drowsy

Driving is easily the most dangerous thing the average American does on a daily basis. One of the reasons why driving is such a hazardous task is mostly because the road is full of other drivers. While weather and road conditions can and do cause a fair number of accidents, the majority of crashes are caused by the people behind the wheel. Drivers, as humans, make mistakes—such as when a driver makes the decision to drive drowsy.

Drowsy driving accidents are accidents where the driver was sleepy, fatigued or asleep at the time of the accident. According to data from the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009 over 2 percent of fatal accidents involved a drowsy driver. These statistics are probably fairly conservative in part due to under-reporting. This is because often drivers do not realize the role that driving drowsy can play in an accident. In other words, even if a driver did not get only had 4 hours of sleep the night before the accident, he or she may not attribute the mental error, which resulted in the accident, to his or her being fatigued.

One reason drivers may not take driving fatigued as serious issue because so many people are not getting enough sleep that lack of sleep may be seen as a normal. Data from the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety and the National Sleep Foundation estimate that close to 70 million people are sleep deprived or suffer from some sort of sleep disorder. The two foundations also found that 1 out of every 10 drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year.

Almost every accident involves some degree of human error. This is why car crashes are called “accidents”. No one intends to rear-end another car or cause a multi-car collision. However, just because an accident was not due to an intentional act, does not mean that it was not preventable. The vast majority of accidents could have been prevented. Crashes caused by drowsy drivers are one type of accidents. To ensure that you do not drive drowsy—adhere to these guidelines:

  • Get enough sleep! The average adults needs between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Adolescents may need as many as 10 hours of sleep. Make sure that you are properly rested before getting behind the wheel.  Also, o not drive if you have been awake for 24 hours or more.
  • Seek treatment for any sleep problem. If you have sleep apnea or any other sort of sleep problem that interferes with the quality of your sleep, seek medical advice as soon as possible.
  • Do not drink and drive. Alcohol is a sedative and can make a person drowsy. This is especially true if the person is in any way sleep deprived. Alcohol acts to magnify the effects of inadequate sleep.
  • Stop and pullover if you feel drowsy. If you start feeling drowsy while behind the wheel it is important to get off of the road. Taking a rest or letting someone else drive are the the best options if you suddenly feel tired while driving. If neither of those options are possible, some drivers can become more alert after drinking a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage (and waiting approximately 30 minutes before resuming driving).

If you or someone you love was injured or killed in an automobile accident as the result of a drowsy driver, we invite you to contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. The compassionate attorneys at The Handley Law Center understand how devastating and life altering an automobile accident can be for a victim and his or her family. At The Handley Law Center, our team of experienced Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys is prepared to do whatever is necessary to obtain proper compensation for your injuries. You can trust our Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys to fight to protect your rights.