Tuesday, December 18, 2018

3 Must-Know Tips for Starting a Small Business

As we near the end of another year, you may be setting some goals for 2019. If starting a small business at the Lake of the Ozarks is on your list of things to accomplish, this blog is for you. Starting a business is an exciting, yet stressful time. The legal requirements for a new startup may seem daunting to many. As your Lake of the Ozarks lawyer, we can help ease some of the stresses you may face when it comes to starting your business in the new year.


1. Decide on Business Structure

The legal structure for your new business has a big impact on you and your venture. Deciding which type of structure is best for your unique situation is key to starting a successful business. A sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC, there are benefits of each type for the individual and/or business. A legal professional can help point out the benefits and drawbacks to each business structure and what would be best for your situation.

2. Think About Staffing

Who will work for your small business? Whether you plan to work alone or hire employees, it's important to have the right documentation and protection in place. If you do hire a staff, ensure you properly document the hiring process and employee paperwork required by the state. Having this proper documentation on hand can help protect you and your business down the road if there is an issue. Also, if you end up having to let someone go, ensure you properly document the reasoning and your conversation with the employee. This can help protect your business, as well.

3. Double Check Contracts

Whether it's a contract you've drafted or paperwork you are signing on behalf of your business, ensure the paperwork is read over and worded correctly. Your business lawyer can help ensure you know what you are agreeing to in the said contract. Consider having your lawyer look over any paperwork you sign or have them draft up a contract for your business. This can help cover your bases as you enter into agreements with others.


Now that you know some of the legal requirements of a new business, you have a good idea of the decisions and legal documentation you need to have in place. If you'd like assistance or advice on how to move forward with your new venture, contact our Lake of the Ozarks business attorney. Gibbons Law Firm would be happy to assist you through the process as you get your new business up and rolling.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ways to Reduce Your Chance of a Workers Compensation Claim Against Your Business

A workers compensation claim can be detrimental to a business - depending on how severe the injury or your type of workers comp insurance. While it is required for a business to have a workers compensation policy on their employees, some may still not. Our business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks knows how important this type of insurance coverage is for all businesses. Even with a workers comp policy, it's best to help your employees avoid an accident at all. Below you can find a few tips on how to better prepare your staff for a safe work environment.


Regular Training

Ensure your staff has regular training sessions to promote safety. Cover any new safety protocol and review your current procedures. This can help ensure that safety is top of mind for all of your employees. While most new employees receive safety training during their initial training, it's best to have a refresher course on a regular basis.

Prepare New Employees

When hiring someone to join your team, ensure they have been shown the proper safety protocol for all tasks. This is important to show how safety is a top priority for your new staff members. Putting a high importance on safety can help make it clear from the start of their employment that you take the safety of your employees seriously. Take the extra time to explain in detail the safety regulations you have within your company. Also, ensure each new employee fully understands what the safety protocol is and why it is in place.

Be Open to Improvements

Let your staff know that you are always on the lookout for safety improvements. Sometimes the people who do the job a daily basis can have great input for safety ideas to add to your company's protocol. Try to be open for employees to report faulty equipment. Let your staff know that you want to know when a piece of equipment is starting to fail, as this is a huge safety concern that needs to be addressed right away.

Have Employees Look Out

Encourage all of your staff members to look out for one another. If someone notices a lack of safety, please encourage them to report this. Keeping someone safe is important to all employees and the company as a whole. Also, a co-worker may be able to help point out a safety concern to a fellow employee in real-time and help prevent an unnecessary injury.

If you own a business, it's important to best prepare your employees to create a safe work environment. Our Lake of the Ozarks business lawyer is here to help with a workers compensation claim near the Lake of the Ozarks. If you have an employee get injured on the job, our law firm in Lake Ozark, MO can help. Give Gibbons Law Firm a call today to learn about your legal options when it comes to a workers compensation claim.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

National Safe Toys & Gifts Month

December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month. With the gift-giving season upon us, it's important to purchase gifts that are safe for your recipient. This mainly applies to children, but some adult gifts can pose dangers, as well. If you receive a gift and are injured, you may have a personal injury case at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our personal injury attorney in Lake Ozark, MO may be able to assist if you find yourself in this situation. While you're selecting toys and gifts this Christmas, consider the below tips for finding safe items to give!


About National Safe Toy & Gift Month:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported about 251,000 toy-related injuries annually. The majority of people with these injuries (72%) are 15 years of age or younger. This epidemic of unsafe toys is very dangerous for kids. Toymakers are working diligently to make toys safer for all. Stricter regulations have been put into place in recent years. Over 19 million toy recalls have been made due to safety concerns. National Safe Toy & Gift Month is all about promoting safe toys and gifts you give this holiday season.

Tips for Selecting a Safe Toy or Gift:

Consider Choking Hazards
When gifting for a child, consider choking hazards. Small toys and small pieces that can break off can be very dangerous for a kid. Many young children will put anything they find in their mouth. If an item is large enough, it can block their airways, causing them to choke.

Pay Attention to Ages
Age suggestions are on almost every toy. Be sure you are looking at these age guidelines when picking out a gift for a child. The toymakers have a reason behind these suggestions and it's safest for everyone involved if they have accurate toys for their specific age. Especially if you aren't familiar with children toys, pay close attention to the ages on toy packages.

Consider Other Threats
While a toy may seem adventurous and fun, consider other treats that may go along with the item. A skateboard or rollerskates are popular gift items, but many children fall and get injured using this type of toy. If you are giving a gift like this, consider giving a safety item along with it. For example, a helmet and knee pads may compliment a bike well.

Now that you know what to look for when shopping for toys and gifts this holiday season, you're ready to start selecting the perfect gifts for everyone on your list! Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we know how important it is to give a gift that someone can truly enjoy, but it's also vital to ensure it's a safe gift for them to use. Think about safety as you make your gift selections this Christmas shopping season, especially when picking out items for the kids in your life. Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

How a DUI Can Impact Your Life

With the Christmas season upon us, many people will be gathering for holiday parties. Whether you are getting together with friends, attending a work Christmas party, or going to visit family out of town, there are many opportunities when drinking will be an option. If you do partake in an alcoholic beverage, don't get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Not only is it dangerous for yourself and anyone else on the road, it is illegal.


Our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks knows there are a number of holiday gatherings this time of year and many people like to celebrate the season with a few beverages. Drinking and driving is a major issue all year round, but even more so during the holiday season. If you're drinking, do not drive - it's that simple.

Ways a DUI Can Impact Your Life:

Lose License

Getting your license revoked is a common consequence of driving under the influence. This can impact your personal and professional life. If you rely on your vehicle for transportation it can have a devastating impact on your life.

Legal Fees

Steep fees may be placed upon you if you are charged with a DUI. In addition to these fees, you'll likely incur the cost of legal representation. These expenses can add up quickly and you may find yourself in a tight financial situation

Loss of Employment

Some employers have policies about a criminal record and a conviction can be terms for your termination. It can also be hard to find a new job since most employers run a background check on potential candidates. This is just one of the ways a conviction can impact your professional life.

Change in Personal Relationships

Some people in your life may look down upon a criminal conviction, like a DUI. This type of situation can be damaging for your personal relationships. It can be very stressful to go through a conviction like this. Your personal relationships may suffer if you are charged with drinking and driving.

Insurance Rate Hike

Most insurance companies will charge more monthly premiums after a driver has been convicted of a DUI or BUI. It can also be hard to shop around for new insurance with a charge like this. Insurance companies will see this as reckless driving behavior and the risk of insuring a person with this conviction goes up.

Now that you know about some of the ways a DUI conviction near the Lake of the Ozarks can negatively impact your life, you're more aware of the legal dangers you may face if you choose to drink and drive. If you happen to make the mistake of driving while intoxicated and are pulled over, you'll likely want to find legal representation. Our criminal defense lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks is here for you. Contact our Lake Ozark law firm to schedule your first consultation to discuss your options.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Monday, November 19, 2018

What to do if You're Involved in a Vehicle Accident

The holiday season is upon us and this is a popular time of year for travel. Whether you're taking a family road trip while the kids are off school or you're planning to visit family for the holidays, the roadways are busy this time of year. While vehicle accidents happen throughout the entire year, there are a number of vehicles traveling during the holidays, which increases your chance of being involved in a vehicle accident.


If you find yourself involved in an accident and are unfortunately injured or injure someone else, it's important to know your rights. As your personal injury attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we can help represent your case - whether you are at fault or you've been injured due to someone else's' negligence. Our Lake of the Ozarks attorney is here for all of your personal injury needs. Whether it's working through the details of the accident to know if you have a case on your hands to walking you through the entire legal process, Gibbons Law Firm is here for you. Take a look below for a step-by-step guide of what to do if you are involved in an accident.

Clear the Roadway

If you are able, it's best to move vehicles off the roadway. This can help prevent more vehicles getting involved in the incident. If you are unable to move the vehicles, try to make the scene as visible as possible. Flashers, a flare, and/or cones are a great way to grab the attention of other drivers to help ensure they can see you. Once emergency responders arrive, they can help direct traffic around the scene, as well.

Evaluate the Situation

As soon as possible, make sure everyone in your vehicle is ok. Next check on occupants in the other vehicles. If anyone is injured, call 911 right away. The faster medical help arrives, the better.

Notify Authorities

It's a good idea to call the police if you are involved in an accident. You may need to file a police report to help with your insurance claim and to help present your case in court if personal injuries occur.

Gather Driver Information

You should obtain the name, address, and phone number of everyone involved in the accident. Insurance information should also be gathered. If the police are involved, they may gather this same information, as well. Witness information can be gathered as well. This can help prove what happened if that information is needed.

Document, Document, Document

If you are able, take pictures of the accident and any damage. Try to photograph any physical injuries, as well. Don't interfere with existing police investigations while capturing this evidence. If you are unable to capture images at the scene of the accident, get photo evidence as soon as possible afterward. This picture-proof can help to represent your case and assist with insurance claims.

Seek Medical Aid

If medical help is needed after the incident, seek it as soon as possible. Keep any medical documents and/or bills that help with your treatment. This is all evidence that may be required if your case goes to court. Your financial obligations may be covered if someone else is proven to be at fault for the accident. It's best to keep good records of medical treatments required.

Now that you have a refresher of what you should do if you're involved in a vehicle accident this holiday season, you're ready to take action if needed. If you or someone else is injured due to a vehicle accident, contact our Lake of the Ozarks personal injury attorney right away. We can listen to your side of the story and help offer legal advice on how to handle your case if you have one. Our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks wishes you and your family a safe holiday season and don't forget to use caution on the roadways on your next road trip.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Safety Tips for Black Friday Shopping

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, as is Black Friday! As this shopping holiday becomes more and more popular, the demand for getting the best deal can cloud the judgment of some individuals. While Black Friday shopping is an all-night and all-day activity for many friends and family, there are a few that make it less-than fun and downright dangerous. As a personal injury attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know all about fighting for the rights of someone who has been injured due to the negligence of another individual. Getting hurt by another shopper on the upcoming holiday (or any day) may qualify for a personal injury lawsuit at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you plan to hit the stores this Black Friday, consider these safety tips.


In the Store


  • Don't go shopping alone - especially in an unfamiliar store or town. There is safety in numbers and you are less likely to become a target if you are surrounded by others. 

  • Stay with your group as often as possible. This goes along with the safety in numbers theory. If your group is across the store, they may not be aware of an issue or potential incident happening. 

  • Don't get in an argument of an item. If you and another shopper are after the same item, try to be cautious. If you get into a disagreement, try to avoid a physical confrontation. 

  • Be aware of your surroundings. While there are a ton of people in one store - keep a watchful eye on your belongings and your person. If you feel uneasy - like someone is following you around the store - be sure to ask for assistance. 

  • Keep your wallet secure. Until you are ready to pay at the checkout, keep your money in a safe spot. Don't have your wallet out fumbling through money or other belongings. This may make you an easy target for theft. 

  • Have a plan before you head into the store. Pick a destination in which your group will meet up if you should get separated. This can help keep everyone safe and avoid a person getting left behind in the busyness of the day. 


In the Parking Lot


  • Watch out for pedestrians as you make your way across the store parking lot. It can be distracting as you make your way from one store to the next - seeking the next big deal. Ensure you are paying attention as you drive from store to store - even if it is just across the parking lot. 

  • Be aware of your surroundings as you load your purchases. Keep an eye on others around your vehicle and give yourself plenty of time to react if someone approaches your vehicle while you are still loading. Always be thinking ahead as to how you plan to react. 

  • Secure your vehicle as you go from store to store. Your car may become a target for theft filled with goodies - try to conceal your items with a blanket or keep them tucked away in the trunk, if possible. And don't forget to lock your vehicle. It's a mindless task but it sometimes gets missed in the hustle and bustle of the day. 

  • Ensure all passengers are buckled. Parking lot collisions are common, especially on a busy shopping day like Black Friday. Make sure you and all of your passengers are safely buckled in their seats before putting the car in drive. 


Many shoppers come from all around to hit the local shopping centers. Whether it's a weekend getaway for out of towners or a locals paradise for bargains, Black Friday brings out record numbers of shoppers each year. While you are out and about hunting for the best deal, keep these safety precautions in mind. If you are unfortunately injured due to the negligent act of another shopper, contact Gibbons Law Firm right away. We'd be happy to go over the details of the act and let you know if you have a personal injury case on your hands.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Friday, November 9, 2018

The Difference Between an Agency Adoption and an Independent Adoption

In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month (November), this week's blog is going to be all about adoption. Adopting a child near the Lake of the Ozarks is a big decision. While adoption can be a lengthy process, our Lake Ozark law firm is here to help guide you through the process. If you are thinking about adopting a child, take a look below to learn about two common types of adoption.


Agency Adoption:

  • Birth parents surrender child to agency, which later places child with adoptive parents.
  • The adoption agency serves as the intermediary.
  • Birth parents often do not know the identity of adoptive parents and may not have any biographical information about them. Agency maintains anonymity.
  • Birth parents usually will not have had any contact with the adoptive parents. The agency serves as the intermediary.
  • Birth parents usually have released the child for adoption before the child is placed in adoptive home. If release has not been obtained, placement is called “legal-risk adoption.”
  • Infant may be placed in foster care until all the releases have been signed and all waiting periods have passed.
  • Agency social worker often selects the parents for a specific child.
  • Adoptive parents have sought out an agency, filed an application, been approved, and waited for the agency to assign a child to them.

Independent Adoption:

  • Birth parents consent to place child directly with the adoptive parents.
  • Various intermediaries—attorneys, physicians, teachers—may be used to help facilitate the placement.
  • Birth parents may know the identity of the adoptive parents and may have biographical information about them. Varying degrees of anonymity maintained.
  • Birth parents often have been in contact with the adoptive parents—either by telephone or in person.
  • Birth parents usually surrender child for adoption after the child is residing in the adoptive home. Birth parents may have right to remove child from home.
  • Infant usually placed in adoptive home after discharge from the hospital.
  • Birth parents often select the adoptive parents for their child.
  • Adoptive parents often are actively involved in searching for an infant to adopt.
Information Source:  17:8.Agency adoptions, 21 Mo. Prac., Family Law § 17:8 (3d ed.)

As you can see from the above information, the two option types have different parameters and timelines associated with each. Depending on your unique situation, our adoption attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can help you decide which option is best for you and your family. 

Now that you a little more about these two adoption options, you can better prepare for your adoption. If you are interested in adopting a child in mid-Missouri, contact Gibbons Law Firm today. We can help walk you through the legal aspects of adoption and guide you through the entire process. This is an exciting time in your life and we are honored to be a part of it!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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