Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Safe Driving Tips for The Fall Season

As seasons change, the tactics for safe driving can change a bit as well. Personal injury law at the Lake of the Ozarks applies to claims that arise when a person has sustained injury or damage caused by another party. There is a range of cases that this applies to, but one such is when it involved a motor vehicle. If it is proven that another party’s wrongful conduct caused injury or damage, the injured person may be entitled to monetary compensation from the other party. In situations that involve auto accidents, it’s important to get a refresher on safe driving tips for this season before you head out on the road - it could help you avoid being involved in a personal injury case.

Gibbons Law Firm has a few tips to help keep you safe on the road during the beautiful Autumn season.


Watch For Season Related Road Hazards

There is one prominent thing that sets fall apart from every other season - leaves. Those beautiful falling leaves that the season is so known for can also be one of the hazards of the season as well. When leaves are caught between a wet road and vehicle tires, they can momentarily cause a car to lose its grip on the road. It only takes an instant, but an accident can occur if the driver brakes suddenly without proper traction. Another hazard is that if too many leaves are on the road, it can interfere with a vehicles maneuvering capacity. This can be important because it deals with the car's ability to stand up to the unexpected.

Daylight Savings Season

Daylight Savings Time will end on November 3, 2019, and for many, this is a great time of year. However, your body can take several days to get used to an earlier sunset. Because of this, it can cause many drivers to become drowsy. It’s important to make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep so that your body can safely operate your vehicle, even when you are adjusting to the time change.

Another factor that plays into Daylight Savings Time is that it will get darker earlier. For many that means your commute home could be darker than it was and you may spend more time driving during dark evening hours. Be careful while you are driving, and make sure that your lights are working properly before you will start needing them.

The Holiday Season

As the holidays approach, there will also be more traffic on the roads over the next several months. From Halloween to Christmas, it’s going to be a busy season, but also a time when some drivers may choose to drive intoxicated after a party. Always remain alert while you are on the road, especially during the later evening hours.

There is also another holiday that affects the Ozarks during this time of year. It’s not an official “holiday” but deer season can also impact the hazards on the road this time of year. As the hunting season gears up, the deer will be on the move a lot more. It can be incredibly dangerous to dodge a deer, especially when it throws you into oncoming traffic. Be sure to scan the sides of the road and watch for deer, especially when you are driving early in the morning and later in the evening.


Personal Injury Lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks

If you think you have a personal injury case, it is important that you consult with an experienced attorney to know your legal rights. As a plaintiff in a personal injury case, you will have the burden of proving your case. Consequently, before you hire a personal injury attorney, you may want to consider his or her willingness and ability to take your case to trial, if necessary, and whether he or she has a proven record of obtaining settlements and winning jury trials.

Having successfully tried hundreds of cases, Roger Gibbons has the experience and resources to give you an opportunity for a successful outcome on your personal injury case. Find out more about how we can assist you by contacting our Firm and making an appointment today.

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, October 9, 2019

Top 5 Things to Remember When Filing a Divorce

Family law deals with the issues that arise from marriage and domestic relationships. The cases give rise to matters that include divorce, legal separation, division of assets and liabilities, spousal support, child custody, child support, and other matters. This topic is extremely sensitive and highly complex due to the personal nature of the disputes. Because of this, it’s important to hire an experienced and knowledgable divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks who can help you navigate your case. Here are our top five tips to remember when navigating a divorce situation.


#1. Divorces Can Spike After the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, remember that the divorce rate is typically on the rise after they are over. Here are just a few reasons that divorce rates rise after the holidays are completed: 

  • Couples put it off
  • Holidays are a time of reflection
  • Flaws are revealed through the holiday stress
  • Making a last-ditch effort through the holidays


Curious if this may apply to you? Check out our blog to get more insight into the reasons listed above: Common Reasons the Divorce Rates Spikes After the Holidays.

#2. Certain Things Can Impact the Divorce Costs

Personal and professional relationships may be affected by a divorce. Not only does a divorce at the Lake of the Ozarks cause emotional damage, but it can also have a negative impact on your financial stability. Divorces cost money and it's best to find an experienced divorce attorney near the Lake of the Ozarks to look out for your best interested throughout the entire process.

If you are curious about what can affect the costs of divorce, check out a blog we did earlier this year to learn more: 5 Things that Impact the Cost of Divorce.

#3. There Are Certain Actions That Should Be Avoided

Going through the divorce process is a time of high emotion. Along with these emotions can come irrational actions. Your character is being scrutinized while going through a divorce so it's important to keep composure of your actions. As a divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we've seen a number of cases take a turn due to the irrational action of one or both of the spouses. These common actions that should be avoided when getting a divorce at the Lake of the Ozarks:

  • Believing a battle is the only way to resolve
  • Pitting your children against the other parent
  • Getting pregnant
  • Increasing debt
  • Hiding assets


It can be hard to know what to do in a divorce situation, and what actions should be avoided, but a trustworthy lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks can help. You can also refer to our previous content to get more ideas about what to avoid: Actions You Should Avoid When Getting a Divorce.


#4. Divorce Can Be Hard On Your Family

The divorce process can take a toll on everyone involved. While you may think it only affects you and your spouse, your children, friends, and family are all impacted by the process, as well. Our divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks knows how difficult this time can be and we're here to help offer some advice on how to make this process as easy as possible on your loved ones. Other aspects that can ease the burden are:

  • Create open lines of communication
  • Seek professional help
  • Keep your priorities straight


Want to learn more about guiding your family and loved ones through this process? Check out a past blog: Tips to Make Divorce Easier on Your Family

#5. Father’s Have Rights, Too

A huge number of fathers still want to continue to be actively involved in their children’s lives even after the split. Unfortunately, many fathers don’t understand the rights that they have where their children are concerned, and sometimes they can even be overlooked by the courts. Gender bias shouldn’t exist in the courts to favor mothers over fathers, but that’s not always the case.

If you would like to learn more about a Father’s rights in a divorce situation, check out a blog we did recently: Statistics About a Father’s Rights.


Need a Divorce Lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks?

Gibbons Law Firm assists clients with all types of family law cases. We are committed to providing the legal counseling and advice that clients need in such disputes. Find out more about how we can assist you by contacting our Firm and making an appointment today, or schedule a time for a FREE consultation by calling us at 573-348-2211.

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, October 3, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Charges

When you or a loved one is faced with criminal charges, it can be hard to know how to proceed. At Gibbons Law Firm, we handle many different types of criminal defense cases at the Lake of the Ozarks, and we want to provide the persons accused of a crime with the legal protections that they are entitled to under the United States and Missouri Constitutions and the laws of this state. Here are a few frequently asked questions in regards to criminal charges to help you know how to proceed.



Q: When should I call a lawyer?
A: As soon as you become aware that the police are looking for or investigating you would be a good time to give your Lake of the Ozarks lawyer a call. Also, if you believe that you may have committed a crime, that would be an opportune time as well. A lawyer can intervene with the police to either prevent an arrest or if you are going to be arrested, arrange for your surrender at a time and in a manner that can minimize embarrassment to you or your family.

Q: If I am innocent, why do I need a lawyer?
A: Innocent people can get accused of committing crimes as well as guilty ones. Also, in some cases, people who may have committed one crime can occasionally get accused (wrongfully) of committing addition and more serious crimes. Having a lawyer can help you develop a strategy for responding to the charge.

Q: What is a civil violation?
A: This is a charge that is brought by the Prosecuting Attorney, but is civil in nature and not criminal. It can be punishable by a fine or other sanctions.

Q: What is Bail?
A: Bail money or other property that is deposited with the court is used to ensure that the person accused will return to court when they are required to do so. If the defendant returns to court as required, the bail will be returned at the end of the case, even if the defendant is convicted.

Q: What is a felony?
A: A felony is a crime that carries with it a potential sentence of at least one year and one day in prison.



Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks?

Gibbons Law Firm represents clients in all types of felony and misdemeanor cases. Roger Gibbons has successfully tried hundreds of criminal cases of all types. We are committed to providing clients with criminal defense services that will ensure their rights are protected and they are treated fairly. Find out more about how we can assist you by contacting our Firm and making an appointment today.

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, September 25, 2019

Tips for Hiring an Attorney

If you’ve never been in a position where you needed an attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, it could feel rather overwhelming. There are obviously key aspects you need in a lawyer, from having someone with many years of experience to making sure that your representative has experience in your type of case. Here are a few tips for hiring a Lake of the Ozarks attorney, and how Gibbons Law Firm can help.



Know What Type of Attorney Fits Your Needs

With many different types of legal cases coming up, it’s important to know what an attorney is experienced in. At Gibbons Law Firm, we are well versed in many different types of cases. We have assisted clients with their legal needs in the areas of accident/personal injury law, appellate practice, business and corporate law, child custody matters, construction law, contracts, criminal defense, divorce and family law, employment law, landlord-tenant, land use and zoning, real estate laws, wills and probate, and workers’ compensation.

Utilize Social Media & Online Resources

You have to take online reviews with a grain of salt, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the internet can be a great way to give you some insight into a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks. Check out their social media and websites to learn about their experience. Need a place to start? Check out Google, LinkedIn, and even Facebook - it’s a great place to start when looking for local businesses.

Check Out Their Websites

A lawyer’s website can be a great place to learn more about them and the cases that they have tried. You can also learn about their history, how long they have been representing clients, and more. Keep in mind that a lawyers website only presents general information, it’s not intended to offer legal advice. The best avenue is to contact them directly about your specific situation, changes to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

Check With Acquaintances

Word of mouth can be a great way to find an attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks. Ask friends, family, and acquaintances who they have used and recommend. Find out if they were pleased with their experience, how their lawyer communicated with them, and if their lawyer showed experience in the particular area of law that you are investigating. A recommendation still won’t necessarily substitute for doing research on your own, but it will give additional information.

Set Up A FREE Consultation

In the end, the best way to really get to know an attorney is to sit down and talk about your situation with them. Make a list of questions you have about your case, and think about what you anticipate budgeting for this investment. Many law firms will have a form on their website so that you can contact them (Gibbons Law Firm certainly does!), or you can give us a call to set up your initial visit. This will be one of the best factors to investigate when hiring an attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks.



Ready to Get Started?

Gibbons Law Firm is committed to prompt communications with clients during engagements, consistently providing sound legal advice, answering questions, and guiding clients through difficult legal situations. As an experienced lawyer and litigator, Roger Gibbons’ clients benefit from legal advice that is well-balanced and based on comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the law in many areas. We invite you to contact our firm to set up an appointment to meet with us about any legal issues that you may have. We will listen to your concerns and give you straightforward and honest advice.

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, September 20, 2019

Legal Questions: Do I Have to Consent to a Search?

There are many reasons why you may be seeing those flashing lights in your review mirror - going over the speed limit, not having your headlights on, or even erratic driving. For many individuals getting pulled over will result in an officer asking for your driver’s license and proof of insurance, and afterward, they will give you a warning or a ticket and you’ll be on your way. For some, however, the officer may investigate further. The topic is rather complicated, but a probable cause can definitely play a role in the situation. Here are a few things to keep in mind.


What is Probable Cause?

The definition of probable cause is when there is a reasonable basis for believing that a crime may have been committed or when evidence of the crime is present in the place to be searched.

This can be a tricky notion, but remember that having a lawyer to represent you after the fact can be extremely important. In some cases, if the officer searches your vehicle without probable cause, there’s a chance that anything found could be dismissed in court - but this is all dependent on the situation and having a Missouri lawyer representing you is crucial.

What Counts as Probable Cause?

This is actually a complicated legal matter that is debated among legal professionals. In many cases, it’s going to be up to the officer in question - as it could only require a smell or sight of contraband.

Just remember that an officer does not need a warrant to search a person’s car because there is an automobile exception. Even if an officer has probable cause, they may still ask permission so that they won’t have to handle the search being challenged in court later.

Right to Refuse

The 4th Amendment does provide you the right to politely refuse a search. This situation will be up to you, though. If you feel that they do not have probable cause, and an officer requests permission to look in your car, you have the right to refuse. 

Remain Respectful

If you are flagged down by an officer, you should pull over safely and as fast as possible. As with any case involving someone in charge, remain respectful, polite, and calm.

 

Do you have questions about how to handle this situation? Or perhaps you have had your vehicle searched without permission? Or maybe you consented to a search because you were uncertain about the appropriate response and you need legal protection at the Lake of the Ozarks. Whatever your reason, Gibbons Law Firm offers FREE consultations. Give us a call at 573-348-2211, we would be glad to talk to you about your situation and help you move forward with legal protection.

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, September 12, 2019

Trial Process for an Adoption

The adoption process can feel rather tricky, especially if it’s your first time. From learning about the parental rights of the birth parents and the adoptive parents, how to work with other agents appointed by the state, and more. If you are looking for an adoption lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, Gibbons Law Firm would be honored to assist you with your upcoming adoption! Obviously the topic of adoption is very in-depth, case specific, and can happen in a number of different ways, however, there are a few things you can know about the official date of adoption that may help prepare you. We're also covering why an adoption lawyer can be so important to the process and the outcome.


Adoption Finalization in Missouri

The finalization usually occurs about six months after placement and will involve a court hearing where the judge overlooks the adoption paperwork and asks questions to determine whether the adoption is in the best interest of the child. Gibbons Law Firm can represent you as adoptive parents through the final step in your journey. From gathering paperwork, setting up the court hearing, and then being there to assist with the hearing. Here are a few things you can expect to see at the hearing:
  • Your attorney will ask you, as the parents to introduce yourself, and will provide a brief testimony to verify that this adoption should take place.
  • The attorney will ask the family to confirm for the judge that they intend to provide for the child. The judge may also ask the family some friendly questions, and invite photos to be taken.
  • When the hearing is complete, the judge will sign the decree of adoption, as well as the other papers associated with the adoption. This could include an order approving payment of living expenses to the birth mother or terminating an alleged father’s parental rights.
When the adoption is finalized, there will be an issuance of a new birth certificate.

Why Do You Need an Adoption Lawyer?

And adoption lawyer is a huge asset if you are trying to gain legal guardianship of a child who is not biologically yours. We can help file any necessary paperwork and can represent you in a court if necessary.

How Do You Know If You Need a Lawyer?

If you have never gone through adoption, or have any questions about the process, you will want to make use of an adoption lawyer as you begin the process. We will be knowledgable on the state and country-specific adoption laws and can provide the guidance that you need specific to your situation. We can also prepare you for the hearings that may be required, the MO home study, and be there to support you through any legal complications.



Family Law at the Lake of the Ozarks

Family law deals with issues arising from marriage and other domestic relationships. The cases give rise to matters that include divorce, legal separation, division of assets and liabilities, spousal support, child custody, child support, and other matters. Yet other related aspects of family law include adoptions, annulments, guardianships, paternity cases, termination of parental rights, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

Gibbons Law Firm assists clients with all types of family law cases. We are committed to providing legal counseling and advice that clients need in such disputes. Find out more about how we can assist you by contacting our Firm and making an appointment today.

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, September 6, 2019

About Gibbons Law Firm

There are many reasons why someone would need a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks. From personal injury, criminal law, or family law, it's important to find someone who you can trust. At Gibbons Law Firm, we have been engaged in private practice since 1992, and Roger Gibbons has represented numerous clients in a variety of civil, criminal, and probate cases. We have a diverse client base which includes individuals, employees, builders, contractors, homeowners, lenders, small businesses, subcontractors, municipalities, and other government entities.

If you are looking for a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, here are just a few of our specialties.


Personal Injury Law at the Lake of the Ozarks

Personal injury law applies to claims that arise when a person has sustained injury or damage caused by another party. The cases range from those involving a motor vehicle and boating accidents, business torts, defective products, premises liability, sexual harassment and discrimination, workers’ compensation, and wrongful death.

If it is proven that another party’s wrongful conduct caused injury or damage, the injured person may be entitled to monetary compensation from the other party. Gibbons Law Firm generally represents such clients on a contingency fee basis and receives compensation only when the case is resolved.

Criminal Law at the Lake of the Ozarks

Criminal defense consists of affording persons accused of a crime with the legal protections that they are entitled to under the United States and Missouri Constitutions and the laws of this state. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have extensive resources at their disposal to pursue criminal prosecutions. For that reason, and because a criminal offense often carries the potential of lengthy incarceration, heavy fines, and other penalties, a favorable outcome of a criminal case often depends on representation by a qualified and experienced attorney.

Gibbons Law Firm represents clients in all types of felony and misdemeanor cases. Roger Gibbons has successfully tried hundreds of criminal cases of all types. We are committed to providing clients with criminal defense services that will ensure their rights are protected and they are treated fairly. Find out more about how we can assist you by contacting our Firm and making an appointment today.

Family Law at the Lake of the Ozarks

Family Law Family law deals with issues arising from marriage and other domestic relationships. The cases give rise to matters that include divorce, legal separation, division of assets and liabilities, spousal support, child custody, child support, and other matters. Other related aspects of family law include adoptions, annulments, guardianships, paternity cases, termination of parental rights, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

The legal aspects of family law can be highly complex and highly sensitive and emotional because of the personal nature of the disputes. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney—with the ability to listen and counsel clients, investigate and negotiate cases, to defuse conflict, and, when necessary, to litigate a case—is important to a successful outcome of a family law case.

Gibbons Law Firm assists clients with all types of family law cases. We are committed to providing legal counseling and advice that clients need in such disputes. Find out more about how we can assist you by contacting our Firm and making an appointment today.


Gibbons Law Firm at the Lake of the Ozarks

In addition to his private practice, Roger Gibbons worked for over a decade as a prosecuting attorney for the State of Missouri successfully prosecuting thousands of criminal cases of all types. In that position, he worked hard to hold persons accountable for their conduct, to protect victims and their rights, and to keep communities safe. Roger Gibbons will work hard to instill your trust in him and to obtain the outcome that you deserve.

Gibbons Law Firm is committed to prompt communications with clients during engagements, consistently providing sound legal advice, answering questions, and guiding clients through difficult legal situations. As an experienced lawyer and litigator, Roger Gibbons’ clients benefit from legal advice that is well-balanced and based on comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the law in many areas. We invite you to contact our firm to set up an appointment to meet with us about any legal issues that you may have. We will listen to your concerns and give you straightforward and honest advice.

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, August 29, 2019

Avoiding Personal Injury Cases During Holiday Weekends

As Labor Day weekend approaches, it’s important to make sure that you are safe, but also the people around you. Personal injury cases at the Lake of the Ozarks can be even more prevalent when the area is busy and enjoying a vacation. If you are planning on visiting the Lake of the Ozarks from another state, remember that hiring an in-state lawyer, like Gibbons Law Firm at the Lake of the Ozarks helps to provide you with the best representation.

Here are a few of the most common accidents that happen during holiday weekends, as well as some safety tips to help you avoid personal injury cases for Labor Day Weekend.


Four Most Common Accidents on Labor Day Weekend

1. Traffic Accidents

Auto accidents can be even more prevalent during holiday weekends when there is a higher percentage of traffic. You can’t avoid all car accidents, that’s why they are called “accidents,” but there are a few things you can to do help decrease your chances.

  • Get plenty of rest the night before driving.
  • Provide plenty of time before leaving to come to the Lake.
  • Avoid driving between midnight and 3:00 am and be cautious on rural roads.
  • Drive sober and slow down.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Be sure your vehicle is in top shape.

2. Boating Accidents

Boating accidents at the Lake of the Ozarks are a serious personal injury lawsuit. If you will be lounging on the water for Labor Day weekend, make sure the necessary safety precautions are being performed.
  • Know the law and be sure that you meet all the safety rules.
  • Always check your boat before heading out to make sure that it’s safe.
  • Get educated through the boating certification course online.

It’s incredibly important to make sure that you are practicing safe boating habits while visiting for the weekend. Avoid drinking too much while operating the boat, and be sure that everyone has a life jacket. Also, watch your surroundings closely. Just as when driving a car, taking your boat out can involve some waterway hazards. Observe the no and slow wake zones, and watch for people in the water. We have also had some rain recently, which can stir up debris, so always watch for anything floating on the surface.

Burn Accidents

It’s time to pull out the fireworks and crank up the grill - but did you know that burns can be a huge liability issue during the holiday weekends? Be sure to do your research and follow the safety tips and procedures for the safe use of fireworks on the National Council on Fireworks Safety’s website. Be sure that you also know where you are permitted to use fireworks, as many city limits do not permit personal firework displays.

Grilling can also pose a unique danger during the holiday weekends. Be sure to check the major connection points between the gas tank hose and the regulator and cylinder where the hose connects. You can also check the gas tank hose for potential leaks. An issue with the grill could fall under product liability, so if you find that the manufacturer was negligent in the design of the product, this can be a whole other issue.

Swimming Accidents

Swimming accidents can happen in a pool or lake, and you need to be careful when swimming. Watch young children, and never swim after consuming alcohol. Also, be aware of swimming near docks, and educate yourself on how to react if electrical currents are in the water.


Happy Labor Day Weekend from Gibbons Law Firm

We hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and when they do, your personal injury lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks is ready to assist. Visit our website to learn more about how we handle these cases and give us a call if you need to schedule a FREE consultation.

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, August 23, 2019

5 Legal Documents You Want In Your Home

If you have never spoken with a lawyer about the details needed for family law and estate planning, it may feel a bit overwhelming. In fact, a majority of households in the United States are missing some vital pieces of paper in their home because it seems like it would take too much time, cost too much money, or don’t know where to start. A study by caring.com showed that 57% of U.S. adults do not currently have estate planning documents. Another study by the same group showed that more than 50% of Americans have talked about estate planning, but fewer than half have done anything about it. However, more and more millennials are putting importance on creating a will or a living trust.

A will seems like the most popular types, but several other documents could be important to have in your home, depending on your place in life. Here are a few documents that may be important to have in your home.


Will

This is generally going to be at the top of the list, no matter your age, position, job, marital status, or how many kids you have. If you have real estate, other property, minor children, or assets, you will need a will. If you think this covers pretty much everyone, you are right.

Living Will or Healthcare Directive

A living will or healthcare directive allows you to dictate in advance what type of medical care you do (or do not) wish to receive if something happens to you. This is becoming an increasingly popular and important document for individuals.

Power of Attorney

This is a document that will give the person that you choose the authority to represent you. They can use this in legal, financial, or personal matters.

Babysitter Authorization

Do you leave your children somewhat regularly with a caretaker? Have a lawyer prepare an authorization form which you can give your caretaker. This provides them with the power to authorize emergency care for the child in the parent’s absence. HIPPA and medical malpractice suits have made hospitals reluctant to treat children in the absence of their parents.

Prenuptial Agreement

In Missouri, studies have shown that men marry by 28.3 and women marry by 26.9 on average. This means that the individuals have most likely accumulated assets before marriage. If so, you may want to consider having your Lake of the Ozarks lawyer prepare a prenup to help minimize acrimony in case of divorce. Other studies show there were 3.1 divorces for every 1,000 people in 2017 in Missouri.


Being Prepared

You can’t know what is going to happen over your lifetime, and while you can’t necessarily prepare for it, you can do your best. Having a family lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks can help you prepare your estate, make plans for your family, and make it easier on those you love in hard moments. If you are ready to take the plunge and get your affairs in order, Gibbons Law Firm is here for you. We can help you draw up documents to keep in your home, and in other safe locations so that your desires are known in those unexpected situations.

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, August 13, 2019

Avoiding Product Liability in Your New Business

As new businesses get up and running, there will be many different aspects of your business that has parts of your focus. If you manufacture or supply products or components of products to the public, you do have a responsibility to ensure the safety and duty of care to those who will be using them. Because product liability refers to “defective” products, generally, it’s important to make sure that you are guarding your business against these challenges ahead of time. Here are a few ways your new business can avoid a product liability lawsuit. We’ll also talk about how your Lake of the Ozarks lawyer can help you on the front end before you find yourself swimming amongst millions of dollars worth of damages or injury costs.


Start With Product Testing

Product testing is going to be your first wall of defense to help you be alert to possible defects in the manufacture or design of a product. If you do not perform the necessary product testing, it can result in a manufacturer’s negligence, or a failure to recall faulty or dangerous products. You will also want to always be able to prove that you have taken reasonable steps to avoid product defects, as well as implemented a safe production process.

Always Attach a Warning Label

It is your job as a company to provide the appropriate and effective warnings on a product label. This is necessary to allow the sale of otherwise dangerous good. Make sure that the warning is clear about potential dangers to avoid the major pitfall of a claim. Important disclosures on packaging will help protect you.

Review Suppliers

If you are a retailer, distributor, or business that will repair or make changes to a product, you really should put in place specific measures to review manufacturers’ procedures and processes. You want to be extremely comfortable with a supplier’s products or components. It also can’t be recommended enough that legal contracts are put in place to confirm that suppliers hold ultimate financial responsibility for all defects that are in place before your supply of the product.

Look Into Liability Insurance

This is not a mandatory step, however, any company that manufactures or distributes a product should be covered. This type of insurance covers the compensation that will be provided to the individual who is injured after a faulty product or design. It also helps to cover any legal fees that are incurred as well.


Don’t Be Afraid, Be Prepared

If you are starting a new business, it’s always a great idea to put together your business information and sit down with a knowledgable legal advocate at the Lake of the Ozarks. We can help you analyze the details of your company and take proper action now to protect the business that you will be pouring so many hours into. If you do find yourself amid a personal injury case at the Lake of the Ozarks, especially due to product liability, I would be honored to help you navigate the case. Visit my website to learn more about my law practice at the Lake of the Ozarks, as well as give us a call at the number below for a FREE consultation.

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, August 7, 2019

Statistics About a Father's Rights

Divorce can make navigating relationships a bit challenging, especially when children are involved. The thing is, a huge number of fathers still want to continue to be actively involved in their children’s lives even after the split. Unfortunately, many fathers don’t understand the rights that they have where their children are concerned, and sometimes they can even be overlooked by the courts. Gender bias shouldn’t exist in the courts to favor mothers over fathers, but that’s not always the case. Here are a few statistics about a father's rights at the Lake of the Ozarks.


What Exactly ARE a Father's Rights?

Whether during the custody dispute or during the child’s upbringing, the father’s rights are not a surprise.

  • Being able to spend time with his children
  • Being involved in his children’s lives
  • Having equal participation in parenting, including where they live, go to school, and church
  • Having equal access to medical and school records
  • Having equal say in medical decisions
  • Having the ability to parent or discipline his children without interference from their mother


Of course, when a father wants equal rights to his children, he will also have to equally share in all of the responsibilities of raising them, including financial support. The challenge is that many mothers don’t seem to have to worry about losing their custody, as they are more likely to win full custody of the children. Fathers should have an equal right, but it can be hard to get this accomplished than it should be.

Father’s Rights Statistics


  • In the spring of 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that an estimated 13.7 million parents had custody over children whose other parent lived somewhere else. Of these custodial parents, only one in six were fathers, which is about 17.8%.
  • Of the 17.8% of fathers who were custodial parents in 2010, 18.8% of them were living below the poverty level. And, while there was a higher percentage of custodial mothers living below poverty, mothers were also less likely to be employed than custodial fathers and more likely to receive public assistance.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly half of the fathers without any visitation rights still financially support their children.
  • In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that only 28.8% of custodial fathers received child support either through an agreement or award; while 53.4% of custodial mothers received support.
  • According to data collected in 2014 by the U.S. Census Bureau, out of the 7,282 custodial parents who weren’t receiving child support, 1,128 of these were custodial mothers who said they didn’t want their child(ren) to have contact with their father.


Father’s Rights in Missouri

In Missouri, when determining who will be awarded custody and whether it will be sole or joint custody, the judge will consider these factors:

  • The wishes of the parents and their proposed parenting plans
  • The child's need to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, as well as the parents' willingness and abilities to facilitate that
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and others who may impact the child's best interests
  • Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and meaningful contact with the other parent
  • The child's adjustment to school, home, and community
  • Any history of abuse, as well as the mental and physical health of all parties
  • The wishes of the child
  • The intention of either parent to relocate


Need a Family Lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks?

The legal aspects of family law can be highly complex and highly sensitive and emotional because of the personal nature of the disputes. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney—with the ability to listen and counsel clients, investigate and negotiate cases, to defuse conflict, and, when necessary, to litigate a case—is important to a successful outcome of a family law case.

Gibbons Law Firm assists clients with all types of family law cases. We are committed to providing legal counseling and advice that clients need in such disputes. Find out more about how we can assist you by contacting our Firm and making an appointment today.

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, July 30, 2019

The Basics to Personal Injury Law

The purpose of personal injury law is to allow an injured person to receive compensation financially or to be “made whole” after he or she has suffered harm because of someone else’s carelessness. If you feel like you have been injured because of the actions of someone else, it’s time to speak with a personal injury lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks. Here are a few basics you need to know about personal injury law as you get started.



Personal Injury Law Basics

Because there are many different cases that can count as personal injury, it’s important to know what the basics are. The best route is to speak with your lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, but until your appointment, here is something to get you started.

Accidents
An accident would be a case where someone is acting negligently, and their carelessness causes harm to someone else. The most common examples can include car accidents, slip and fall incidents, and medical malpractice - among others.

Intentional Acts
If personal injury comes from the result of a defendant’s intentional conduct, it could be a case for personal injury. The most common causes of this are in assault and battery.

Defective Products
Defective products can create a situation where a defendant could be found liable for injuries without intentional wrongdoing or neglect.

Defamation
This personal injury case is less about physical injury and more about the harm that has been caused to another person’s reputation.

How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?

There are many different types of personal injury cases, so each one will have differences. However, there are some standard steps that most personal injury cases share in the overall big picture.

Defendant Does Something That Injures Plaintiff
This situation can be almost any bad act on the part of the defendant. The only exception is with contractual breaches, which are then handled under a separate body of law known as “contract law.”

Plaintiff Determines that Defendant Breached a Legal Duty
The definition of “legal duty” will depend on the situation in which the injury occurred. Some examples could include that a driver has a duty to operate their vehicles with a certain level of care. Doctors also have a duty to provide medical care with a certain level of competence that could be expected from any skilled health care professional. Manufacturers and distributors are responsible to not put defective or unreasonably dangerous products on the market.

Settlement Talks Occur
When it has become clear to all involved that the defendant breached their legal duty, it will be time to discuss a settlement. This may happen outside of court. It involves making an offer of monetary compensation to the injured individual. In exchange, the injured person makes a binding promise not to file a lawsuit over the injury.

From here, the plaintiff can agree to a settlement and the case will end. If not, the plaintiff may go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit over the situation.



Personal Injury Law at the Lake of the Ozarks

When you’ve been involved in a personal injury case, it can be hard to see the end of the tunnel. One of the most important things you can do for your case is to hire a personal injury lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you have questions about your case, please visit my website to learn more about my history as a prosecuting attorney for the State of Missouri, and about my private practice which I’ve been engaged in since 1992. I serve the entire Lake of the Ozarks area including Osage Beach, Lake Ozark, Camdenton, Macks Creek, Richland, Linn Creek, Greenview, Sunrise Beach, Climax Springs, Edwards, Montreal, Eldon, Brumley, Tuscumbia, Laurie, Ivy Bend, Gravois Mills, Stover, Versailles, Syracuse, and St. Elizabeth. Give me a call at 573-348-2211 for a free consultation with Gibbons Law Firm.

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, July 24, 2019

The Progression of a Criminal Law Case

Criminal defense consists of affording persons accused of a crime with the legal protections that they are entitled to under the United States and Missouri Constitutions and the laws of this state. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have extensive resources at their disposal to pursue criminal prosecutions. For that reason, and because a criminal offense often carries the potential of a lengthy incarceration, heavy fines, and other penalties, a favorable outcome of a criminal case at the Lake of the Ozarks often depends on representation by a qualified and experienced attorney.

Here are how a criminal law case will begin and proceed over time.


Arrest

A criminal prosecution typically starts with an arrest by a police officer. There are a few reasons why a police officer may arrest a person. One case would be if the officer observes the person committing a crime. Another would be if the officer has a probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by that person. Another situation would be if the officer makes the arrest under the authority of a valid arrest warrant. Once the arrest has occurred, the police will book the suspect and place them in custody. If only a minor offense was committed, there’s a chance that the police may issue a citation to the suspect with instructions to reappear in court at a set date.

Bail

If a suspect in police custody is granted bail, the suspect may pay the bail amount in exchange for a release. However, the release is contingent on the suspects promises to appear at the court proceedings that follow. Sometimes bail may be granted immediately after booking, or it could be at a later bail review hearing. A suspect could also be released on his own recognizance.

If a suspect is released on his own recognizance, bail is not required, but a written agreement to appear at all scheduled court dates is a requirement. Own recognizance release is generally granted after the court considers the seriousness of the offense that was committed, as well as the criminal record, threat to the community, and ties to family and employment.

Arraignment

This is where the suspect will make their first appearance at the arraignment. During this time, the judge will read the charges filed against the defendant in the complaint, and the defendant chooses to either plead “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest” to the charges. This is also when the judges will review the defendant’s bail and set dates for the future proceedings.

Preliminary Hearing

This could be by a “bill of information” secured by a preliminary hearing or by a grand jury indictment. Cases must be brought by indictment in the federal system, but states are free to use either process.

Pre-Trial Motions

Pre-trial motions are brought by the prosecution and the defense. The goal is to resolve all final issues and establish what evidence and testimony will be used in the trial.

Trial

At the trial, the judge or the jury will either determine that the defendant is guilty or not guilty. The prosecution will bear the burden of proof in a criminal trial. This means that the prosecutor has to prove without any doubt that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant does have a constitutional right to a jury trial in many criminal matters. A judge or jury will make the final determination of guilt or innocence after listening to opening and closing statements, examination, as well as the cross-examination of witnesses and jury instructions.

In the case that a jury failed to come to a unanimous verdict, the judge could declare a mistrial, which means that the case will either be dismissed or a new jury will be chosen. Of course, if the judge or jury finds the defendant guilty, the court will then sentence the defendant.

Sentencing

At this point in a criminal case, the court will assign the appropriate punishment for the convicted defendant. To determine a suitable sentence, the court will then consider several factors. This could include several different factors, like the nature and severity of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, the defendant’s personal circumstances, as well as the degree of remorse that is felt by the defendant.

Appeal

At long last, an individual convicted of a crime may ask that his or her case be reviewed by a higher court. If the court finds that there was an error in the case or the sentence imposed - the court may reverse the conviction or find that the case needs to be re-tried.


Criminal Defense at the Lake of the Ozarks

Gibbons Law Firm represents clients in all types of felony and misdemeanor cases. We have successfully tried hundreds of criminal cases of all types, and we are committed to providing clients with criminal defense services that will ensure their rights are protected and they are treated fairly. Find out more about how we can assist you by contacting our Firm and making an appointment today. Call for a free consultation - 573-348-2211

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

Follow us on...