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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

FAQs About Writing A Will

Did you know that 55% of American adults do NOT have a will or other estate plan in place? These statistics are even higher among minorities, with 68% of black adults and 74% of Hispanic adults not having a Will. While many assume that this is something for the Baby Boomers to worry about, Millennials need to get serious about wills and estate planning as well. You don’t have to have a lot of assets, or even own a home to make this a valuable step. If you are ready to create a Will at the Lake of the Ozarks, here are a few frequently asked questions to show you both the value of having one, as well as the ease in creating one.

What is a Will?

A will is a written legal document that states what you want to be done after you die. This can cover various topics, from what will happen to your belongings (your estate), to who will care for any minor children.

A will only become effective when it has been signed by both you and two witnesses, in the state of Missouri.

What Happens If I Die Without a Will?

If you die without a Will, (aka intestate), your property will be distributed according to state laws. It will not go to the government as long as you have a living relative who can claim your state. However, if you die intestate, it can make the process much harder and longer. Your estate will go to your relatives in this order:

(1) The surviving spouse receives:

  (a) The entire intestate estate if there is no surviving issue of the decedent;

  (b) The first twenty thousand dollars in value of the intestate estate, plus one-half of the balance of the intestate estate, if there are surviving issue, all of whom are also issue of the surviving spouse;

  (c) One-half of the intestate estate if there are surviving issue, one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse;  

(2) The part not distributable to the surviving spouse, or the entire intestate property, if there is no surviving spouse, shall descend and be distributed as follows:

  (a) To the decedent's children, or their descendants, in equal parts;

  (b) If there are no children, or their descendants, then to the decedent's father, mother, brothers and sisters or their descendants in equal parts;

  (c) If there are no children, or their descendants, father, mother, brother or sister, or their descendants, then to the grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles and aunts or their descendants in equal parts;

  (d) If there are no children or their descendants, father, mother, brother, sister, or their descendants, grandfather, grandmother, uncles, aunts, nor their descendants, then to the great-grandfathers, great-grandmothers, or their descendants, in equal parts; and so on, in other cases without end, passing to the nearest lineal ancestors and their children, or their descendants, in equal parts; provided, however, that collateral relatives, that is, relatives who are neither ancestors nor descendants of the decedent, may not inherit unless they are related to the decedent at least as closely as the ninth degree, the degree of kinship being computed according to the rules of the civil law; that is, by counting upward from the decedent to the nearest common ancestor, and then downward to the relative, the degree of kinship being the sum of these two counts, so that brothers are related in the second degree;

(3) If there is no surviving spouse or kindred of the decedent entitled to inherit, the whole shall go to the kindred of the predeceased spouse who, at the time of the spouse's death, was married to the decedent, in like course as if such predeceased spouse had survived the decedent and then died entitled to the property, and if there is more than one such predeceased spouse, then to go in equal shares to the kindred of each predeceased spouse;

(4) If no person is entitled to inherit as provided in this section the property shall escheat as provided by law.

Who Can Witness My Will?

Your signature to the Will must be witnessed by two people over the age of 18. They must both be present when you sign your will, and the witnesses must also sign the Will in your presence.

Where Should I Keep My Will?

You should keep your Will safely at home or lodged with a solicitor or a bank.

When Should You Modify Your Current Will?

You should review your will once a year. There are other occasions to review your will and these include:

  • If your marital status changes
  • If the property you own changes significantly and you made specific gifts of that property
  • If you adopt or have additional children
  • If your child dies, leaving children
  • If you move to a different state
  • If any of your beneficiaries die
  • If the person you name as personal guardian for your minor children or manager for their property is no longer able to serve
  • If the person named as your personal representative (executor) is no longer able to serve
  • If you change your mind about the provisions in your prior will
  • If your witnesses move away, die or are no longer competent
  • Your will is valid until revoked. You can revoke a will by making a new will. Your will can also be revoked if it is destroyed

What are Guardianships and Trusts for Minor Children?

A minor child MUST have an adult guardian unless a court has declared he is legally “emancipated.” Normally, the surviving spouse becomes the personal guardian of your minor child. However, parents should agree on who they want to be appointed as the personal guardian of their children in case both parents die simultaneously.

In the case of divorced or separated parents, the surviving parent will generally have the best claim to be the guardian of their child, although anyone may challenge a person’s petition to be the guardian of a child. If the surviving parent is unavailable, the courts will give great weight to the preference contained in the deceased parent’s will.

The Truth About Wills

The fact is, everyone dies eventually, but not everyone leaves a last will and testament. Many don’t even know how to go about making one. If you are confused about you will, you are not alone, but talking with an attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks who is experienced in this area is a perfect first step.

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 9, 2019

Common Personal Injury Cases in Summer

The summer season is well known for being busy, active, and adventurous. People of all ages are glad for the warm weather, and get the seasonal itch to get outdoors and stretch their wings. While it's great to have some summer fun, you don’t want to forget that some summer activities can come with a certain level of risk of injury. Here are a few common injury types that have people calling a personal injury lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks during the summer.

Car Accidents

During the summer months, you don’t have to contend with the risky driving weather that snow and ice bring - but that doesn’t eliminate other risks. Summer driving can be a common time for accidents, and according to an old study by the Insurance Information Institute, August had the highest number of accidents. Nicer weather means that more people will be out and about, which can increase the risk of car accidents. Some of these accidents can include more teen drivers on the road since they aren’t in school, as well more people being out for summer parties, family reunions, and summer vacations. More summer parties can also mean that more people could be drinking and driving, as well.

Heat-Related Injuries & Illnesses

Spending time outside on incredibly hot days can mean that it’s even more important to take steps to prevent heat stroke. If you are an employer with employees who work outside, it’s incredibly important to make sure that your staff (specifically construction workers or landscapers) are taking proper precautions to stay cool and hydrated. According to OSHA, more than 40% of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry.

If you are an employer, it will be your responsibility to make sure that your outdoor workers are protected from the heat by providing access to water and shade, as well as the opportunity for plenty of breaks.

Bicycle & Motorcycle Accidents

The beautiful weather makes it nearly impossible for cyclists of all kinds to not get out on the road. From motorcycles to a standard bicycle, it is very easy for riders to become the victim of an accident. Because bicycles and motorcycles are less visible and other vehicles, drivers need to be on high alert for cyclists during the summer months. If you are a cyclist, one of the best things you can do is to wear proper safety gear and fits, use reflectors, and have a good helmet.

Boating Accidents

At the Lake of the Ozarks, it’s no surprise to see hundreds and thousands of boats out on the water, especially during the peak summer months and busy holiday weekends. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for a fun day on the water to turn dangerous - especially when drinks are involved. Alcohol use is one of the top factors in fatal boating accidents, so if you are operating the boat, you’ll want to skip the alcohol. Even if your passengers are good swimmers, you’ll want to make sure that they always wear life jackets while on board.

Playground Accidents

The weather s nice, the kids are out of school, and it’s the perfect time to burn that extra energy off. It’s not uncommon for parents and caretakers to take kids to the playground, but every year, tens of thousands of children are rushed to the emergency room because of injuries that came from playing on a playground. Many cases come from children simply playing around, however, many of them also occur because of issues with the playground equipment. This could be caused by the equipment not being maintained or it could be because there isn't enough surface protection to keep kids safe if they fall. Make sure you take a look at any playground equipment before letting children play on it, just to make sure things are safe and secure.

Personal Injury Cases at the Lake of the Ozarks

Mishaps and accidents are not always avoidable, and they can lead to injuries which may fit within a personal injury case. If you have been injured, it’s important to call your Lake of the Ozarks lawyer, to see how we can help you through this challenging time.

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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Starting a Business for Independent Retailer Month

It all starts with an idea and before you know it, you will find yourself following the American dream with a business of your own. July is Independent Retailer Month, and while you may not initially think about sitting down with a lawyer before you get started, starting up a conversation with your local Lake of the Ozarks lawyer can be just what you need to get your business started on the right foot. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you start a new business, and how Gibbons Law Firm can help you with the process.

Start Thinking About the Legal Aspects from the Start

It’s easy at the beginning to get carried away with the exciting aspects. From business cards to social media pages - these creative avenues are the “fun” parts, helping you appear to launch your business quickly. However, you really need to take time to contemplate the legal aspects from the start to help get your business on a firm foundation from the ground up. The most common legal issues that may arise for an entrepreneur would include a choice of entity, business licenses, supply and service contracts, and employee matters. You may not feel like you can look several months ahead to pinpoint what could happen, but your business will thank you.

Keep Your Emotions In Check

One hard part about managing a business is that you can’t take lawsuits and threats against your business personally. If or when you find yourself in these positions, you have to make the right decision for your business. It’s important to have someone providing insight for when it’s better to pursue a legal battle versus avoiding it. This is why it’s so important to find a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks who you can trust, which leads us to our next point.

Make Your Legal Connections Early

When you establish a relationship early on with a legal provider, you will have someone you can quickly reach out to when you need help with a legal challenge. Having a plan in place with a legal counselor will be a valuable asset which you and your business can be thankful for years down the road.

Do Not Use Your Personal Bank Account

There are many, many business professionals who will say that you should not mix personal and business finances. Still, many business owners make the mistake of using their personal bank account for their business expenses. Just because it seems overwhelming to manage multiple bank accounts at once doesn’t mean that it won’t pay off in the long run. The fact is, using your personal account for business impacts your legal liability. If you are using one account for everything, make your goal this week to get a separate account and clean things up between the two.

Get it In Writing

Finally, one very important legal lesson in business is to put almost everything down on paper. This can include negotiating salary to redesigning your office space - if it is a defining and memorializing aspect of your business, you’ll be glad it was in writing. These agreements should be well defined, signed by all parties. If you are starting a business with co-founders, you will want to get written confirmation between yourself and your partners. It feels kind to be trusting, but clear contracts simplify those work relationships, it’s the lack of a written plan that can take a good relationship and make it sour.

Your Lake of the Ozarks Area Law Firm

We would like to represent you, whether you are a brand new business just starting up - or a business that has been well-established and needs new representation. We have a very wide and diverse group of clients, from individuals, employees, builders, contractors, homeowners, lenders, and definitely small business owners. Because July is Independent Retailer Month, if you have been dreaming about a new business and are ready to get it up off the ground, we would love to chat with you. The earlier you get legal representation involved, the easier it can be when you find yourself needing 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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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Firework Safety Tips for 4th of July

Fourth of July is right around the corner and that means summer fun and fireworks! From family BBQs to big community gatherings, there are a number of opportunities to shoot off beautiful fireworks in the night sky. While fireworks can be breathtaking, Gibbons Law Firm wants to point out that they can also pose a danger to anyone in the vicinity. Our Lake of the Ozarks personal injury attorney knows it's important to use caution around fireworks and this week's blog will feature safety tips you and your family can practice this upcoming holiday.

Safety Tips for Shooting Fireworks:

- Ensure adult supervision is used when children are around and fireworks are present.

- Immediate back up to keep a safe distance after lighting a firework.

- Keep water handy to extinguish a firework or spark, if needed.

- Never allow a young child to light a firework.

- Avoid re-lighting a firework that seems to have not lit properly.

- If a firework does not explode, keep a safe distance.

- Never look into a bottle or tube that a firework has dropped into.

- Avoid pointing a firework at another person.

- Wet down used fireworks to ensure they are extinguished.

- Check your local ordinance to ensure it is legal to shoot fireworks in your location.

Safety Tips for Attending Firework Displays:

- Keep a safe distance from the firework lighting area.

- Bring a flashlight to easily navigate the area in the dark.

- Ensure your children stay close at crowded events.

How to Handle a Firework Injury:

- Seek medical treatment immediately.

- Avoid the application of ointments for a burn.

- Don't attempt to remove any object that may be embedded in the skin.

- Avoid touching or rinsing the wound.

Fireworks are part of the 4th of July and can be a fun and spectacular activity to celebrate the holiday. Our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks encourages everyone to use caution when lighting fireworks this 4th of July. We hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!

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, June 18, 2019

Legal Questions to Ask When Starting a Business

Starting a business is an exciting time but it may also be filled with some apprehension. Opening a business is a big risk and our business lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help mitigate some of that risk. As you prepare to open your doors, it's important to ask yourself a few questions ahead of time to better prepare your venture in a legal sense. Take a look below to learn what Gibbons Law Firm recommends you ask before starting a business!

What is the right business structure for me?

Before starting a business, you will need to decide upon the business structure. As a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you and your business will be seen as the same entity. This can cause issues in your personal life should your business go into debt or be sued. To help protect against this, you can structure your business as a corporation, limited liability company, or limited liability partnership. This can help protect the personal assets of those involved in the company. Limited partnership and nonprofit corporations are also options for your new venture. A legal professional can offer the pros and cons of each type and offer advice as to which one is best for your future business.

Should I trademark my brand?

A business name, logo, and slogan can be trademarked to help prevent other businesses from using the same branding technique as yours. To do so, you must register these items to be trademarked and ensure you are not using a graphic, name, or phrase that another business has already used.

Do I need a lawyer for my business?

While it's not required, a legal professional can help your business in a number of ways. From helping establish your business and initial documentation to giving legal advice throughout your time in business, you may use your business lawyer a lot. It's best to have a legal professional on your side who knows your background when a legal issue arises. We'd be pleased if you would consider Gibbons Law Firm to be your legal professional for your new venture!

What risk do I face when hiring employees?

Your business may be open to a number of risks and regulations as you hire employees. It's important to know the details of employment laws and to abide by the rules of employment for your state. Don't forget to keep good documentation of any employee activity - hiring, firing, and everything in between. Your business lawyer near the Lake of the Ozarks can help you know the regulations you need to follow and help you draft accurate documentation for any employment activity.

What contracts do I need?

This depends on what type of business you are operating. Well-written contracts are very important for a business. They can help to protect your business, ensure you get paid for work you have completed, and help decrease the number of disputes brought against your future business. Your lawyer will be able to specifically narrow down what contracts are needed for your unique venture.

Have you asked yourself the above questions? If not, now's a great time to start legally preparing for the start of your business at the Lake of the Ozarks. As an experienced attorney in Lake Ozark, MO, we know how important it is to protect your venture and there are some great ways to do just that. Contact our Lake of the Ozarks law firm to help protect your business before you open!

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, June 13, 2019

Tips to Make Divorce Easier 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.

Divorce can have an emotional impact on many of your family members. While you may try to avoid having a direct impact on your loved ones, it's inevitable that the people closest to you will hurt when you are hurting. To help minimize the toll your divorce may take on your family, take a look below for some helpful tips.

Open Lines of Communication

It may seem easier to shut off outside communication while you're going through a tough time. But ultimately this will just alienate yourself, and that's really not healthy, either. If you have children with your spouse, it's best to try to keep your communication professional. While you may not agree upon much, your kids should be your top priority and it's vital that you are able to communicate simple things regarding your children together.

Seek Professional Help

While venting to friends and family can be helpful, you don't want to constantly be complaining about your situation. It can start to impact their lives, as well. Seek help from a professional therapist to help you process your feelings and emotions. This is a great source of positive feedback and will really help you dig down to the root of your issues, and help you work through it in a healthy capacity.

Keep Your Priorities Straight

It's important to prioritize your life with these big changes going on. Your children, friends, and family are likely to top your list. Try to take into account the way your actions will affect those you care about. It can be hard to be rational during this highly emotional time but it's important that you think about your actions and how they will impact everyone around you.

Now that you know some ways to ease your friends and family through this difficult time, you're ready to find the right divorce attorney in Lake Ozark, MO. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here for all of your legal needs -- divorce and child custody cases included. Don't forget, your first consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is free.

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, June 10, 2019

Safety Tips for Boating and Fishing

As the warm weather makes its way through the area, more and more boaters will be out on the water. Our Lake of the Ozarks attorney knows how much fun the water can be. It's also important to keep safety top of mind this time of year. Check out some safety tips to honor this week, below.

Boating Safety Tips

Always wear a lifejacket. 

Drowning is a top cause of boating deaths and a lifejacket can help save many lives on the water. Even if you are a strong swimmer, a life jacket can help keep you afloat in the worst conditions.

Stay seated when the boat is moving. 

Ensure everyone on board is sitting down before taking off. This can help prevent someone from falling overboard and keep your passengers safe.

Let someone know your float plan. 

Before getting out on the water, let someone on land know your plans for the day. This can help someone better locate you if needed.

Fishing Safety Tips

Check the surroundings before casting. 

Before casting your line, take a look around. Ensure your surroundings are clear and nothing is within striking distance of your fishing rod. This can help make sure you and everyone around you is safe when fishing.

Use care with bait. 

Baiting your hook can be a dangerous task. Use caution and bait your fishing line with care. Also, if you are around childing while fishing, ensure sharp hooks are kept locked up or out of reach.

Check the weather before launching.

Before you head out fishing, double check the weather. The forecast can change within a few hours in mid-Missouri and it's important you don't get caught out in a bad storm on the water.

Now that you know some boating and fishing safety tips, you're more prepared to safely hit the water this summer. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we know the area draws a number of tourists and locals in due to the water activities the lake presents. Keep these safety tips in mind the next time you get out on the water this summer. If you are involved in a boating or water accident due to the neglect of someone else, our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here to help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair treatment throughout the legal process. Contact us today to schedule your first 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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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Why Driving Distracted is Dangerous

Distracted driving is a common cause of many vehicle accidents. Not only do you face legal dangers if driving distracted, but you can also cause harm to yourself and anyone on the roadway. Driving is a big responsibility that should be taken very seriously. As an experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know about the legal ramifications you may face if the cause of an accident due to distracted driving.

Why is Distracted Driving Dangerous?

Being distracted takes your attention away from the visual, cognitive, AND manual requirements of operating a vehicle. When you mix this combination with operating a vehicle, the eyes, mind, and hands cannot focus on both the distraction and driving at the same time. While it may only seem that a driver looks away for a second to read a text, driving conditions can change in less than a second – delaying the driver’s reaction. If a driver is traveling 55 mph and takes their eyes off the road for 5 seconds (the average time it takes to read a text), they will have traveled 100 yards without looking at the road.

Top Distractors for Drivers:

Texting - Texting takes visual, cognitive, AND manual attention away from driving - all at the same time. The average time the eyes leave the road to read a text message is five seconds. That is about 100 yards if you are traveling 55 miles per hour. A driver is 23 times MORE likely to be involved in an accident if they text while driving.

Eating - When you eat while driving, you are taking your attention away from the roadway. Many times you may look down to search for your food in the bag or look to locate your drink. When you eat in the car, there is a higher chance of dropping food which can lead to further distractions trying to pick it back up. Anytime your eyes leave the road or your attention is drawn away from driving, it can create a dangerous situation on the roadway.

Grooming - A number of people will take care of some facial grooming behind the wheel. From putting on makeup to shaving, you may feel like you are saving time if you do these tasks while driving. Multitasking behind the wheel is dangerous for you and others on the roadway.

Music - Changing the radio station seems like a simple task, but it can easily take your attention off the road. Reaching to turn the dial and worrying about which station you are on can be a distractor. If you are changing a cd, it can be an even bigger distraction fumbling with the cd case and inserting it into the player.

GPS - It's best to configure your GPS before starting to drive. Trying to type in an address while moving can be difficult and dangerous. When driving, try to pay attention to what your GPS is telling you ahead of time. This can help to avoid last minute lane changes when you are busy driving.

Without a doubt, driving while distracted is dangerous. If you find yourself in an accident due to distracted driving, it may be time to seek legal representation. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm can help protect your rights if you are involved in an accident. A personal injury lawsuit in mid-MO can have a big impact on your life. An experienced lawyer, like Gibbons Law Firm, can help ensure your rights are being respected in the legal proceedings.

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, May 23, 2019

Tips for a Safer Deck this May

May is Deck Safety Month and now's the perfect time to inspect your deck before the long holiday weekend. With BBQs, family gatherings, and friends hanging out -- your deck will likely see a lot of action this summer. Ensure it's a safe entertaining space to protect against a personal injury lawsuit at the Lake of the Ozarks. If someone is injured on your property, you may be liable for the injury. From medical bills to time off work, a personal injury can get pretty expensive. Help protect yourself from such a situation by making sure your deck is safe before your next summer gathering.

Learn how to make your deck a safer place this summer.

Check Railings

Railings are a place for leaning, but they can also become a dangerous area for guests if they aren't properly secured. Ensure your deck rails are sturdy and no spindles are missing. This railing system can help keep your guests in place.

Inspect Deck Flooring

The deck flooring is a common place for danger on your deck. A lose or rotting board can be a huge danger for anyone on your deck. If you notice a board that is broken or rotted, replace it as soon as possible.

Look Over Stairs

Stairs can be a danger all in themselves. Ensure you have railings along your stairs to assist as your guests make their way up and down. Also, check that your stairs are in good condition. Over time, the stairs may come unattached from the deck itself, presenting a danger for all.

Examine Support Beams

Support beams are what holds your deck up off the ground. It's also a common place for a fault to go unnoticed since it is often out of sight. Take time to look over your deck supports to ensure they are in good condition.

Refinish Deck Surface

To help prevent a stubbed toe or a splinter, it's best to have your deck surface resanded and painted/stained on an annual basis. It not only makes your deck look better, it makes it a safer place for everyone on your property.

Summer is full of backyard parties and enjoying time on the deck. If you're looking forward to a summer full of outdoor fun at your home, take some time this week to make your deck a safer place for all. If someone is injured on your property, even if it is not your fault, you may need to consult legal advice from a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks. Your first consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free and we look forward to offering you legal advice for your unique situation.

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...