Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Answers To Common Legal Questions: Personal Injury

People are injured every single day. Some injuries are self-inflicted, some are not the fault of any specific person, and some are inflicted at the hands other individuals. Though individuals are sometimes known to deliberately cause harm to others, many of these injuries are purely accidental. Even when they are unintentional, however, they can still cause steep medical bills and the need for extensive treatment.

Our personal injury attorney in Osage Beach MO is here to help you seek compensation for injuries you sustain due to someone else's negligence. In an effort to help you understand this aspect of our services a bit better, we have dedicated this week's blog to answering some of the personal injury questions we are commonly asked.

Question #1: My Insurance Company Told Me I Don't Need To Hire An Attorney. Are They Correct?
Answer: Though it is true that some situations may not require an attorney's assistance, you may not want to take your insurance company's opinion at face value. Remember that your insurance company is out to make a profit, so ensuring that you receive the highest possible payout for your case will not be their primary goal. Some insurance companies may try to dissuade you from hiring an attorney so that you will accept a lower settlement.

Question #2: How Can I Know If I Have A Valid Case?
Answer: If you think you will be able to prove that your injuries were caused (or significantly worsened) by someone else's action or inaction, you most likely have the grounds for a valid personal injury case. Our injury attorney in Camden County MO will work with you to determine the best method for moving forward.

Question #3: I Was Injured By A Driver Who Doesn't Have Insurance. How Can I Get Compensation?
Answer: Though American motorists are legally required to purchase insurance policies for the vehicles they drive, an alarming number of motorists do not have adequate insurance coverage. If you are injured by one of these motorists, you should be able to seek compensation from your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist policy. You may also be able to use this policy to seek compensation when the identity of the offending driver is unknown.

Question #4: How Much Is My Case Worth?
Answer: This is typically the most pressing question on the minds of anyone considering a personal injury lawsuit, but unfortunately it is one that is impossible to answer until an attorney has carefully evaluated your situation. Personal injury damages account for multiple things, such as past and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and associated pain and suffering. Your settlement will reflect the financial value of these factors.

Question #5: How Much Will It Cost To Hire An Attorney?
Answer: Next to the financial payout they are likely to receive, the cost of an attorney is typically the most important question on the minds of anyone considering pursuing a lawsuit. The answer to this question will vary depending on the attorney you hire. At Gibbons Law Firm, we represent that majority of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That is, we won't charge our clients anything unless we win their case. At that point, our fee will be an affordable percentage of the payout amount.

More Questions About Personal Injury? Contact Gibbons Law Firm.
If you have been injured at the hands of another, our personal injury attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks will be here to defend your rights and fight for you to receive the best settlement possible. For more information about our personal injury services, visit our website.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

8 Safety Reminders for Black Friday

How do you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving? If you're like most Americans, you probably have a big family dinner planned for Thursday, followed by an exciting night, morning, and/or day where you take advantage of the unbeatable sales offered by retailers all across the country.

Black Friday is without a doubt the biggest shopping event of the year. Retailers make a grand event of slashing prices, and shoppers often stand in line for hours to ensure they get first pick of the stores' best deals. Going shopping on Black Friday can be a great way to get ahead on your Christmas shopping and save money at the same time, but unfortunately, it can also be rather dangerous. Our Lake of the Ozarks personal injury attorney is here to help you stay safe by dedicating this week's blog to some quick reminders for anyone participating in Black Friday shopping. If you are planning on going shopping this Friday, take a moment to familiarize yourself with these simple but important safety tips.

Black Friday Safety Reminders

1. Drive Slowly
Don't let the rush for a good deal cause you to drive recklessly on the street or in parking lots. There will likely be multiple cars out and about - be sure to travel slowly enough that you have time to react to the other drivers on the road.

2. Don't Drink & Drive
You should never drink and drive no matter what day of the year it is, but it is especially critical on Black Friday. You will likely encounter a great deal of traffic, and you may be driving late at night and/or very early in the morning. You will need to be able to be extremely attentive and focused when on the roads.

3. Secure Children Safely In Car Seats & Wear Your Seat Belt
Even if you are only driving across a large parking lot to get from one store to another, take the time to secure your children safely in their car seats and fasten your seat belt before putting your car in drive. Multiple accidents happen in parking lots every year on Black Friday.

4. Use The Buddy System
Try to avoid going Black Friday shopping alone. Stay safe by traveling with your family or a group of friends - or one other person at a minimum. Hopefully you will enjoy your night/day without incident, but it's wise to have someone watching your back just in case.

5. Keep Your Car Locked At All Times
Store parking lots will be packed with vehicles that have been filled with the items shoppers have purchased. For a petty thief, this vast display of unguarded vehicles may be a treasure trove that becomes too tempting to pass up. Protect your items by keeping your car locked at all times. Your high-dollar items may be safest in the trunk (rather than the backseat).

6. Make A Backup Plan With Your Kids
If you will be shopping with children, make a plan you can fall back on in case of emergencies. Designate a central meeting place at every store you visit so that you both know where to go if you get separated. Also, make sure your child has your cell phone number memorized and/or written on a piece of paper that they can keep in his pocket.

7. Be Courteous To Others
In their quest to secure the best deals, some shoppers become downright dangerous. They may rush to grab items as soon as they become available, paying little to no attention to the people around them. Remember, a good deal is never as important as the physical well-being of those around you. Don't let your impulses overpower common sense and courtesy.

8. If You Are Injured, Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Hopefully, you will enjoy a fun-filled shopping event without incident. If you do suffer an injury, don't hesitate to seek medical attention. Some physical injuries can become more severe if they are left unattended for too long.

If your injury is the result of another person's negligence, our personal injury attorney in Camden County MO may be able to help you secure financial compensation for your medical bills and associated pain and suffering. Contact us at (573) 348-2211 to schedule your free consultation.

Happy Thanksgiving from Gibbons Law Firm!

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Felonies vs Misdemeanors: What's the Difference?

Felonies and misdemeanors are classifications used to identify types of crimes. Felonies are serious offenses that are punishable by death or imprisonment for a term in excess of one year and up to life in prison. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, but they may still be subject to steep consequences. In today's blog, Gibbons Law Firm is here to help you understand the distinction between these two classifications.


Misdemeanors could be considered "middle-of-the-road crimes." They are more serious than infractions (which are minor transgressions that typically result in a fine), but less serious than felonies. They are typically punishable by fines and up to one year in the county jail. Examples of misdemeanors may include:
  • Petty Theft
  • Possession of small amounts of marijuana
  • Trespass
  • Disturbance of the peace
  • Illegal gambling

It is important to realize that certain acts may be moved from a misdemeanor to a felony classification depending on their severity.


A felony is the most serious classification of crimes according to the American judicial system, and as such it is reserved for the most heinous acts. Convicted felons may be subject to the maximum punishment allowable by the state in which they are committed. This punishment may include steep fines, multiple years in prison (including a life sentence), and potentially even the death penalty. Examples of felonies may include:
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Possession and/or distribution of child pornography
  • Embezzlement
  • Grand theft
  • Murder
  • Identity theft
  • Rape (of both adults and minors)
  • Possession and/or distribution of a controlled substance
  • Fraud

Secure Quality Representation When Facing Criminal Charges

Convictions can impact your life in more ways that you may realize. Even if you are not sentenced to multiple years in prison, your conviction will likely follow you for many years. A criminal history often makes it harder to secure housing, find employment, be accepted into educational institutions, possess a firearm, and even be approved for insurance coverage. 

When facing criminal accusations, securing top-notch criminal defense is essential. Our criminal defense attorney in Osage Beach MO has experience defending against a vast array of criminal allegations. If you are facing charges, we urge you to contact Gibbons Law Firm to discuss your options. Remember, your initial consultation at our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Identifying Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is one of the biggest challenges our workforce faces. It is a problem that affects everyone, from business owners to HR managers to employees. It ruins a company's culture faster than almost anything else. Its negative impacts are not just personnel-based - it can also have legal consequences that can affect the entire company.

In order to protect your interests as a business owner and employer, it is essential that you be on the lookout for sexual harassment and to quickly reprimand any behavior that begins to blur lines. As an employee, it is equally important that you remain alert - if you feel that you are at risk of being sexually harassed, it is important that you seek help before the problem has a chance to get out of control. In order to help both employers and employees in these endeavors, our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is dedicating this week's blog to identifying sexual harassment in the workplace. 

About Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment occurs in a variety of different situations and takes on several different forms. It is illegal and punishable by law. It is important to recognize that while certain stereotypes abound, sexual harassment is not limited to certain people or certain situations. Women as well as men and younger people as well as older people are equally capable of committing sexual harassment. As a general rule, you can avoid sexual harassment allegations by keeping your workplace devoid of all things of a sexual nature. Even joking conversations have no place in a business setting - someone who is offended by the nature of the joke may be able to press charges even if the joke was originally intended to be innocent.

Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Specifically, federal law recognizes two primary forms of sexual harassment in the workplace: Hostile Work Environment and Quid Pro Quo. 
  • A Hostile Work Environment is created when an individual (or group of individuals) are made to feel uncomfortable in their workplace. While it certainly can include actual sexual advances, it does not have to involve anything physical. Hostile Work Environment also refers to sexual and/or offensive jokes, conversations, pictures, or objects.
  • Quid Pro Quo describes a "tit for tat" situation wherein decisions regarding hiring, promoting, or firing individuals becomes contingent upon their willingness to perform sexual favors or submit to sexual advances.

Though they are illegal, both of these types of sexual harassment are unfortunately relatively common in today's workplace. 

Identifying Sexual Harassment

As we discussed earlier, sexual harassment can take on a variety of different forms. Here are some examples of some of the ways it commonly manifests:
  • Using inappropriate terms or pet names to refer to a coworker or employee.
  • Giving an unwanted shoulder or neck massage.
  • Touching someone inappropriately (brushing up against them, placing a hand on their shoulder/back, etc).
  • Discussing sex or sexual acts.
  • Kissing, hugging, pinching, or grabbing an employee or coworker.
  • Speaking provocatively or insultingly about someone's clothing, weight, or appearance.
  • Making inappropriate sexual noises (whistling, cat-calling, etc).
  • Requesting sexual favors.
  • Inquiring about someone's sexual history.
  • Displaying photographs or objects of a sexual nature.
  • Threatening to fire someone if they refuse sexual advances.

If you notice any of these signs or behaviors, talk to your supervisor, HR manager, or attorney right away.

Our Law Firm Is Here To Help

If you are involved in a sexual harassment situation, you may require the assistance of an attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you are facing sexual harassment allegations, our legal team can defend you. If you are the victim of sexual harassment or assault, we can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. For more information about our legal services in Mid-Missouri, call Gibbons Law Firm at (573) 348-2211.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Answers To Common Legal Questions: Family Law

Most people are more emotionally invested in family law cases than cases of any other nature, and for good reason. As their name implies, family law cases deal directly with people's families. If you are preparing for or already in the midst of a family law case, you probably have several questions. Our family attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help ease your concerns by providing answers to some common questions about family law cases.

Question #1: Do I Have To Have A "Cause" For Divorce?
Answer: Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, which means that couples do not have to have a specific reason for filing for divorce. All that is required is for at least one spouse to testify that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" or that there are "irreconcilable differences" between spouses.

Question #2: What Can I Do If My Spouse Refuses To Pay Child Support?
Answer: If the court has ordered your spouse to pay child support, you can seek legal recourse through your attorney for missed payments. Do not retaliate directly by attempting to withhold visitation rights, as this type of action may be subject to legal consequences of its own.

Question #3: Do I Have To Get An Attorney To Get Divorced?
Answer: When it comes to whether or not you will work with an attorney, you always have the right to make your own choice. However, we encourage you to consult with a family attorney in Camden County MO before moving forward with your divorce. Your attorney will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed in order to protect both your and your children's interests.

Question #4: How Long Does It Take To Get Divorced?
Answer: Because every divorce is different, it's impossible to provide a straight and simple answer to this question. As a general rule of thumb, the quicker you and your spouse can come to agreements, the shorter your divorce process will be.

Question #5: Will My Spouse And I Get To Decide How Child Custody Is Divided?
Answer: If you and your spouse can come to an agreeable compromise regarding division of custody, the court may respect your decision. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the court will be required to make arrangements on your behalf. This will be done with the child's best interests in mind; your and your spouse's differing opinions may have little weight in the final decision.

Question #6: Can I Get Child Support Even If I Was Never Married To The Child's Other Parent?Answer: Typically, yes. The individuals who are legally recognized to be a child's parent are generally both required to provide financial assistance if possible. If you were never married, you may be required to order a paternity test in order to legally identify the father. Once this has been achieved, you should be able to seek child support.

More Questions? Contact Gibbons Law Firm.

If you have further questions about family law at the Lake of the Ozarks, the team at Gibbons Law Firm would be happy to extend our services. We can be reached online at or by phone at (573) 348-2211. Your initial consultation is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.