Thursday, November 29, 2018

How a DUI Can Impact Your Life

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

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

Ways a DUI Can Impact Your Life:

Lose License

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

Legal Fees

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

Loss of Employment

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

Change in Personal Relationships

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

Insurance Rate Hike

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

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

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

Your Trusted Legal Resource

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

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Monday, November 19, 2018

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

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

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

Clear the Roadway

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

Evaluate the Situation

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

Notify Authorities

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

Gather Driver Information

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

Document, Document, Document

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

Seek Medical Aid

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

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

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

Your Trusted Legal Resource

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

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Safety Tips for Black Friday Shopping

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

In the Store

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Parking Lot

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Trusted Legal Resource

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

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Friday, November 9, 2018

The Difference Between an Agency Adoption and an Independent Adoption

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

Agency Adoption:

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

Independent Adoption:

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

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

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

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

Your Trusted Legal Resource

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

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Ways to Streamline the Divorce Process

A divorce is a trying time for everyone involved but it can also be quite time consuming. If you are worried about the financial burden and time required to get a divorce, there are ways to help speed up the process. As your divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how important it is to fight for what you deserve but we also know the importance of time. If you are thinking about dissolving your marriage, take a look below for some ways to help streamline the divorce process.

Get your Documentation Ready

Your attorney will let you know what type of documentation will be required to get the divorce process started. They may also give you a list of other paperwork needed to represent your case. If you are looking to keep the length of time needed to complete a divorce at bay, gather any and all paperwork requested in a timely manner. Consider it will take some time for your lawyer to review this documentation and for your spouse's lawyer to take time to go over it, as well.

Consider Settlement Offers

A settlement offer is when one spouse presents an offer as to how belongings and other shared property should be divided. This process is what takes a large chunk of time - behind deciding child custody. When it comes to dividing your community property, try to be as fair and agreeable as possible. This can help the process go smoothly and cut down on time required to go back and forth between lawyers.

Communicate with Lawyer

When your lawyer reaches out, try to get back with them as soon as possible. Many times a lawyer taking time to reach a client is a big time consumer. Open and prompt communication is key to a timely divorce. If you are worried about the length of time required to complete the divorce process, be sure you are easily reachable and respond in a timely manner.

Now that you know some of these tips to help streamline the divorce process, you are ready to get your things in order. If you are thinking about ending your marriage, contact our Lake of the Ozarks law firm today. Gibbons Law Firm can help walk you through the entire process and give you pointers on what processes can be streamlined by you and your spouse. And don't forget, your first consultation with our divorce lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks if 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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