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 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.


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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